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Compact Framework Process class that supports fully specified file paths

, 30 May 2009 CPOL
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Terminate a process, or check if it is running, using the full file path. It also enumerates processes returning the full path to the running EXE file.


I needed to be able to terminate all the processes in a specific folder.

The Process class in the .NET Compact Framework is limited in its functionality. You cannot even enumerate processes. You can find code to do this on the Internet, but all the samples I found only return the name of the EXE file of a process. What I needed was the full path to the EXE file.

After some research, I found the solution. I wrapped the result into the ProcessCE class.

What can the ProcessCE class do for you?

  • Enumerate running processes;
  • Each enumerated process contains the full path to the EXE file;
  • Check in a single function call if a process is running by specifying the full path to the EXE file;
  • Kill a process in a single function call by specifying the full path to the EXE file;
  • Find the Process ID (PID) in a single function call by specifying the full path to the EXE file.

This code is based on several code snippets and examples I found on the Internet.

Using the code

The ProcessCE class is straightforward and easy to use. Download and add the containing ProcessCE.cs file to your project. Then, add the following using statement to the source file where you want to use the class:

using Terranova.API;

To enumerate running processes:

ProcessInfo[] list = ProcessCE.GetProcesses();
foreach (ProcessInfo item in list)
   Debug.WriteLine("Process item: " + item.FullPath);
   if (item.FullPath == @"\Windows\iexplore.exe")

// Sample output:
// Process item: \Windows\nk.exe
// Process item: \Windows\filesys.exe
// Process item: \Windows\device.exe
// Process item: \Windows\services.exe
// Process item: \Windows\gwes.exe
// Process item: \Windows\shell32.exe
// Process item: \Windows\poutlook.exe
// Process item: \Program Files\Geso\Discovery\TerranovaWakeUpWCE.exe

To check if a process is running:

bool result = ProcessCE.IsRunning(@"\Windows\iexplore.exe");

To find a Process ID (PID):

IntPtr pid = ProcessCE.FindProcessPID(@"\Windows\iexplore.exe");
if (pid == IntPtr.Zero)
  throw new Exception("Process not found.");

To terminate a process:

bool result = ProcessCE.FindAndKill(@"\Windows\iexplore.exe"); 

ProcessCE.FindAndKill() will return false if the EXE file was not found. If terminating the process fails, it will throw a Win32Exception.

Points of interest

This code is for use with Windows CE and Windows Mobile only. The code was tested on Windows Mobile 6.1 (Windows CE 5.2). Windows CE 4 should be no problem.

Tip: A code example to enumerate processes that can be found on several websites was crashing randomly with Win32 error 8 on several devices. This is an out of memory message. The solution is to add the TH32CS_SNAPNOHEAPS flag to the CreateToolhelp32Snapshot() call:

CreateToolhelp32Snapshot(TH32CS_SNAPPROCESS | TH32CS_SNAPNOHEAPS, 0)


  • 30 May 2009 - Article submitted.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Frank T. van de Ven
Software Developer (Senior)
Belgium Belgium
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralGreat job! Pinmemberwoytas9-Dec-14 5:15 
QuestionProcess killed by TaskMgr but not by this code [modified] Pinmembercerede200027-Nov-14 6:41 
Questionterminate VNCCE Process PinmemberMember 1068188321-Mar-14 0:07 
QuestionVB.NET version of this code? Pinmemberseph0r1-Jan-14 22:39 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pinmemberhjgode29-May-13 21:24 
BugCrashes device (WM65) in TerminateProcess Pinmemberhjgode29-May-13 21:23 
QuestionExcellent. Thanks. PinmemberMember 848957513-May-13 6:22 
GeneralWow! Niceeee. Clap! clap!! PinmemberRoxxyy14-Jan-13 11:21 
QuestionMi respeto hermano!!!! Pinmembergabriel loria29-Jan-12 6:23 
QuestionSystem.OverflowException was unhandled Pinmemberninefofo16-Aug-11 10:12 
AnswerRe: System.OverflowException was unhandled [modified] Pinmemberlyris16-Nov-12 5:09 
GeneralRe: System.OverflowException was unhandled Pinmemberseph0r1-Jan-14 22:41 
GeneralBrilliant Pinmembergaryevans4-Jul-11 3:25 
GeneralPerfect job! PinmemberRalphMaas28-Jan-10 0:57 
GeneralTrying to use this namespace in project PinmemberSvenCPA27-Jan-10 6:54 
GeneralBrilliant! PinmemberMuffadal5-Jan-10 0:56 
GeneralRe: Brilliant! PinmemberFrank T. van de Ven5-Jan-10 3:04 
GeneralThanks. finish my problem in 10 minutes PinmemberKeshmahajan10-Dec-09 12:36 
GeneralRe: Thanks. finish my problem in 10 minutes PinmemberFrank T. van de Ven5-Jan-10 3:06 
QuestionThread List too? PinmemberLiamD10-Sep-09 3:47 
GeneralThanks! PinmemberScalee26-Aug-09 14:09 
Generalerror CS0029: Cannot implicitly convert type 'Terranova.API.ProcessInfo[]' to 'SmartCSD.Form1.ProcessInfo[]' Pinmembernohear_t8-Jul-09 8:44 
AnswerRe: error CS0029: Cannot implicitly convert type 'Terranova.API.ProcessInfo[]' to 'SmartCSD.Form1.ProcessInfo[]' PinmemberFrank T. van de Ven8-Jul-09 13:44 

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