How do I decompile a .NET EXE into readable C# source code?


I wrote a C# application for a client a couple of years ago, but I no longer have the source code. All I have is the EXE that I deployed on the client's PC. Is there a way I can generate C# source code from the EXE?

5/2/2010 2:49:30 AM

Accepted Answer

Reflector and its add-in FileDisassembler.

Reflector will allow to see the source code. FileDisassembler will allow you to convert it into a VS solution.

4/30/2014 3:50:57 PM

When Red Gate said there would no longer be a free version of .Net Reflector, I started using ILSpy and Telerik's JustDecompile. I have found ILSpy to decompile more accurately than JustDecompile (which is still in Beta). Red Gate has changed their decision and still have a free version of .Net Reflector, but now I like ILSpy.

From the ILSpy website (

ILSpy is the open-source .NET assembly browser and decompiler.

ILSpy Features

  • Assembly browsing
  • IL Disassembly
  • Decompilation to C#
  • Supports lambdas and 'yield return'
  • Shows XML documentation
  • Saving of resources
  • Search for types/methods/properties (substring)
  • Hyperlink-based type/method/property navigation
  • Base/Derived types navigation
  • Navigation history
  • BAML to XAML decompiler
  • Save Assembly as C# Project
  • Find usage of field/method
  • Extensible via plugins (MEF)


April 15, 2012, ILSpy 2.0 was released. New features compared with version 1.0:

  • Assembly Lists
  • Support for decompiling Expression trees
  • Support for lifted operatores on nullables
  • Decompile to Visual Basic
  • Search for multiple strings separated by space (searching for "Assembly manager" in ILSpy.exe would find AssemblyListManager)
  • Clicking on a local variable will highlight all other occurrences of that variable
  • Ctrl+F can be used to search within the decompiled code view


  • ILSpy 2.1 supports async/await decompilation

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