Windows API


The Microsoft Windows application programming interface (API) provides services used by all Windows-based applications. You can provide your application with a graphical user interface; access system resources such as memory and devices; display graphics and formatted text; incorporate audio, video, networking, or security.

Where Applicable

The Windows API can be used in all Windows-based applications. The same functions are generally supported on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.

Developer Audience

This API is designed for use by C/C++ programmers. Familiarity with the Windows graphical user interface and message-driven architecture is required.

Run-Time Requirements

For information on which operating systems are required to use a particular function, see the Requirements section of the documentation for the function.

In This Section

Topic Description


General information about the Windows API.

What's New

Information about additions to the Windows API.


Information about the programming elements in the Windows API.


See Also

Order a Windows SDK DVD

Windows Developer Center

Windows Server Developer Center

Windows SDK Downloads



Build date: 3/25/2010