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ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer adds exhaustive matching to C# switch statements and expressions.

Get compiler errors for missing cases in a switch statement or expression. Mark which switches should have exhaustiveness checking by throwing an exception in the default case. Exhaustiveness checking works not just for enums, but for classes and interfaces. Turn them into discriminated unions (aka sum types) by marking them with the Closed attribute and listing the cases. ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer goes beyond what other languages support by handling full inheritance hierarchies.

Quickstart Guide

Mark a switch statement or expression as exhaustive and get errors for missing cases.

using ExhaustiveMatching;

public enum CoinFlip { Heads, Tails }

// ERROR Enum value not handled by switch: Tails
switch (coinFlip)
        throw ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(coinFlip);
    case CoinFlip.Heads:

// ERROR Enum value not handled by switch: Tails
_ = coinFlip switch
    CoinFlip.Heads => "Heads!",
    _ => throw ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(coinFlip),

Create discriminated unions (aka sum types) and get errors for missing switch cases.

[Closed(typeof(IPv4Address), typeof(IPv6Address))]
public abstract class IPAddress { … }

public class IPv4Address : IPAddress { … }
public class IPv6Address : IPAddress { … }

// ERROR Subtype not handled by switch: IPv6Address
switch (ipAddress)
        throw ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(ipAddress);
    case IPv4Address ipv4Address:
        return ipv4Address.MapToIPv6();

Packages and Downloading

All packages are available on There are three packages available for different situations.

  • ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer: The standard package that includes all analyzers. Adds a dependency on ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer to your project.
  • ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer.Enums (Not Yet Implemented): Only includes the exhaustive matching analyzer for enums using InvalidEnumArgumentException. Avoids adding any dependencies or additional code to your project.
  • ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer.Source (Not Yet Implemented): For advanced scenarios, avoids adding dependencies to your project while supporting most analyzers by injecting code into your project. See Dependency Free Usage for details.

Versioning and Compatibility

This package does not use semantic versioning. Instead, the first two version numbers match the major and minor version of the Microsoft.CodeAnalysis package referenced by the analyzer. This determines the version of Visual Studio, MSBuild, etc. the analyzer is compatible with. The next two version numbers are the major and minor versions of this package. At any time, multiple versions of Visual Studio may be actively supported. You should use the most recent version compatible with the environment you are using. If an older version is used, functionality will be missing.

Your project must target a framework compatible with .NET Standard 2.0. In addition, a minimum version of Visual studio or .NET Core is required depending on the version of the package you are using. See the table below.

Package Version Minimum Visual Studio Version C# Language
3.8.major.minor Visual Studio 2019 version 16.8, .NET 5 C# 9
3.3.major.minor Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3, .NET Core 3.0 C# 8
2.10.major.minor Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9 C# 7.3
1.3.major.minor Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 C# 6.0
0.x Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3, .NET Core 3.0 C# 8


Install the ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer package into each project that will contain exhaustive switch statements, switch expressions, or the classes and interfaces that will be switched on. Additionally, install the package in any project that will reference a project containing types marked with the Closed attribute. This is important because the analyzer enforces rules about inheriting from and implementing closed types. If the analyzer isn't in a project then those rules may be violated without an error being reported. Most of the time, the ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer can be added to every project in a solution.

As soon as you add the NuGet package to your project, the IDE (Microsoft Visual Studio, JetBrains Rider and possibly others) should automatically enable the analyzer and start marking non-exhaustive switches in your code. Analogously, MSBuild and dotnet CLI should report the errors with no additional set up. If this is not working, you may not be using a compatible version. See Versioning and Compatibility for more information.

Exhaustive Switch on Enum Values

To enable exhaustiveness checking for a switch on an enum, throw an ExhaustiveMatchFailedException from the default case. That exception is constructed using the ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(…) factory method which should be passed the value being switched on. For switches with exhaustiveness checking, the analyzer will report an error for any missing enum cases.

// ERROR Enum value not handled by switch: Sunday
       throw ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(dayOfWeek);
    case DayOfWeek.Monday:
    case DayOfWeek.Tuesday:
    case DayOfWeek.Wednesday:
    case DayOfWeek.Thursday:
    case DayOfWeek.Friday:
    case DayOfWeek.Saturday:
        // Omitted Sunday

Exhaustiveness checking is also applied to switches that throw InvalidEnumArgumentException. This exception indicates that the value doesn't match any of the defined enum values. Thus, if the code throws it from the default case, the developer is expecting that all defined enum cases will be handled by the switch. Using this exception, the throw statement in the above example would be throw new InvalidEnumArgumentException(nameof(dayOfWeek), (int)dayOfWeek, typeof(DayOfWeek));. Since this is longer and less readable, its use is discouraged.

