C# – Email Regular Expression

I wrote a regex for email that is gets the best results of any I have found online. Along with getting better results, it is shorter too.

Download the C# project with unit tests here: EmailRegEx on GitHub
The pattern of an email is described as follows:

  1. It will always have a single @ sign
  2. 1 to 64 characters before the @ sign called the local-part. Can contain characters a–z, A–Z, 0-9, ! # $ % & ‘ * + – / = ? ^ _ ` { | } ~, and . if it is not at the first or end of the local-part.
  3. Some characters after the @ sign that have a pattern as follows called the domain.
    1. It will always have a period “.”.
    2. One or more character before the period.
    3. Two to four characters after the period.

So a simple patterns of an email address should be something like these:

  1. This one just makes sure there are characters before and after the @
  2. This one makes sure the are characters before and after the @ as well as a character before and after the . in the domain.
  3. This one makes sure that there is only one @ symbol.

These are all quick an easy examples and will not work in every instance but are usually accurate enough for casual programs.

But a comprehensive example is much more complex.

  1. I wrote one myself that is the shortest and gets the best results of any I have found:
    [sourcecode language=”text”]
  2. Here is another complex one I found: [reference]
    [sourcecode language=”text”]

So let me explain the first one that I wrote as it passes my unit tests below:

The start
[\w!#$%&’*+\-/=?\^_`{|}~]+At least one valid local-part character not including a period.
(\.[\w!#$%&’*+\-/=?\^_`{|}~]+)*Any number (including zero) of a group that starts with a single period and has at least one valid local-part character after the period.
@The @ character
(Start group 1
(Start group 2
([\-\w]+\.)+At least one group of at least one valid word character or hyphen followed by a period. The attached project has a more complex hostname regex option too.
[\w]{2,4}Any two to four valid top level domain characters.
)End group 2
|an OR statement
(Start group 3
([0-9]{1,3}\.){3}[0-9]{1,3}A regular expression for an IP Address. The attached project has a more complex IP regex example too.
)End group 3
)End group 1
\zNo end of line: \r or \n.

Code for the Email Regular Expression

Here is code for both examples. My email regular expression is enabled and the one I found on line is commented out. To see how they work differently, just comment out mine, and uncomment the one I found online.

[sourcecode language=”csharp”]
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text.RegularExpressions;

namespace RegularExpressionsTest
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
String theEmailPattern = @”^[\w!#$%&’*+\-/=?\^_`{|}~]+(\.[\w!#$%&’*+\-/=?\^_`{|}~]+)*”
+ “@”
+ @”((([\-\w]+\.)+[a-zA-Z]{2,4})|(([0-9]{1,3}\.){3}[0-9]{1,3}))\z”;

// The string pattern from here doesn’t not work in all instances.
// http://www.cambiaresearch.com/c4/bf974b23-484b-41c3-b331-0bd8121d5177/Parsing-Email-Addresses-with-Regular-Expressions.aspx
//String theEmailPattern = @”^(([^<>()[\]\\.,;:\s@\””]+(\.[^<>()[\]\\.,;:\s@\””]+)*)|(\””.+\””))”
// + “@”
// + @”((\[[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\.[0-9]{1,3}\])”
// + “|”
// + @”(([a-zA-Z\-0-9]+\.)+[a-zA-Z]{2,}))$”;

Console.WriteLine(“Bad emails”);
foreach (String email in GetBadEmails())
Log(Regex.IsMatch(email, theEmailPattern));

Console.WriteLine(“Good emails”);
foreach (String email in GetGoodEmails())
Log(Regex.IsMatch(email, theEmailPattern));

private static void Log(bool inValue)
if (inValue)
Console.WriteLine(“It matches the pattern”);
Console.WriteLine(“It doesn’t match the pattern”);

private static List GetBadEmails()
List emails = new List();
emails.Add(“joe”); // should fail
emails.Add(“joe@home”); // should fail
emails.Add(“a@b.c”); // should fail because .c is only one character but must be 2-4 characters
emails.Add(“joe-bob[at]home.com”); // should fail because [at] is not valid
emails.Add(“joe@his.home.place”); // should fail because place is 5 characters but must be 2-4 characters
emails.Add(“joe.@bob.com”); // should fail because there is a dot at the end of the local-part
emails.Add(“.joe@bob.com”); // should fail because there is a dot at the beginning of the local-part
emails.Add(“john..doe@bob.com”); // should fail because there are two dots in the local-part
emails.Add(“john.doe@bob..com”); // should fail because there are two dots in the domain
emails.Add(“joe<>bob@bob.com”); // should fail because <> are not valid
emails.Add(“joe@his.home.com.”); // should fail because it can’t end with a period
emails.Add(“john.doe@bob-.com”); // should fail because there is a dash at the start of a domain part
emails.Add(“john.doe@-bob.com”); // should fail because there is a dash at the end of a domain part
emails.Add(“a@”); // Should fail because of the extra character
emails.Add(“joe<>bob@bob.com\n”); // should fail because it end with \n
emails.Add(“joe<>bob@bob.com\r”); // should fail because it ends with \r
return emails;

private static List GetGoodEmails()
List emails = new List();
return emails;

Well, now you have the best C# Email Regular Expression out there.

Update: My attached project has an even better and more accurate one now too.

(Reference: wikipedia)


  1. Cristi says:

    public static string ComplexEmailPattern4 = "..." ; I would add "readonly" there

  2. shah says:


    it doesnot work fine when i enter xxx@xxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    when domain name exceeds 4 characters, this doesnot work.
    Can someone fix this?

    • Rhyous says:

      It used to be that all TLDs were 1-3 characters. However, that has recently changed.

      Here is a list of valid TLDs

      Using regex to validate against this list would be a bad idea. Here is a new regex that is the most complete and passes all RFC rules.


      Then after that, I would have a following up check where your code checks that the email ends with a TLD contained in this list: http://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt

  3. greatonkar says:

    tested...i works fine but only one issue
    regular expression not working for match test@-test.com or test@test-.com

    • Rhyous says:

      Are you sure? Neither test-.com or -test.com are valid. I have specific unit tests for both of those being invalid and the unit tests are passing.

      From RFC952
      The last character must not be a minus sign or period.
      The first character must be an alpha character.

      From RFC 1123
      One aspect of host name syntax is hereby changed: the restriction on the first character is relaxed to allow either a letter or a digit.

  4. MS says:

    If a newline character is at the end of the address it passes as valid even against the most complex regex when it should not I guess. Such as "test@test.com\n"

  5. Thank you, the shortest and still accurate one I have come across so far.

  6. Rhyous says:

    I added a project with Unit tests and fixed a bug or two.

    In the project, in the constructor of the EmailValidator object, just set the Pattern to the desired static email regular expression.

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