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Posted 17 Jul 2006


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Finding module name from the window handle

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17 Jul 2006
This article describes how to find the module name from the window handle.


A few days back, in one of my projects, I needed to enumerate all the visible windows, and then needed to determine if a given application was running or not. I first struggled a little, but soon found a simple method to do that.

Enumerating the windows

With the EnumWindows API, I filtered out the visible windows. Next, with GetWindowThreadProcessId, I found the process ID of that window, and with that, I found the name of the executable file.

Below is the callback function for EnumWindows:

BOOL CALLBACK CProcessDlg::EnumWindowsProc (HWND hWnd, LPARAM lParam)
    CProcessDlg *pDlg = (CProcessDlg *)lParam;

    int nItem = 0;

    //Make sure that the window is visible
    TCHAR szWindowText [MAX_PATH];
    if (!::IsWindowVisible (hWnd))
        return TRUE;

    //Get the text on the title bar
    ::GetWindowText (hWnd, szWindowText, MAX_PATH);

    //If the window is Process Manager then don't display it
    if (_tcsstr (_T("Program Manager"), szWindowText))
        return TRUE;

    //Get process ID
    DWORD dwProcessID;
    GetWindowThreadProcessId (hWnd, &dwProcessID);
    //Get the name of the executable file
    CString strEXEName = pDlg->GetEXEName (dwProcessID);

    //Add the info to the list control
    nItem = pDlg->m_List.InsertItem (0, szWindowText);
    pDlg->m_List.SetItemText (nItem, 1, strEXEName);    

    return TRUE;

Finding module name

The GetEXEName procedure returns the name of the executable file from its process ID:

#include "psapi.h"
#pragma comment(lib, "psapi.lib")

CString GetEXEName(DWORD dwProcessID)
    DWORD aProcesses [1024], cbNeeded, cProcesses;
    unsigned int i;
    //Enumerate all processes
    if (!EnumProcesses(aProcesses, sizeof(aProcesses), &cbNeeded))
        return NULL;

    // Calculate how many process identifiers were returned.
    cProcesses = cbNeeded / sizeof(DWORD);

    //Loop through all process to find the one that matches
    //the one we are looking for
    for (i = 0; i < cProcesses; i++)
        if (aProcesses [i] == dwProcessID)
            // Get a handle to the process
            HANDLE hProcess = OpenProcess(PROCESS_QUERY_INFORMATION |
                              PROCESS_VM_READ, FALSE, dwProcessID);
            // Get the process name
            if (NULL != hProcess)
                HMODULE hMod;
                DWORD cbNeeded;
                if(EnumProcessModules(hProcess, &hMod, 
                                      sizeof(hMod), &cbNeeded))
                    //Get the name of the exe file
                    GetModuleBaseName(hProcess, hMod, szEXEName, 

                    return CString (szEXEName);

    return NULL;


The code is very easy to understand and follow, please see the demo project if you have any trouble using it.

I hope you find it useful.


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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Comments and Discussions

QuestionQuestion Pin
Member 1285274311-Apr-20 9:01
MemberMember 1285274311-Apr-20 9:01 
QuestionThanks hitesh Pin
iampradeepsharma26-Sep-15 19:07
Memberiampradeepsharma26-Sep-15 19:07 
QuestionCompiling problem Pin
Inkasator11-Sep-07 1:35
MemberInkasator11-Sep-07 1:35 
GeneralAnother way to get the enum the running processes and get their module name Pin
mightyCoCo15-Jan-07 23:47
MembermightyCoCo15-Jan-07 23:47 
GeneralRe: Another way to get the enum the running processes and get their module name Pin
mightyCoCo15-Jan-07 23:48
MembermightyCoCo15-Jan-07 23:48 
GeneralRe: Another way to get the enum the running processes and get their module name Pin
Hitesh Sharma16-Jan-07 1:23
MemberHitesh Sharma16-Jan-07 1:23 
GeneralRe: Another way to get the enum the running processes and get their module name Pin
Omar.Pessoa19-Jun-08 6:35
MemberOmar.Pessoa19-Jun-08 6:35 
Generalbug Pin
twinssen6-Jan-07 1:05
Membertwinssen6-Jan-07 1:05 
QuestionProblem? Pin
kiranin3-Dec-06 7:48
Memberkiranin3-Dec-06 7:48 
AnswerRe: Problem? Pin
Hitesh Sharma3-Dec-06 22:45
MemberHitesh Sharma3-Dec-06 22:45 
GeneralRe: Problem? Pin
kiranin3-Dec-06 23:12
Memberkiranin3-Dec-06 23:12 
GeneralRe: Problem? Pin
Hitesh Sharma4-Dec-06 2:10
MemberHitesh Sharma4-Dec-06 2:10 
GeneralRe: Problem? Pin
kiranin4-Dec-06 5:55
Memberkiranin4-Dec-06 5:55 
QuestionCan we get the URLS? Pin
kiranin3-Dec-06 7:16
Memberkiranin3-Dec-06 7:16 
GeneralA simpler way Pin
Do Trung Hieu25-Jul-06 15:32
MemberDo Trung Hieu25-Jul-06 15:32 
GeneralRe: A simpler way Pin
Hitesh Sharma26-Jul-06 5:59
MemberHitesh Sharma26-Jul-06 5:59 
GeneralRelated page Pin
JJimenezShaw24-Jul-06 21:50
MemberJJimenezShaw24-Jul-06 21:50 
GeneralWay to use the Above MFC in c#.NET Pin
ajai808518-Jul-06 1:46
Memberajai808518-Jul-06 1:46 
GeneralRe: Alternate way to get module name Pin
Hitesh Sharma18-Jul-06 2:42
MemberHitesh Sharma18-Jul-06 2:42 
GeneralRe: Alternate way to get module name Pin
ajai808518-Jul-06 3:13
Memberajai808518-Jul-06 3:13 
GeneralRe: Alternate way to get module name Pin
Hitesh Sharma18-Jul-06 4:25
MemberHitesh Sharma18-Jul-06 4:25 

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