Member ” cannot be accessed with an instance reference

I am getting into C# and I am having this issue:

namespace MyDataLayer
    namespace Section1
        public class MyClass
            public class MyItem
                public static string Property1{ get; set; }
            public static MyItem GetItem()
                MyItem theItem = new MyItem();
                theItem.Property1 = "MyValue";
                return theItem;

I have this code on a UserControl:

using MyDataLayer.Section1;

public class MyClass
    protected void MyMethod
        MyClass.MyItem oItem = new MyClass.MyItem();
        oItem = MyClass.GetItem();
        someLiteral.Text = oItem.Property1;

Everything works fine, except when I go to access Property1. The intellisense only gives me “Equals, GetHashCode, GetType, and ToString” as options. When I mouse over the oItem.Property1, Visual Studio gives me this explanation:

MemberMyDataLayer.Section1.MyClass.MyItem.Property1.getcannot be accessed with an instance reference, qualify it with a type name instead

I am unsure of what this means, I did some googling but wasn’t able to figure it out.


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

In C#, unlike VB.NET and Java, you can’t access static members with instance syntax. You should do:


to refer to that property or remove the static modifier from Property1 (which is what you probably want to do). For a conceptual idea about what static is, see my other answer.

Method 2

You can only access static members using the name of the type.

Therefore, you need to either write,


Or (this is probably what you need to do) make Property1 an instance property by removing the static keyword from its definition.

Static properties are shared between all instances of their class, so that they only have one value. The way it’s defined now, there is no point in making any instances of your MyItem class.

Method 3

I had the same issue – although a few years later, some may find a few pointers helpful:

Do not use ‘static’ gratuitously!

Understand what ‘static’ implies in terms of both run-time and compile time semantics (behavior) and syntax.

  • A static entity will be automatically constructed some time before
    its first use.
  • A static entity has one storage location allocated, and that is
    shared by all who access that entity.
  • A static entity can only be accessed through its type name, not
    through an instance of that type.
  • A static method does not have an implicit ‘this’ argument, as does an
    instance method. (And therefore a static method has less execution
    overhead – one reason to use them.)
  • Think about thread safety when using static entities.

Some details on static in MSDN:

Method 4

This causes the error:

MyClass aCoolObj = new MyClass();

This is the fix:



You can’t call a static method from an instance of an object. The whole point of static methods is to not be tied to instances of objects, but instead to persist through all instances of that object, and/or to be used without any instances of the object.

Method 5

No need to use static in this case as thoroughly explained. You might as well initialise your property without GetItem() method, example of both below:

namespace MyNamespace
    using System;

    public class MyType
        public string MyProperty { get; set; } = new string();
        public static string MyStatic { get; set; } = "I'm static";


using MyType;

public class Somewhere 
    public void Consuming(){

        // through instance of your type
        var myObject = new MyType(); 
        var alpha = myObject.MyProperty;

        // through your type 
        var beta = MyType.MyStatic;

Method 6

cannot be accessed with an instance reference

It means you’re calling a STATIC method and passing it an instance. The easiest solution is to remove Static, eg:

public static void ExportToExcel(IEnumerable data, string sheetName)

Method 7

I got here googling for C# compiler error CS0176, through (duplicate) question Static member instance reference issue.

In my case, the error happened because I had a static method and an extension method with the same name. For that, see Static method and extension method with same name.
[May be this should have been a comment. Sorry that I don’t have enough reputation yet.]

Method 8

I know this is an old thread, but I just spent 3 hours trying to figure out what my issue was. I ordinarily know what this error means, but you can run into this in a more subtle way as well. My issue was my client class (the one calling a static method from an instance class) had a property of a different type but named the same as the static method. The error reported by the compiler was the same as reported here, but the issue was basically name collision.

For anyone else getting this error and none of the above helps, try fully qualifying your instance class with the namespace name. ..() so the compiler can see the exact name you mean.

Method 9

Remove the static in the function you are trying to call. This fixed the problem for me.

Method 10

Check whether your code contains a namespace which the right most part matches your static class name.

Given the a static Bar class, defined on namespace Foo, implementing a method Jump or a property, chances are you are receiving compiler error because there is also another namespace ending on Bar. Yep, fishi stuff 😉

If that’s so, it means your using a Using Bar; and a Bar.Jump() call, therefore one of the following solutions should fit your needs:

  • Fully qualify static class name with according namepace, which result on Foo.Bar.Jump() declaration. You will also need to remove Using Bar; statement
  • Rename namespace Bar by a diffente name.

In my case, the foollowing compiler error occurred on a EF (Entity Framework) repository project on an Database.SetInitializer() call:

Member 'Database.SetInitializer<MyDatabaseContext>(IDatabaseInitializer<MyDatabaseContext>)' cannot be accessed with an instance reference; qualify it with a type name instead MyProject.ORM

This error arouse when I added a MyProject.ORM.Database namespace, which sufix (Database), as you might noticed, matches Database.SetInitializer class name.

In this, since I have no control on EF’s Database static class and I would also like to preserve my custom namespace, I decided fully qualify EF’s Database static class with its namepace System.Data.Entity, which resulted on using the following command, which compilation succeed:


Hope it helps

Method 11


For your static field would look like:

public class StaticExample 
   public static double Pi = 3.14;

From another class, you can access the staic field as follows:

    class Program
     static void Main(string[] args)
         double radius = 6;
         double areaOfCircle = 0;

         areaOfCircle = StaticExample.Pi * radius * radius;
         Console.WriteLine("Area = "+areaOfCircle);


All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x