CSingleInstance, a freeware MFC class to make your app into a single instance. Limiting your app to single instance is more tricky in Win32 with the removal of the
hPrevInstance parameter from
WinMain and the introduction of separate address spaces.
There are numerous examples already out there of making your app single instance, but some such as the one I found on http://www.codeguru.com/ require knowledge of undocumented or heavy duty MFC.
Other methods such as using
FindWindowEx are not 100% bullet proof due to the preemptive Win32 environment.
This class internally uses a memory mapped file (MMF) into which the handle of the main window of your application is stuffed. When a second instance of your app is run, it detects that the memory mapped file exists, gets the window handle of the first instance from the MMF and reactivates the old window.
The source zip file contains the
CSingleInstance source code and a simple MFC app (without Doc/View) which demonstrates all the functionality of the class. For further details on how to use the class, have a look at the
BOOL CMyApp::InitInstance() function and the included documentation.
- Very simple API, only 2 functions exposed.
- Does not require any messing around with window styles and your mainfrm source code.
- Much more robust implementation than other methods as already mentioned.
- The classes are fully Unicode compliant and include Unicode built options in the workspace file.
To use the class in your code, simply include sinstance.cpp in your project and
#include sinstance.h in your app's source file. Create your mainfrm window as normal but before you show it, simply include the following code:
AfxMessageBox(_T("Previous version detected, will now restore it"),
// create main MDI Frame window
CMainFrame* pMainFrame = new CMainFrame;
m_pMainWnd = pMainFrame;
// If this is the first instance of our App then
// track it so any other instances can find it.
That's all there is to it. Your application should now be single instance. For those interested in the nitty gritty of the code, have a look at sinstance.cpp.
- V1.0 (29th July 1998)
- V1.01 (27th March 2000)
- Now ships with a VC 5 workspace.
- Fixed a potential handle leak where the file handle
m_hPrevInstance was not being closed under certain circumstances.
- The remaining changes were made by Neville Franks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.getsoft.com/.
#pragma error in instance header file to
#pragma message. Former wouldn't compile under VC6
- Replaced above
PreviousInstanceRunning() up into separate functions so we can call it without needing the MainFrame window.
ActivatePreviousInstance() to return
- V1.02 (28th March 2000)
- Minor update to the documentation.
The API consists of the the two public member functions of the class
TRUE if a previous instance of this application is running, otherwise
In response to
TRUE being sent back the program, should call
ActivatePreviousInstance() and abort prematurely from the current instance of the app.
Activates the previous instance of the app as detected in a call to
Contacting the Author
29th July 1998