Scrolling a Screen Buffer's Contents


This document describes console platform functionality that is no longer a part of our ecosystem roadmap. We do not recommend using this content in new products, but we will continue to support existing usages for the indefinite future. Our preferred modern solution focuses on virtual terminal sequences for maximum compatibility in cross-platform scenarios. You can find more information about this design decision in our classic console vs. virtual terminal document.

The ScrollConsoleScreenBuffer function moves a block of character cells from one part of a screen buffer to another part of the same screen buffer. The function specifies the upper left and lower right cells of the source rectangle to be moved and the destination coordinates of the new location for the upper left cell. The character and color data in the source cells is moved to the new location, and any cells left empty by the move are filled in with a specified character and color. If a clipping rectangle is specified, the cells outside of it are left unchanged.

ScrollConsoleScreenBuffer can be used to delete a line by specifying coordinates of the first cell in the line as the destination coordinates and specifying a scrolling rectangle that includes all the rows below the line.

The following example shows the use of a clipping rectangle to scroll only the bottom 15 rows of the console screen buffer. The rows in the specified rectangle are scrolled up one line at a time, and the top row of the block is discarded. The contents of the console screen buffer outside the clipping rectangle are left unchanged.

#include <windows.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main( void )
    HANDLE hStdout;
    SMALL_RECT srctScrollRect, srctClipRect;
    CHAR_INFO chiFill;
    COORD coordDest;
    int i;

    printf("\nPrinting 20 lines for reference. ");
    printf("Notice that line 6 is discarded during scrolling.\n");
    for(i=0; i<=20; i++)
        printf("%d\n", i);

    hStdout = GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE);

    if (hStdout == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)
        printf("GetStdHandle failed with %d\n", GetLastError());
        return 1;

    // Get the screen buffer size.

    if (!GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(hStdout, &csbiInfo))
        printf("GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo failed %d\n", GetLastError());
        return 1;

    // The scrolling rectangle is the bottom 15 rows of the
    // screen buffer.

    srctScrollRect.Top = csbiInfo.dwSize.Y - 16;
    srctScrollRect.Bottom = csbiInfo.dwSize.Y - 1;
    srctScrollRect.Left = 0;
    srctScrollRect.Right = csbiInfo.dwSize.X - 1;

    // The destination for the scroll rectangle is one row up.

    coordDest.X = 0;
    coordDest.Y = csbiInfo.dwSize.Y - 17;

    // The clipping rectangle is the same as the scrolling rectangle.
    // The destination row is left unchanged.

    srctClipRect = srctScrollRect;

    // Fill the bottom row with green blanks.

    chiFill.Char.AsciiChar = (char)' ';

    // Scroll up one line.

        hStdout,         // screen buffer handle
        &srctScrollRect, // scrolling rectangle
        &srctClipRect,   // clipping rectangle
        coordDest,       // top left destination cell
        &chiFill))       // fill character and color
        printf("ScrollConsoleScreenBuffer failed %d\n", GetLastError());
        return 1;
return 0;

Scrolling a Screen Buffer's Window

Scrolling the Screen Buffer