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Difference between System-level Exception and Application-level Exception in C#

In this article, we will discuss the difference between system-level exceptions and application-level exceptions in C#. C# exceptions are used in the execution of a program if an unexpected error or an event occurs that could not be anticipated during the program design. These exceptions may take place differently in the application process at the level of the system and the application level. Let's explore each term in detail and then summarize the differences between system-level exceptions and application-level exceptions.

What are System Level Exceptions?

System-level exceptions, which are known as system exceptions in .NET, are exceptions that happen due to either the .NET runtime or the common system. These cases are usually caused by serious mistakes or bugs that crash the whole application.

  1. OutOfMemoryException: It is thrown when the application is trying to allocate memory to the system, but there isn't sufficient memory available to satisfy the request.
  2. StackOverflowException: In the scenario, an application execution stack becomes greater than its allocated maximum size because the recursive function is being called continuously.
  3. AccessViolationException: It is like a case when the application asked for the memory but it was not allocated even after deallocation.

Overall, the system-level exit could be fatal and the program execution may finish incorrectly if it is not handled properly. When privileges are applied this way, the recovery is often not successful, and system-level intervention may be required to reinforce those values.

What are Application Level Exceptions?

One type of application-specific exception is the application or process exception, which occurs in data logic and within the application framework. In general, the exception arises from the application code for either of them to be condition-specific or in a very general scenario. Some examples of application-level exceptions include:

  1. FileNotFoundException: It is called a crash or simply a 'hang' situation when an application is unable to run because it needs files to exist, which may either not exist or be absent from your system.
  2. ArgumentException: It happens when a method is passed correct or incorrect arguments, and the mistake arises.
  3. InvalidOperationException: The fact that the suggested solution has no chance of success is made evident by the supporting statement, which implies that the current application result is not feasible considering the insufficient implementation of the plan.

Most apps get declared as not fitting in the loop where someone applies and is given an exception to be financially able to continue his education. On the one hand, system-level exceptions cannot provide meaningful recovery or error message support, but application-level exceptions may be managed within the application code and thus be able to provide such support.

Key differences between System Level Exception and Application Level Exception

Difference between System-level Exception and Application-level Exception in C#

There are several main differences between System Level Exception and Application Level Exception. Some main differences between these exceptions are as follows:

Features System level Exception Application Level Exception
Source: System-level exceptions are raised by either the .NET run-time or the operating system. These exceptions are part of the run-time environment's inner core. One of the functions of application-level exceptions is raising an error by the application code. The exceptions that are introduced by the application for the specific logic and functionalities are meant for them.
Severity: System-level exceptions are not a standard consequence but can be essential, and they must be handled carefully to avoid application termination. Application layer exceptions can be of different degrees of seriousness based on the type of error and its impact on the application. Although some of them are critical and need to be dealt with in a short-term, others can be less critical and may allow the platform to run.
Cause: At system level exception, the most common kind of faults derive from problems at the system or hardware level. They can happen because of small errors such as memory shortage, hardware failure or inability to control the system level access permissions. Application-level exceptions consist of errors in application logic, inconsistencies in the data, or user interaction. They may happen because of an invalid user input, unexpected conditions or a violation of business rules.
Handling and Recovery: The system-level exceptions are often hard to recover from and may require intervention. Application-level exceptions are normally recoverable and can be managed by the application code.Recovery procedures for those exceptions include displaying error messages to the user, logging the exception details for analysis, or trying other approaches to accomplish the desired functionality.
Examples: OutOfMemoryException, StackOverflowException, AccessViolationException, ExecutionEngineException. FileNotFoundException, ArgumentException, InvalidOperationException, and custom designed exceptions for a specific scenarios of the Application.


In conclusion, system-level exceptions and application-level exceptions in C# are not the same with respect to the methods of usage and ways of their implementation. System-level failures are usually caused by the .NET runtime or the operating system and point to the essential mistakes that may affect a whole application. On the other hand, application-level exceptions pull the exception arising from logical usage and application. Learn the basic differences between system-level exceptions and application-level exceptions for successful exception handling and exception management in C# applications. Through appropriate processing and managing of exceptions at both levels, developers can deliver applications with improved stability and reliability.

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