GenerateConsoleCtrlEvent function

Sends a specified signal to a console process group that shares the console associated with the calling process.


BOOL WINAPI GenerateConsoleCtrlEvent(
  _In_ DWORD dwCtrlEvent,
  _In_ DWORD dwProcessGroupId


dwCtrlEvent [in]
The type of signal to be generated. This parameter can be one of the following values.

Value Meaning
CTRL_C_EVENT 0 Generates a CTRL+C signal. This signal cannot be limited to a specific process group. If dwProcessGroupId is nonzero, this function will succeed, but the CTRL+C signal will not be received by processes within the specified process group.
CTRL_BREAK_EVENT 1 Generates a CTRL+BREAK signal.

dwProcessGroupId [in]
The identifier of the process group to receive the signal. A process group is created when the CREATE_NEW_PROCESS_GROUP flag is specified in a call to the CreateProcess function. The process identifier of the new process is also the process group identifier of a new process group. The process group includes all processes that are descendants of the root process. Only those processes in the group that share the same console as the calling process receive the signal. In other words, if a process in the group creates a new console, that process does not receive the signal, nor do its descendants.

If this parameter is zero, the signal is generated in all processes that share the console of the calling process.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


GenerateConsoleCtrlEvent causes the control handler functions of processes in the target group to be called. All console processes have a default handler function that calls the ExitProcess function. A console process can use the SetConsoleCtrlHandler function to install or remove other handler functions.

SetConsoleCtrlHandler can also enable an inheritable attribute that causes the calling process to ignore CTRL+C signals. If GenerateConsoleCtrlEvent sends a CTRL+C signal to a process for which this attribute is enabled, the handler functions for that process are not called. CTRL+BREAK signals always cause the handler functions to be called.


Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Header ConsoleApi2.h (via WinCon.h, include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See also

Console Control Handlers

Console Functions