GetExitCodeProcess function (processthreadsapi.h)

Retrieves the termination status of the specified process.


BOOL GetExitCodeProcess(
  [in]  HANDLE  hProcess,
  [out] LPDWORD lpExitCode


[in] hProcess

A handle to the process.

The handle must have the PROCESS_QUERY_INFORMATION or PROCESS_QUERY_LIMITED_INFORMATION access right. For more information, see Process Security and Access Rights.

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP:  The handle must have the PROCESS_QUERY_INFORMATION access right.

[out] lpExitCode

A pointer to a variable to receive the process termination status. For more information, see Remarks.

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.


This function returns immediately. If the process has not terminated and the function succeeds, the status returned is STILL_ACTIVE (a macro for STATUS_PENDING (minwinbase.h)). If the process has terminated and the function succeeds, the status returned is one of the following values:

  • The exit value specified in the ExitProcess or TerminateProcess function.
  • The return value from the main or WinMain function of the process.
  • The exception value for an unhandled exception that caused the process to terminate.


The GetExitCodeProcess function returns a valid error code defined by the application only after the thread terminates. Therefore, an application should not use STILL_ACTIVE (259) as an error code (STILL_ACTIVE is a macro for STATUS_PENDING (minwinbase.h)). If a thread returns STILL_ACTIVE (259) as an error code, then applications that test for that value could interpret it to mean that the thread is still running, and continue to test for the completion of the thread after the thread has terminated, which could put the application into an infinite loop.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows XP [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header processthreadsapi.h (include Windows.h on Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2008 R2)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See also



Process and Thread Functions



Terminating a Process