C# code to validate email address


Answers

This is an old question, but all the answers I've found on SO, including more recent ones, are answered similarly to this one. However, in .Net 4.5 / MVC 4 you can add email address validation to a form by adding the [EmailAddress] annotation from System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations, so I was wondering why I couldn't just use the built-in functionality from .Net in general.

This seems to work, and seems to me to be fairly elegant:

using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations;

class ValidateSomeEmails
{
    static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        var foo = new EmailAddressAttribute();
        bool bar;
        bar = foo.IsValid("someone@somewhere.com");         //true
        bar = foo.IsValid("someone@somewhere.co.uk");       //true
        bar = foo.IsValid("someone+tag@somewhere.net");     //true
        bar = foo.IsValid("futureTLD@somewhere.fooo");      //true

        bar = foo.IsValid("fdsa");                          //false
        bar = foo.IsValid("fdsa@");                         //false
        bar = foo.IsValid("fdsa@fdsa");                     //false
        bar = foo.IsValid("fdsa@fdsa.");                    //false

        //one-liner
        if (new EmailAddressAttribute().IsValid("someone@somewhere.com"))
            bar = true;    
    }
}
Question

What is the most elegant code to validate that a string is a valid email address?




private static bool IsValidEmail(string emailAddress)
{
    const string validEmailPattern = @"^(?!\.)(""([^""\r\\]|\\[""\r\\])*""|"
                                     + @"([-a-z0-9!#$%&'*+/=?^_`{|}~]|(?<!\.)\.)*)(?<!\.)"
                                     + @"@[a-z0-9][\w\.-]*[a-z0-9]\.[a-z][a-z\.]*[a-z]$";

    return new Regex(validEmailPattern, RegexOptions.IgnoreCase).IsMatch(emailAddress);
}



Generally speaking, a regular expression to validate email addresses is not an easy thing to come up with; at the time of this writing, the syntax of an email address must follow a relatively high number of standards and implementing all of them within a regular expression is practically unfeasible!

I highly suggest you to try our EmailVerify.NET, a mature .NET library which can validate email addresses following all of the current IETF standards (RFC 1123, RFC 2821, RFC 2822, RFC 3696, RFC 4291, RFC 5321 and RFC 5322), tests the related DNS records, checks if the target mailboxes can accept messages and can even tell if a given address is disposable or not.

Disclaimer: I am the lead developer for this component.




/Using the Internal Regex used in creating the "new EmailAddressAttribute();" component in .Net4.5 >>> using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations; //To Validate an Email Address......Tested and Working.

public bool IsEmail(string email)
{
    if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(email))
    {   return false;  }
    try
    {
        Regex _regex = new Regex("^((([a-z]|\\d|[!#\\$%&'\\*\\+\\-\\/=\\?\\^_`{\\|}~]|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])" +
                "+(\\.([a-z]|\\d|[!#\\$%&'\\*\\+\\-\\/=\\?\\^_`{\\|}~]|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])+)*)|((\\x22)" +
                "((((\\x20|\\x09)*(\\x0d\\x0a))?(\\x20|\\x09)+)?(([\\x01-\\x08\\x0b\\x0c\\x0e-\\x1f\\x7f]|\\x21|[\\x23-\\x5b]|[\\x5d-\\x7e]|" +
                "[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])|(\\\\([\\x01-\\x09\\x0b\\x0c\\x0d-\\x7f]|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\u" +
                "FDF0-\\uFFEF]))))*(((\\x20|\\x09)*(\\x0d\\x0a))?(\\x20|\\x09)+)?(\\x22)))@((([a-z]|\\d|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])|" +
                "(([a-z]|\\d|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])([a-z]|\\d|-|\\.|_|~|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])*([a-z]|\\d|" +
                "[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])))\\.)+(([a-z]|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])|(([a-z]|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900" +
                "-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])([a-z]|\\d|-|\\.|_|~|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFFEF])*([a-z]|[\\u00A0-\\uD7FF\\uF900-\\uFDCF\\uFDF0-\\uFF" +
                "EF])))\\.?$", RegexOptions.IgnoreCase | RegexOptions.ExplicitCapture | RegexOptions.Compiled);
        return _regex.IsMatch(email);
    }
    catch (RegexMatchTimeoutException)
    {
        return false;
    }
}

Also, You can use this:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/01escwtf(v=vs.110).aspx