Exhaustive Switch on Type

C# 7.0 added pattern matching including the ability to switch on the type of a value. To ensure any possible value will be handled, all subtypes must be matched by some case. That is what exhaustiveness checking ensures.

To enable exhaustiveness checking for a switch on type, two things must be done. The default case must throw an ExhaustiveMatchFailedException (using the ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(…) factory method) and the type being switched on must be marked with the Closed attribute. The closed attribute makes a type similar to an enum by giving it a defined set of possible cases. However, instead of a fixed set of values like an enum, a closed type has a fixed set of direct subtypes.

CAUTION: subtyping rules for types with the [Closed(...)] attribute are enforced by the analyzer, not the language. They can be circumvented. To prevent this include the exhaustive matching analyzer in all projects in your solution, do not expose a closed type to external code that may not be using exhaustive matching, and do not use dynamic code generation to create subtypes. If unexpected subtypes are created, an ExhaustiveMatchFailedException exception could be generated at runtime.

This example shows how to declare a closed class Shape that can be either a circle or a square.

[Closed(typeof(Circle), typeof(Square))]
public abstract class Shape { … }

public class Circle : Shape { … }
public class Square : Shape { … }

A switch on the type of a shape can then be checked for exhaustiveness.

    case Circle _:
    case Square _:
        throw ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(shape);

Handling Null

Since C# reference types are always nullable, but may be intended to never be null, exhaustiveness checking does not require a case for null. If a null value is expected it can be handled by a case null:. The analyzer will ignore this case for its analysis.

For nullable enum types, the analyzer requires that there be a case null: to handle the null value.

Type Hierarchies

While a given closed type can only have its direct subtypes as cases, some of those subtypes may themselves be closed types. This allows for flexible switching on multiple levels of a type hierarchy. The exhaustiveness check ensures that every possible value is handled by some case. However, a single case high up in the hierarchy can handle many types.

In the example below, an expression tree is being evaluated. The switch is able to match against multiple levels of the hierarchy while exhaustiveness checking ensures no cases are missing. Notice how the Addition and Subtraction cases are indirect subtypes of Expression, and the Value case handles both Constant and Variable. This kind of sophisticated multi-level switching is not supported in most languages that include exhaustive matching.

[Closed(typeof(BinaryOperator), typeof())]
public abstract class Expression { … }

[Closed(typeof(Addition), typeof(Subtraction))]
public abstract class BinaryOperator { … }

public class Addition { … }
public class Subtraction { … }

public abstract class Value { … }

public class Constant { … }
public class Variable { … }

public int Evaluate(Expression expression)
        case Addition a:
            return Evaluate(a.Left) + Evaluate(a.Right);
        case Subtraction s:
            return Evaluate(s.Left) - Evaluate(s.Right);
        case Value v: // handles both Constant and Variable
            return v.GetValue();
            throw ExhaustiveMatch.Failed(expression);

Analyzer Errors

The analyzer reports various errors for incorrect code. The table below gives a complete list of them along with a description.

Number Description
EM0001 A switch on an enum is missing a case
EM0002 A switch on a nullable enum is missing a null case
EM0003 A switch on type is missing a case
EM0011 A concrete type is not listed as a case in a closed type it is a direct subtype of
EM0012 A case type listed in the closed attribute is not a direct subtype of the closed type (though it is a subtype)
EM0013 A case type listed in the closed attribute is not a subtype of the closed type
EM0014 A concrete subtype of a closed type is not covered by some case
EM0015 An open interface is not listed as a case in a closed type it is a direct subtype of
EM0100 An exhaustive switch can't contain when guards
EM0101 Case pattern is not supported
EM0102 Can't do exhaustiveness checking for switch on a type that is not an enum and not closed
EM0103 Case is for a type that is not in the closed type hierarchy
EM0104 Duplicate 'Closed' attribute on type
EM0105 Duplicate case type

Dependency Free Usage

(Not Yet Implemented)

In some situations, it isn't desirable to add a dependency to your project. For example, a published NuGet package may want to use exhaustive matching without adding a dependency on ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer to their project. The ExhaustiveMatching.Analyzer.Source package supports these cases. It does so by injecting the source for the ExhaustiveMatch and InternalClosedAttribute directly into the project. This classes are marked internal and will not be visible from outside of the project.

This package does not support the ClosedAttribute because it would not be safe to do so. If a closed class were publicly exposed from your project, then other code could create new subclasses of the closed class thereby making switches on the closed class non-exhaustive.