Click here to Skip to main content
15,747,139 members
Articles / Desktop Programming / MFC
Posted 19 Jan 2002


21 bookmarked

ShowWindowTree Utility

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
2.77/5 (10 votes)
19 Jan 20021 min read
Display the hierarchy of windows (hidden or not) on your system along with a few options to modifiy them

Sample Image - ShowWindowTree.gif


ShowWindowTree is a utility like Spy++ that will display the window hierarchy by class name and text values of your current system. It does not only display them, but will allow you to make some modifications to windows along with the ability to saving the order to a file to pull back in at a later time for reference.


  • See the entire window hierarchy by window class name and title of the Windows system
  • View windows that are hidden
  • Enable or Disable a window
  • Hide or Show a window
  • Resize a window
  • Copy the class name and Text
  • Save hierarchy window lists to retrieve at a later time

When you boot the program the display will be blank. Click on the [Scan] button when you want to build or refresh the tree view. Optionally, you can enter a top level window class name in the "Frame Name to Build" edit which will cause the scan to only contain windows nested under the class name you specified. This must be a top level window however (a window the API FindWindow() will be able to locate).

The display will show the class name of the window along with any text that may be found by issuing a WM_GETTEXT to the window. This was the only information of importance to me at the time I created it.

To the left of each entry is a red or green oval. The red oval means the window is hidden while the green means it is shown.

You can right click on an entry that you have already selected and it will give you a menu of options. The functionality of those options should be obvious.



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

Written By
United States United States
Computer geek since the beginning of time, well, at least since 1981. Started with the Commodore VIC-20 with 3.5K RAM. Past two decades spent with C/C++, MFC and now totally consumed with .NET and C#.

Business owner here in beautiful southern Oregon with mountains, clean air and pure water. Great outdoors to enjoy when I can get away from the computers.

Web sites of interest:
My Blog:

Comments and Discussions

GeneralI have ported the tool to WinCE Pin
hgode30-Jun-05 1:28
hgode30-Jun-05 1:28 
GeneralVery nice Pin
John R. Shaw25-Nov-03 10:23
John R. Shaw25-Nov-03 10:23 
GeneralRe: Very nice Pin
Rocky Moore25-Nov-03 10:29
Rocky Moore25-Nov-03 10:29 
GeneralSolution for right-click problem Pin
James Brown21-Jan-02 9:12
James Brown21-Jan-02 9:12 
GeneralRe: Solution for right-click problem Pin
Rocky Moore21-Jan-02 17:09
Rocky Moore21-Jan-02 17:09 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.