A simple one without using Regex (which I don't like for its poor readability):

bool IsValidEmail(string email)
{
    string emailTrimed = email.Trim();

    if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(emailTrimed))
    {
        bool hasWhitespace = emailTrimed.Contains(" ");

        int indexOfAtSign = emailTrimed.LastIndexOf('@');

        if (indexOfAtSign > 0 && !hasWhitespace)
        {
            string afterAtSign = emailTrimed.Substring(indexOfAtSign + 1);

            int indexOfDotAfterAtSign = afterAtSign.LastIndexOf('.');

            if (indexOfDotAfterAtSign > 0 && afterAtSign.Substring(indexOfDotAfterAtSign).Length > 1)
                return true;
        }
    }

    return false;
}

Examples:

  • IsValidEmail("@b.com") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a@.com") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a@bcom") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a.b@com") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a@b.") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a b@c.com") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a@b c.com") // false
  • IsValidEmail("a@b.com") // true
  • IsValidEmail("a@b.c.com") // true
  • IsValidEmail("a+b@c.com") // true
  • IsValidEmail("a@123.45.67.89") // true

It is meant to be simple and therefore it doesn't deal with rare cases like emails with bracketed domains that contain spaces (typically allowed), emails with IPv6 addresses, etc.




In case you are using FluentValidation you could write something as simple as this:

public cass User
{
    public string Email { get; set; }
}

public class UserValidator : AbstractValidator<User>
{
    public UserValidator()
    {
        RuleFor(x => x.Email).EmailAddress().WithMessage("The text entered is not a valid email address.");
    }
}

// Validates an user. 
var validationResult = new UserValidator().Validate(new User { Email = "açflkdj" });

// This will return false, since the user email is not valid.
bool userIsValid = validationResult.IsValid;



Email address validation is not as easy as it might seem. It's actually theoretically impossible to fully validate an email address using just a regular expression.

Check out my blog post about it for a discussion on the subject and a F# implementation using FParsec. [/shameless_plug]




There is culture problem in regex in C# rather then js. So we need to use regex in US mode for email check. If you don't use ECMAScript mode, your language special characters are imply in A-Z with regex.

Regex.IsMatch(email, @"^([a-zA-Z0-9_\-\.]+)@((\[[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.)|(([a-zA-Z0-9_\-]+\.)+))([a-zA-Z]{2,4}|[0-9]{1,3})(\]?)$", RegexOptions.ECMAScript)



Some time back, I wrote an EmailAddressValidationAttribute that should properly validate pretty much any relatively normal email address of the form

local-part@domain

It's a System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.ValidationAttribute, so usage is really simple.

And, since digging through all the RFCs and errata and assembling all the bits required to properly enumerate all the rules is...tedious — at best! — I posted the source code for the validator in my answer to the question C# Email Address validation for the source code.

My validator isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, though Just for starters, it doesn't have any built-in support for emitting client-side javascript validation, though it wouldn't be too difficult to add that in. From my answer above:

Here's the validation attribute I wrote. It validates pretty much every "raw" email address, that is those of the form local-part@domain. It doesn't support any of the other, more...creative constructs that the RFCs allow (this list is not comprehensive by any means):

  • comments (e.g., jsmith@whizbang.com (work))
  • quoted strings (escaped text, to allow characters not allowed in an atom)
  • domain literals (e.g. foo@[123.45.67.012])
  • bang-paths (aka source routing)
  • angle addresses (e.g. John Smith <jsmith@whizbang.com>)
  • folding whitespace
  • double-byte characters in either local-part or domain (7-bit ASCII only).
  • etc.

It should accept almost any email address that can be expressed thusly

  • foo.bar@bazbat.com

without requiring the use of quotes ("), angle brackets ('<>') or square brackets ([]).

No attempt is made to validate that the rightmost dns label in the domain is a valid TLD (top-level domain). That is because the list of TLDs is far larger now than the "big 6" (.com, .edu, .gov, .mil, .net, .org) plus 2-letter ISO country codes. ICANN actually updates the TLD list daily, though I suspect that the list doesn't actually change daily. Further, [ICANN just approved a big expansion of the generic TLD namespace][2]). And some email addresses don't have what you'd recognize as a TLD (did you know that postmaster@. is theoretically valid and mailable? Mail to that address should get delivered to the postmaster of the DNS root zone.)

Extending the regular expression to support domain literals shouldn't be too difficult.




