When should I throw exception vs return error actionresult in asp net core web


When developing applications in ASP.NET Core Web, developers often come across situations where they need to handle or . However, it can be confusing to determine whether to throw an exception or return an error . In this article, we will explore this question and provide examples to help clarify when to use each .

Throwing Exceptions

Throwing exceptions is a common practice in programming languages, including ASP.NET Core Web. Exceptions are used to indicate that an error or exceptional condition has occurred during the of a program. When an exception is thrown, the normal flow of the program is interrupted, and the runtime searches for an appropriate exception handler to handle the exception.

Exceptions are typically used in scenarios where the error is considered to be exceptional and cannot be handled within the current context. For example, if a critical database operation fails, it may be appropriate to throw an exception to indicate the failure and allow the application to handle it at a higher level.

    // Perform critical database operation
catch (Exception ex)
    throw new Exception("An error occurred while performing the database operation.", ex);

Returning Error ActionResult

Returning an error ActionResult is another approach to handle errors in ASP.NET Core Web. Instead of throwing an exception, the application can return an appropriate ActionResult with an error message or status code to indicate the error to the client.

This approach is useful when the error is expected and can be handled within the current context. For example, if a user submits invalid input in a form, it may be appropriate to return a BadRequest ActionResult with a meaningful error message to inform the user about the invalid input.

public IActionResult SubmitForm(FormModel )
    if (!.IsValid)
        return BadRequest("Invalid input. Please check your form.");

    // Process the form submission
    return Ok("Form submitted successfully.");

Choosing the Approach

So, when should you throw an exception and when should you return an error ActionResult in ASP.NET Core Web? The answer depends on the scenario and the nature of the error.

As a general guideline, exceptions should be used for exceptional or critical errors that cannot be handled within the current context. Throwing an exception allows the application to propagate the error to a higher level where it can be appropriately handled.

On the other hand, returning an error ActionResult is suitable for expected errors that can be handled within the current context. This approach allows the application to provide meaningful feedback to the client without interrupting the normal flow of the program.


In conclusion, the decision to throw an exception or return an error ActionResult in ASP.NET Core Web depends on the nature of the error and the desired behavior of the application. By the differences between these approaches and considering the specific scenario, developers can make informed decisions to handle errors effectively in their applications.

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