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How to get handle to any running process by its name

, 24 Aug 2004
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Get handle to any running process (by its name) by using performance data

Introduction

There are several ways to get the process id (and its handle afterwards) for any running process. One of them is by using functions that are available in PSAPI.DLL, which is distributed in the Microsoft® Platform Software Development Kit (SDK).The same information is generally available through the performance data.

One of the performance objects is 'Process' whose index is 230. The 'Process' object has several counters, one of them is 'ID Process' whose index is 784. A function called GetProcessID runs through the performance objects and counters and retrieves the process id for the required process name.

The following sample shows you how to retrieve the process handle by performance data.

The Sample

std::vector<DWORD> SetOfPID;
GetProcessID("Rundll32",SetOfPID); 
     // get all process id's of Rundll32

if (SetOfPID.empty())   // Process is not running
{
    printf("Process is not running\n");
}
else    // Process is running
{
    for (int i=0;i < SetOfPID.size(); i++)
    {
        printf("Process ID is %d\n", SetOfPID[i]);
        HANDLE hProcess = OpenProcess(
             PROCESS_ALL_ACCESS,FALSE,SetOfPID[i]);
        // some code...
        CloseHandle(hProcess);
    }
}

More of my articles using performance counters

Updates

My first version returned only the first running instance. Since the process name is not unique I changed my code so it returns set of process id's.

  • 13.1.03 - I release the allocation of PERF_DATA_BLOCK at the end of the function
  • 19.3.03 - I add call to RegCloseKey(HKEY_PERFORMANCE_DATA) at the end of the function
  • 15.6.03 - Using none case-sensitive comparison for checking process existance.
  • 24.5.04 - Changed the first argument to RegQueryValueEx from "Global" (which retrieves the whole counters) to a string that specifies the specific process object and process-id counter. This change enables fast query.
  • 25.8.04 - Source and demo updated

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Dudi Avramov
Web Developer
Israel Israel
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
Questionhelp Pinmemberkatekserv19-Sep-11 3:26 
QuestionHow to get the PID of an out-of-proc server Pinmemberrazvandynalog27-Jan-09 10:20 
GeneralGDI object Pinmemberjinijinu28-Sep-08 23:29 
GeneralHandle Count Pinmemberjinijinu28-Sep-08 23:26 
QuestionHow to get the exe name which is running foreground PinmemberCYRIL K THANKACHAN23-Oct-06 2:30 
AnswerRe: How to get the exe name which is running foreground PinmemberProgramm3r7-Mar-07 23:10 
GeneralThx for the update, re: query by processID PinmemberDalroi25-Sep-06 11:26 
QuestionHow to get Handle of the specified process and kill the process??? PinmemberSupriya Tonape16-Aug-05 1:22 
AnswerRe: How to get Handle of the specified process and kill the process??? PinmemberI. Ameen3-May-06 21:54 
GeneralRe: How to get Handle of the specified process and kill the process??? Pinmembervish_coder28-May-06 22:58 
GeneralRe: How to get Handle of the specified process and kill the process??? Pinmembervish_coder28-May-06 22:58 
GeneralPlz Help Pinmemberabapaba30-Apr-05 11:02 
QuestionHOw to get the process ID of application which is in foreground Pinmembersonawane ajay24-Oct-04 23:10 
AnswerRe: HOw to get the process ID of application which is in foreground PinmemberDudi Avramov30-Oct-04 22:38 
QuestionWhat about RegCloseKey????? PinmemberRochDrouin23-Aug-04 8:14 
AnswerRe: What about RegCloseKey????? PinmemberRochDrouin25-Aug-04 7:07 
GeneralRe: What about RegCloseKey????? PinmemberDudi Avramov25-Aug-04 21:27 
QuestionHow can I find the owner name &amp; pid of a process PinmemberKUNTAL MONDAL19-Nov-03 12:56 
AnswerRe: How can I find the owner name &amp; pid of a process PinmemberDudi Avramov23-Nov-03 22:35 
QuestionThread safe? PinmemberRiyadh Tanveer9-Jul-03 23:29 
AnswerRe: Thread safe? PinmemberRiyadh Tanveer10-Jul-03 0:07 
QuestionWhy this way better than WMI ? PinmemberVladimir Afanasyev16-Jun-03 21:00 
GeneralSpeed question PinmemberArnaud Brejeon12-Jun-03 15:03 
GeneralRe: Speed question PinmemberDudi Avramov14-Jun-03 21:49 
GeneralWhat's Wrong With My OS Pinmemberfz_zhou15-May-03 3:44 

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