.net 4.5 added System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.EmailAddressAttribute

You can browse the EmailAddressAttribute's source, this is the Regex it uses internally:

const string pattern = @"^((([a-z]|\d|[!#\$%&'\*\+\-\/=\?\^_`{\|}~]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])+(\.([a-z]|\d|[!#\$%&'\*\+\-\/=\?\^_`{\|}~]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])+)*)|((\x22)((((\x20|\x09)*(\x0d\x0a))?(\x20|\x09)+)?(([\x01-\x08\x0b\x0c\x0e-\x1f\x7f]|\x21|[\x23-\x5b]|[\x5d-\x7e]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])|(\\([\x01-\x09\x0b\x0c\x0d-\x7f]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF]))))*(((\x20|\x09)*(\x0d\x0a))?(\x20|\x09)+)?(\x22)))@((([a-z]|\d|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])|(([a-z]|\d|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])([a-z]|\d|-|\.|_|~|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])*([a-z]|\d|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])))\.)+(([a-z]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])|(([a-z]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])([a-z]|\d|-|\.|_|~|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])*([a-z]|[\u00A0-\uD7FF\uF900-\uFDCF\uFDF0-\uFFEF])))\.?$";



Short and accurate code

public static bool IsValidEmail(this string email)
        {
            const string pattern = @"^(?!\.)(""([^""\r\\]|\\[""\r\\])*""|" + @"([-a-z0-9!#$%&'*+/=?^_`{|}~]|(?<!\.)\.)*)(?<!\.)" + @"@[a-z0-9][\w\.-]*[a-z0-9]\.[a-z][a-z\.]*[a-z]$";

            var regex = new Regex(pattern, RegexOptions.IgnoreCase);

            return regex.IsMatch(email);
        }



If you really and I mean really want to know if an email address is valid...ask the mail exchanger to prove it, no regex needed. I can provide the code if requested.

General steps are as follows: 1. does email address have a domain name part? (index of @ > 0) 2. using a DNS query ask if domain has a mail exchanger 3. open tcp connection to mail exchanger 4. using the smtp protocol, open a message to the server using the email address as the reciever 5. parse the server's response. 6. quit the message if you made it this far, everything is good.

This is as you can imagine, very expensive time wise and relies on smtp, but it does work.




I wrote an function to check if an email is valid or not. It seems working well for me in most cases.

Results:

dasddas-@.com => FALSE
-asd@das.com => FALSE
as3d@dac.coas- => FALSE
dsq!a?@das.com => FALSE
_dasd@sd.com => FALSE
dad@sds => FALSE
asd-@asd.com => FALSE
dasd_-@jdas.com => FALSE
asd@dasd@asd.cm => FALSE
da23@das..com => FALSE
_dasd_das_@9.com => FALSE

d23d@da9.co9 => TRUE
dasd.dadas@dasd.com => TRUE
dda_das@das-dasd.com => TRUE
dasd-dasd@das.com.das => TRUE

Code:

    private bool IsValidEmail(string email)
    {
        bool valid = false;
        try
        {
            var addr = new System.Net.Mail.MailAddress(email);
            valid = true;
        }
        catch
        {
            valid = false;
            goto End_Func;
        }

        valid = false;
        int pos_at = email.IndexOf('@');
        char checker = Convert.ToChar(email.Substring(pos_at + 1, 1));
        var chars = "qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm0123456789";
        foreach (char chr in chars)
        {
            if (checker == chr)
            {
                valid = true;
                break;
            }
        }
        if (valid == false)
        {
            goto End_Func;
        } 

        int pos_dot = email.IndexOf('.', pos_at + 1);
        if(pos_dot == -1)
        {
            valid = false;
            goto End_Func;
        }

        valid = false;
        try
        {
            checker = Convert.ToChar(email.Substring(pos_dot + 1, 1));
            foreach (char chr in chars)
            {
                if (checker == chr)
                {
                    valid = true;
                    break;
                }
            }
        }
        catch
        {
            valid = false;
            goto End_Func;
        }

        Regex valid_checker = new Regex(@"^[a-zA-Z0-9_@.-]*$");
        valid = valid_checker.IsMatch(email);
        if (valid == false)
        {
            goto End_Func;
        }

        List<int> pos_list = new List<int> { };
        int pos = 0;
        while (email.IndexOf('_', pos) != -1)
        {
            pos_list.Add(email.IndexOf('_', pos));
            pos = email.IndexOf('_', pos) + 1;
        }

        pos = 0;
        while (email.IndexOf('.', pos) != -1)
        {
            pos_list.Add(email.IndexOf('.', pos));
            pos = email.IndexOf('.', pos) + 1;
        }

        pos = 0;
        while (email.IndexOf('-', pos) != -1)
        {
            pos_list.Add(email.IndexOf('-', pos));
            pos = email.IndexOf('-', pos) + 1;
        }

        int sp_cnt = pos_list.Count();
        pos_list.Sort();
        for (int i = 0; i < sp_cnt - 1; i++)
        {
            if (pos_list[i] + 1 == pos_list[i + 1])
            {
                valid = false;
                break;
            }

            if (pos_list[i]+1 == pos_at || pos_list[i]+1 == pos_dot)
            {
                valid = false;
                break;
            }
        }

        if(valid == false)
        {
            goto End_Func;
        }

        if (pos_list[sp_cnt - 1] == email.Length - 1 || pos_list[0] == 0)
        {
            valid = false;
        }

