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Posted 17 Oct 2013

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C# Detect if Debugger is Attached

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4.27/5 (9 votes)
19 Oct 2013CPOL
C# detect if debugger is attached

This method is used to detect if a running process has a debugger attached to it. It involves using CheckRemoteDebuggerPresent, imported from kernel32.dll via PInvoke.

* tested on Visual Studio's Debugger & OllyDbg

How To...

First, include the following two lines in your program (which will import CheckRemoteDebuggerPresent):

[DllImport("kernel32.dll", SetLastError = true, ExactSpelling = true)]
static extern bool CheckRemoteDebuggerPresent(IntPtr hProcess, ref bool isDebuggerPresent);

Now, this method is pretty simple to use since it takes only 2 arguments:

  1. IntPtr hProcess = the target process' handle
  2. ref bool isDebuggerPresent = pointer that indicates the result

This method does all the 'hard work', so no further code is required: 

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

public class DetectDebugger
    [DllImport("kernel32.dll", SetLastError = true, ExactSpelling = true)]
    static extern bool CheckRemoteDebuggerPresent(IntPtr hProcess, ref bool isDebuggerPresent);

    public static void Main()
        bool isDebuggerPresent = false;
        CheckRemoteDebuggerPresent(Process.GetCurrentProcess().Handle, ref isDebuggerPresent);

        Console.WriteLine("Debugger Attached: " + isDebuggerPresent);


In order to avoid any confusion about Debugger.IsAttached and IsDebuggerPresent - sorry I didn't mention this earlier in the tip:

  • IsDebuggerPresent = works for any running process and detects native debuggers too
  • Debugger.IsAttached = works only for the current process and detects only managed debuggers. OllyDbg won't be detected by this.


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


About the Author

Dan Sporici
Romania Romania
Master's student @ ACS / UPB (Advanced Cybersecurity), Graduate Teaching Assistant, Junior Security Researcher. Also, webmaster of

Comments and Discussions

QuestionUseless Pin
Member 84748665-Jun-17 1:27
MemberMember 84748665-Jun-17 1:27 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pin
Florian Rosmann17-Oct-13 23:27
MemberFlorian Rosmann17-Oct-13 23:27 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 Pin
Dan Sporici18-Oct-13 2:24
MemberDan Sporici18-Oct-13 2:24 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 Pin
Dan Colasanti18-Oct-13 4:01
professionalDan Colasanti18-Oct-13 4:01 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 Pin
Giuseppe Tollini19-Oct-13 2:12
MemberGiuseppe Tollini19-Oct-13 2:12 
I guess he probably mean secure
QuestionFor current process IsDebuggerPresent is enough Pin
AnandChavali17-Oct-13 19:53
MemberAnandChavali17-Oct-13 19:53 
GeneralThoughts Pin
PIEBALDconsult17-Oct-13 19:28
professionalPIEBALDconsult17-Oct-13 19:28 

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