Action Result Return Type in MVC 4

Action Result Return Types

What is ActionResult ?

  •  An ActionResult is a return type of a controller method in MVC.
  •  ActionResult are more specific for a particular view
  •  It is abstract class that has many subtypes

Types of ActionResult :

  • ViewResult
  • PartialViewResult
  • ContentResult
  • RedirectResult
  • RedirectToRouteResult
  • JsonResult
  • EmptyResult
  • FileResult
  • JavaScriptResult

Let we discuss one by one…

ViewResult :

  • It renders a specified view to the response stream.

Example : public ViewResult Index() {   return View(“sampleResult”); }


  • Renders a specifed partial view to the response stream.

Example :

public PartialViewResult SamplePartialView()
{    return PartialView(“_LoadSamplePartial”); }

Note :

  • It will load the partial view to the main view

ContentResult :

  • It display the response stream without requiring a view .(like a plain text).


public ActionResult About()
ViewBag.Message = “Your app description page.”;
return Content(“Sample Content Action”);

It simply write the string value in the page

RedirectResult :

  • It is used to perform an HTTP redirect to a given URL.

Example :

public ActionResult SampleRedirectResult()
{  return Redirect(“”); }

RedirectToRouteResult :

  • RedirectToResult is used to redirect by using the specified route values dictionary.

Example :

public ActionResult SampleRedirectToRouteResult()
return new RedirectToRouteResult(new System.Web.Routing.RouteValueDictionary(new
controller = “Sample”,
action = “SampleRedirectToRouteResultTest”,
Id = new int?()

JsonResult :

  • Action methods return JsonResult (JavaScript Object Notation result) that can be used in ajax based application.

Example :

public ActionResult SampleJsonResult
… Logic here
return Json(sampleinfo);

EmptyResult : 

  • It return  NULL that is EmptyResult
  • return instance of EmptyResult class

Example :

return new EmptyResult();

FileResult :

  • Return a file from an action. (Pdf,Excel,image file,Html…)

Example :

public FileResult DownloadCustomerDetails()
//Parameters to file are
//1. The File Path on the File Server
//2. The content type MIME type
//3. Name of file To be save by Browser
string contentType = “application/pdf”;
string filepath = AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory + “/FileFolder/CustomerDetails.pdf”;
return File(filepath, contentType, “CustomerDetails.pdf”);


After calling the action method in browser , the file will ask for download as shown in below




  • To improve clean separation of concerns by introducing the JavaScriptResult ActionResult.
  • Release notes says, “the JavaScriptResult class is used to execute JavaScript code that is created on the server and sent to the client.”

For Example,

Controller :

public JavaScriptResult SampleJavaScriptResult()
var s = “alert(‘Hi’)”;
return JavaScript(s);

View :

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”@Url.Content(“~/Home/SampleJavaScriptResult”)”></script>

Note :

The dynamic script file will be generated based on the action name (SampleJavaScriptResult)


After press F5, it will create the dynamic script file “SampleJavaScriptResult” which will append the content from action


Then it will display the alert message which was return from the action “SampleJavaScriptResult” as show in below