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WPF Troubleshooting

During my time as a consultant I noticed, that there were typical traps in WPF, where developers can loose a lot of time. So I decided to make a hitlist of the most common mistakes and solutions how to resolve them. I hope this helps.


  • Scrollbar is not active or visible
    • If your control is within a vertical stackpanel, it gives the control infinite height to layout. Consider replacing the stackpanel by a dockpanel.

  • I created a data template and set HorizontalAlignment to Stretch but the item is not stretched
    • Set the HorizontalContentAlignment on the list to Stretch


  • I changed a value, but the binding is not reflecting my changes
    • Check the output window in VisualStudio, if there are any binding errors.
    • Does your data support INotifyPropertyChanged?
    • Just firing a PropertyChanged event without changing the data does not work. Because the binding checks if oldvalue!=newvalue


  • My list of items takes too long to render
    • Your list is not virtualized. This means, all items will be generated, even if they are not visible. To avoid this check the following points:
      • ScrollViewer.CanContentScrol must be set to False
      • Grouping must be disabled
      • You replaced the ItemsPanel by one that does not support virtualization
    • You are using a too complex data template.

  • Animations cause a high CPU load.
    • WPF cannot use hardware acceleration and does software rendering. This can be because of the following points:
      • You have set AllowTransparency to True on your window.
      • You are using legacy BitmapEffects instead of fast pixel shaders (Effects).
      • Your graphics adapter or driver does not support DirectX

Custom Controls

  • I created a custom control, but the template it not showing
    • Check if you have overriden the metadata of the DefaultStyleKeyProperty and set it to your type.
    • Check if your template is surrounded by a style and both have the right TargetType
    • Check if the resource dictionary that contains the default style is loaded

  • I use {TemplateBinding} in my ControlTemplate, but is not working
    • In most cases you have to replace {TemplateBinding Property} by {Binding Property RelativeSource={RelativeSource TemplatedParent}}
    • You can only use TemplateBinding within the content of your control template. It will not work anywhere else!
    • If you want to access a parent property in the trigger, you have to use a normal binding, with relative source Self.
    • TemplateBinding works only within the VisualTree of the template. You cannot use it on items that are only in the logical tree. Neighter on Freezables or to do two-way binding.

Last modified: 2011-03-23 07:02:53
Copyright (c) by Christian Moser, 2011.

 Comments on this article

Show all comments
Commented on 13.December 2009
Awesome! Thanks a lot
Harendra kumar
Commented on 4.January 2010
Awesome! thanks for valuable article.
Commented on 5.March 2010
Hi , Thanks .. bat give me a picture of resulta
Commented on 26.May 2010
Addressed the features in the simplest way - Great
Commented on 8.July 2010
This is great stuff.. i will take a print out of this.
Commented on 19.July 2010
vinoth kumar
Commented on 29.September 2010
how to work with wpf
Commented on 28.December 2010
Give more senario
Commented on 18.March 2011
Great work...!
Commented on 18.March 2011
Great work...!
Commented on 18.March 2011
Great work...!
Commented on 11.May 2011
Great work.!
Commented on 13.May 2011
THX!!!! u saved me HOURS!
Commented on 17.August 2011
Could u pls put more info in?

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