DwmSetIconicThumbnail function (dwmapi.h)

Sets a static, iconic bitmap on a window or tab to use as a thumbnail representation. The taskbar can use this bitmap as a thumbnail switch target for the window or tab.


HRESULT DwmSetIconicThumbnail(
  [in] HWND    hwnd,
  [in] HBITMAP hbmp,
  [in] DWORD   dwSITFlags


[in] hwnd

A handle to the window or tab. This window must belong to the calling process.

[in] hbmp

A handle to the bitmap to represent the window that hwnd specifies.

[in] dwSITFlags

The display options for the thumbnail. One of the following values:

0 (0x00000000)

No frame is displayed around the provided thumbnail.


Displays a frame around the provided thumbnail.

Return value

If this function succeeds, it returns S_OK. Otherwise, it returns an HRESULT error code.


An application typically calls the DwmSetIconicThumbnail function after it receives a WM_DWMSENDICONICTHUMBNAIL message for its window. The thumbnail should not exceed the maximum x-coordinate and y-coordinate that are specified in that message. The thumbnail must also have a 32-bit color depth.

The application calls DwmInvalidateIconicBitmaps to indicate to the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) that the iconic thumbnail and live preview bitmaps are out-of-date and should be refreshed. The DWM then requests new versions from the window when they are needed. However, if the DWM bitmap cache is full, DWM will not request updated versions.

The DWM uses a copy of the bitmap, but the application can release this copy at any time because of memory constraints. If the copy is released, the window is not notified, but it might receive a subsequent WM_DWMSENDICONICTHUMBNAIL request when its thumbnail is needed again. The caller retains ownership of the original bitmap and is responsible for freeing the resources that it uses when it is no longer needed.


Before calling DwmSetIconicThumbnail, the application must first call the DwmSetWindowAttribute function to set the DWMWA_FORCE_ICONIC_REPRESENTATION and DWMWA_HAS_ICONIC_BITMAP attributes, as shown in the following example.

            // Set DWM window attributes to provide the iconic bitmap, and 
            // to always render the thumbnail using the iconic bitmap.
            BOOL fForceIconic = TRUE;
            BOOL fHasIconicBitmap = TRUE;



Next, the application calls the DwmSetIconicThumbnail function in response to a WM_DWMSENDICONICTHUMBNAIL message, as shown in the following example.

            // This window is being asked to provide its iconic bitmap. This indicates
            // a thumbnail is being drawn.
            hbm = CreateDIB(HIWORD(lParam), LOWORD(lParam)); 
            if (hbm)
                hr = DwmSetIconicThumbnail(hwnd, hbm, 0);

For the complete example code, see the Customize an Iconic Thumbnail and a Live Preview Bitmap sample.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows 7 [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2008 R2 [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header dwmapi.h
Library Dwmapi.lib
DLL Dwmapi.dll; Uxtheme.dll