    End_Func:;
        return valid;
    }



I use this single liner method which does the work for me-

using System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations;
public bool IsValidEmail(string source)
{
    return new EmailAddressAttribute().IsValid(source);
}



The most elegant way is to use .Net's built in methods.

These methods:

  • Are tried and tested. These methods are used in my own professional projects.

  • Use regular expressions internally, which are reliable and fast.

  • Made by Microsoft for C#. There's no need to reinvent the wheel.

  • Return a bool result. True means the email is valid.

For users of .Net 4.5 and greater

Add this Reference to your project:

System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations

Now you can use the following code:

(new EmailAddressAttribute().IsValid("youremailhere@test.test"));

Example of use

Here are some methods to declare:

protected List<string> GetRecipients() // Gets recipients from TextBox named `TxtRecipients`
{
    List<string> MethodResult = null;

    try
    {
        List<string> Recipients = TxtRecipients.Text.Replace(",",";").Replace(" ", "").Split(';').ToList();

        List<string> RecipientsCleaned = new List<string>();

        foreach (string Recipient in RecipientsCleaned)
        {
            if (!String.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(Recipient))
            {
                RecipientsNoBlanks.Add(Recipient);

            }

        }

        MethodResult = RecipientsNoBlanks;

    }
    catch//(Exception ex)
    {
        //ex.HandleException();
    }

    return MethodResult;

}


public static bool IsValidEmailAddresses(List<string> recipients)
{
    List<string> InvalidAddresses = GetInvalidEmailAddresses(recipients);

    return InvalidAddresses != null && InvalidAddresses.Count == 0;

}

public static List<string> GetInvalidEmailAddresses(List<string> recipients)
{
    List<string> MethodResult = null;

    try
    {
        List<string> InvalidEmailAddresses = new List<string>();

        foreach (string Recipient in recipients)
        {
            if (!(new EmailAddressAttribute().IsValid(Recipient)) && !InvalidEmailAddresses.Contains(Recipient))
            {
                InvalidEmailAddresses.Add(Recipient);

            }

        }

        MethodResult = InvalidEmailAddresses;

    }
    catch//(Exception ex)
    {
        //ex.HandleException();

    }

    return MethodResult;

}

...and code demonstrating them in action:

List<string> Recipients = GetRecipients();

bool IsValidEmailAddresses = IsValidEmailAddresses(Recipients);

if (IsValidEmailAddresses)
{
    //Emails are valid. Your code here

}
else
{
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

    sb.Append("The following addresses are invalid:");

    List<string> InvalidEmails = GetInvalidEmailAddresses(Recipients);

    foreach (string InvalidEmail in InvalidEmails)
    {
        sb.Append("\n" + InvalidEmail);

    }

    MessageBox.Show(sb.ToString());

}

In addition, this example:

  • Extends beyond the spec since a single string is used to contain 0, one or many email addresses sperated by a semi-colon ;.
  • Clearly demonstrates how to use the IsValid method of the EmailAddressAttribute object.

Alternative, for users of a version of .Net less than 4.5

For situations where .Net 4.5 is not available, I use the following solution:

Specifically, I use:

public static bool IsValidEmailAddress(string emailAddress)
{
    bool MethodResult = false;

    try
    {
        MailAddress m = new MailAddress(emailAddress);

        MethodResult = m.Address == emailAddress;

    }
    catch //(Exception ex)
    {
        //ex.HandleException();

    }

    return MethodResult;

}

public static List<string> GetInvalidEmailAddresses(List<string> recipients)
{
    List<string> MethodResult = null;

    try
    {
        List<string> InvalidEmailAddresses = new List<string>();

        foreach (string Recipient in recipients)
        {
            if (!IsValidEmail(Recipient) && !InvalidEmailAddresses.Contains(Recipient))
            {
                InvalidEmailAddresses.Add(Recipient);

            }

        }

        MethodResult = InvalidEmailAddresses;

    }
    catch //(Exception ex)
    {
        //ex.HandleException();

    }

    return MethodResult;

}



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