I am dependent on an HttpContext within a utility class to update cache items but for some reason this always returns a NULL context.

It would seem that an HttpContext cannot be inferred from within a receiver or is there something I might be missing?

override void ItemUpdates(SPItemEventProperties properties)
    SPUtilitities.CacheActions(ActionType.Update, properities.ListName);

I get a null reference exception within CacheActions(ActionType, string):

void CacheActions(ActionType type, string name)
    var context = HttpContext.Current; // null reference exception here

2 Answers 2


In 2007,

-ed events run asynchronously, so no, you won't have a HttpContext available to you.

-ing events run synchronously, so you might have one.

In addition, because an item can be updated from the API that is not part of a web request, you shouldn't rely on having a HttpContext within an event receiver.

Maybe test for a HttpContext first.

  • Hi Paul, so you're saying instead of trying to update the cache in -ed events, I just update them in -ing events?
    – JadedEric
    Mar 15, 2012 at 16:04
  • 1
    Pretty much... but I'd also wrap the call to CacheActions in an if(HttpContext.Current!=null) just incase the item is being updated by something other than a user (eg workflow)
    – Paul Lucas
    Mar 15, 2012 at 23:13

What you can do is take a copy of the HttpContext.Current in the contructor for your event handler, and then use it in the event methods themselves:

public class MyHandler : SPItemEventReceiver
    System.Web.HttpContext _context = null;
    public MyHandler()
        _context = System.Web.HttpContext.Current;

    public override void ItemUpdated(SPItemEventProperties properties)
        //Use Context Here

It's not pretty, but it does work. I would suggest using with caution.

  • Always null in SP2010. Is there anything what I'm doing wrong or have I bad setting? I have SharePoint Foundation 2010 and deploy as Sandboxed solution. Apr 4, 2013 at 13:36

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