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How to change the datatype of a datatbale in c# while already having data in.
I have an int field that has to be typeof(string)
Updated 17-Sep-20 1:06am

Dear Digimanu,

You can't change the data type of a datatable once the data is populated into it.

For your reference follow the link:-[^]

Hope this will help you out.

First, I must admit that I don't understand why you don't create the columns with proper data types in the first place. That would save a lot of trouble.

However, to your question, you can for example load the data into a new datatable using datatablereader. Consider the following:
System.Data.DataTable dt = new System.Data.DataTable();
dt.Columns.Add("Col1", typeof(int));

System.Data.DataTable dt2 = new System.Data.DataTable();
dt2.Columns.Add("Col1", typeof(string));
dt2.Load(dt.CreateDataReader(), System.Data.LoadOption.OverwriteChanges);
Herman<T>.Instance 3-Jan-12 4:12am
that is a cool one: System.Data.LoadOption.OverwriteChanges. That safes a lot of trouble.

You say: "First, I must admit that I don't understand why you don't create the columns with proper data types in the first place".
The reason is that the database gives me this datatable based on a stored procedure that is used for several reports and can hold up to 1 to 15 rows of data. Based on the number of rows I can determine which string has to be set in the place of the int value.
Wendelius 3-Jan-12 8:44am
Ok, that makes sense :)
FarhanShariff 6-Mar-14 4:19am
I want to change the DataTable type to decimal how to I do that

namespace ReadDataFromCSVFile
static class Program
static void Main()
string csv_file_path = @"C:\Matlab\Sheet1_t168h.csv";
DataTable csvData = GetDataTabletFromCSVFile(csv_file_path);
Console.WriteLine("Rows count:" + csvData.Rows.Count);
private static DataTable GetDataTabletFromCSVFile(string csv_file_path)
DataTable csvData = new DataTable();

using (TextFieldParser csvReader = new TextFieldParser(csv_file_path))
csvReader.SetDelimiters(new string[] { "," });
csvReader.HasFieldsEnclosedInQuotes = true;
string[] colFields = csvReader.ReadFields();
foreach (string column in colFields)
DataColumn datecolumn = new DataColumn(column);
datecolumn.AllowDBNull = true;
while (!csvReader.EndOfData)
string[] fieldData = csvReader.ReadFields();
//Making empty value as null
for (int i = 0; i < fieldData.Length; i++)
if (fieldData[i] == "")
fieldData[i] = null;

return csvData;
#realJSOP 23-Mar-18 9:55am
Hey Mike, I realize this is really old, but I have a reason that you don't set the type appropriate on the first-go-round. I was loading/parsing a CSV file, and simply added the parsed data to a datatable object, and initially set the column DataType property to object, and then determined the appropriate types from the data in the datatable. It was only after I got all the code in place that I realized you couldn't set the type after the datatable had rows in it, so I create a new method that was called at the end of the processing chain:

protected virtual void SetColumnTypes()
    if (this.ColumnHints != null)
        DataTable cloned = this.ImportedData.Clone();
        for (int i = 0; i < cloned.Columns.Count; i++)
            // ColumnHints is an object that determines the datatypes
            // for the imported CSV fields by iterating all of the
            // rows/columns of the initial datatable
            cloned.Columns[i].DataType = ColumnHints[i].ItemType;
        foreach (DataRow row in this.ImportedData.Rows)
        this.ImportedData = cloned;

So, as you can see, sometimes there is a need.
Maciej Los 8-May-18 8:28am
John, why to use a [foreach] loop to copy data between datatables? You can use [CopyToDataTable()] method instead:
cloned = this.ImportedData.CopyToDataTable();
this.ImportedData = cloned;
#realJSOP 8-May-18 9:29am
The details are fuzzy, but I seem to remember that I was getting strange results when I did it that way. As my memory is filled with more holes than Hillary Clinton's claims about her email server, I can't remember exactly what the issue was, although it's likely that I wanted to monitor the process of importing the rows, and simply didn't change back to using the CopyToDataTable method.
Maciej Los 8-May-18 9:32am
If you want to convert type of all or some columns to a single type e.g., string type then use the following function:

public DataTable dataTableColsToOtherType(DataTable dt, Type type, List<string> colsForTypeChange = default(List<string>))
            var dt2 = new DataTable();
            foreach (DataColumn c in dt.Columns)
                if (colsForTypeChange != null && colsForTypeChange.Count > 0)
                    if (colsForTypeChange.Contains(c.ColumnName))
                        dt2.Columns.Add(c.ColumnName, type);//Change column type if found in list "colsForTypeChange"
                    else dt2.Columns.Add(c.ColumnName, c.DataType);//No change in Column Type
                    dt2.Columns.Add(c.ColumnName, type);//change all columns type to provided type
            dt2.Load(dt.CreateDataReader(), System.Data.LoadOption.OverwriteChanges);
            return dt2;

to change all columns type call it as:
DataTable dtNew = dataTableColsToOtherType(dtOld, typeof(string));

to change specific columns type call it as:
DataTable dtNew = dataTableColsToOtherType(dtOld, typeof(string), new List<string>() { "INT_COLUMN_1","INT_COLUMN_2" });

Note: Make sure for your desired Column Type and its data type while changing columns to a single type, otherwise you may get exceptions.

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