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ICollection.IsSynchronized Property in C#

As a part of the .NET Framework, "ICollection.IsSynchronized" indicates whether or not access to the collection is thread-safe and synchronized. A thread-safe collection with synchronized access to its elements is indicated by the presence of the "IsSynchronized" property. It enables multiple threads to use the collection concurrently without compromising data integrity. The collection is not thread-safe if "IsSynchronized" is false, and to prevent race situations, the programmer must manually synchronize access to its elements. A collection's synchronization status may be checked using the IsSynchronized property. The collection's synchronization state is indicated by the Boolean value (true or false) that is returned.

1. Thread Safety

Data consistency and integrity are crucial in a multi-threaded system when numerous threads concurrently access a shared collection. The ability of a data structure to manage access from multiple threads without resulting in data corruption is known as thread safety.

2. Synchronized Collections

Thread-safe synchronized collection classes are built into .NET. These collections ensure that all collection operations are synchronized and implement the ICollection interface.

3. IsSynchronized Property

This property is part of the ICollection interface and indicates whether or not the collection is synchronized. When IsSynchronized is true, the collection is thread-safe and has internally synchronized access to its items. However, if IsSynchronized is false, the collection is not inherently thread-safe, and external synchronization mechanisms must be used.


It has the following syntax:

  • Access Modifier: The public keyword indicates that any code running in the same assembly or any assembly that references it can access the property.
  • Return Type: In this case, the property returns a Boolean value (true or false), and the return type is bool.
  • Property Name: IsSynchronized is the descriptive property name indicating whether the collection is synchronized.
  • { get; }: It is the property's automatically implemented getter accessor. It indicates that while the property is read-only (accessible), it cannot be modified (set) outside the defined class. The get accessor retrieves the value of the property.

Key Points to Remember:

  • The collection offers a synchronized (thread-safe) wrapper on the underlying collection if IsSynchronized returns true. The collection automatically ensures thread safety for all operations.
  • Thread safety must be handled externally using methods like locks (lock keyword) or other synchronization primitives if IsSynchronized returns false, indicating that the collection does not support synchronization.

Example 1: Using ArrayList

The .NET Framework includes an arraylist collection class that dynamically adjusts its size in response to newly added or deleted elements.


Is the ArrayList synchronized? True


In this example, the ArrayList is used to produce a synchronized ArrayList. Synchronized() method. Subsequently, we include a few elements into the synchronized list and verify the value of the IsSynchronized property, which ought to yield a true value, signifying that the ArrayList is linked.

Example 2: Using Hashtable

The .NET Framework has a collection class called Hashtable that holds key/value pairs.


Is the Hashtable synchronized? True


In this example, the Hashtable.Synchronized() method is used to create a synchronized Hashtable. After that, we add a few key-value pairs to the hashtable that has been synchronized and verify that the value of the IsSynchronized property is true, meaning that the hashtable is synchronized.

Use Cases:

  • The IsSynchronized methods comes in useful when several threads must get to and modify the same collection simultaneously in multi-threaded applications.
  • Developers may use it to determine if a collection is thread-safe by default or whether further synchronization techniques are needed.


In conclusion, the ICollection.IsSynchronized property in C# provides information about whether a collection is synchronized for thread-safe access. Ensuring data consistency and preventing race situations while dealing with collections is an essential feature of multi-threaded programming.

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