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C# StringBuilder ToString Method

This C# article demonstrates the ToString method on StringBuilder. It examines the performance of ToString.

StringBuilder ToString. ToString on StringBuilder returns a string.

It internally converts the character buffer of the StringBuilder into a string object. It does this without allocating memory or copying a lot of data in most cases.

Example. First, this program demonstrates the ToString method usage on the StringBuilder type. This method is used to convert a StringBuilder's character buffer into an actual string reference.

And: Because many .NET programs use a string parameter type, converting the StringBuilder's buffer to a string is useful.

Further: We show that the ToString method is efficient because it does not allocate memory in most cases.

C# program that uses ToString method on StringBuilder

using System;
using System.Text;

class Program
    static void Main()
	// Begin by declaring a StringBuilder and adding three strings.
	StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
	builder.Append("one ");
	builder.Append("two ");
	builder.Append("three ");
	// Add many strings to the StringBuilder in a loop.
	for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
	    builder.Append("x ");
	// Convert the buffer to a string.
	// Often no additional copying is required at this stage.
	string result = builder.ToString();


one two three x x x x x x x x x x

Main internally creates a StringBuilder and appends 13 strings to its buffer using the Append calls. The character buffer's representation as a string is shown in the text as well.

Calling ToString on StringBuilder. The program at the end of its execution calls the ToString method on the StringBuilder instance. This method internally uses logic and often does not copy the string data an additional time.

Instead: ToString sets a null character in the buffer data and transforms the buffer into a string without any allocation occurring.

And: For this reason, calling ToString on most StringBuilder instances is efficient.

Copying. Let's explore whether the ToString instance override method on the StringBuilder class actually makes another copy of the string data. The ToString method on StringBuilder contains some logic that avoids an additional copy in many cases.

Note: An additional copy of the string characters is made when the StringBuilder is being used on multiple threads at the same time.


An additional copy is also made if the memory allocated to the StringBuilder is much larger than required. This improves efficiency. It means that the copy will occupy less memory in the long run.

However: In all other cases, the ToString method simply modifies its internal buffer and transforms it into a string.

Summary. We examined the StringBuilder type and its ToString method, which is useful for converting the internal character buffer to a usable string type in the C# language. ToString internally prevents an extra string copy from occurring.

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