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Name your threads in the VC debugger thread list

, 13 Oct 2004
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The VC debugger displays a name for every thread. This article describes how to control what VC displays in the thread list.

Sample Image - Name_threads_in_debugger.png


Some days ago, someone asked me if it is possible to rename threads in the VC debugger. Because I worked at a multi threading project myself those days, I was very interested in realizing this idea. Some Google group searches later, I had a solution that is short and easy. Because this could be very helpful for everyone working on applications with many threads, I publish it here.

There isn't much to understand except, that the VC debugger gets the information about a thread's name via the exception #0x406D1388.

I put the necessary call into a simple function. Here is the code:

// Usage: SetThreadName (-1, "MainThread");
typedef struct tagTHREADNAME_INFO
  DWORD dwType; // must be 0x1000
  LPCSTR szName; // pointer to name (in user addr space)
  DWORD dwThreadID; // thread ID (-1=caller thread)
  DWORD dwFlags; // reserved for future use, must be zero

void SetThreadName( DWORD dwThreadID, LPCSTR szThreadName)
    info.dwType = 0x1000;
    info.szName = szThreadName;
    info.dwThreadID = dwThreadID;
    info.dwFlags = 0;
    RaiseException( 0x406D1388, 0, sizeof(info)/sizeof(DWORD), (DWORD*)&info );

You just have to call SetThreadName() with the thread ID and a name string as parameters.

Have fun with that tiny tool Wink | ;)


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.

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About the Author

Patrick Hoffmann
Web Developer
Germany Germany
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

AnswerRe: Why repeating the MSDN !? Pin
Patrick Hoffmann13-Oct-04 2:23
memberPatrick Hoffmann13-Oct-04 2:23 
AnswerDoes this only work in .NET? Pin
aaronp13-Oct-04 3:31
memberaaronp13-Oct-04 3:31 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? Pin
Jochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 4:03
memberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 4:03 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? Pin
Jochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 4:08
memberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 4:08 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? Pin
aaronp13-Oct-04 6:28
sussaaronp13-Oct-04 6:28 
GeneralRe: Does this only work in .NET? Pin
Jochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 10:26
memberJochen Kalmbach13-Oct-04 10:26 

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