GetVersionExA function (sysinfoapi.h)

GetVersionExA may be altered or unavailable for releases after Windows 8.1. Instead, use the Version Helper functions. For Windows 10 apps, please see Targeting your applications for Windows.

With the release of Windows 8.1, the behavior of the GetVersionEx API has changed in the value it will return for the operating system version. The value returned by the GetVersionEx function now depends on how the application is manifested.

Applications not manifested for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 will return the Windows 8 OS version value (6.2). Once an application is manifested for a given operating system version, GetVersionEx will always return the version that the application is manifested for in future releases. To manifest your applications for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, refer to Targeting your application for Windows.


  [in, out] LPOSVERSIONINFOA lpVersionInformation


[in, out] lpVersionInformation

An OSVERSIONINFOA or OSVERSIONINFOEXA structure that receives the operating system information.

Before calling the GetVersionEx function, set the dwOSVersionInfoSize member of the structure as appropriate to indicate which data structure is being passed to this function.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is a nonzero value.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError. The function fails if you specify an invalid value for the dwOSVersionInfoSize member of the OSVERSIONINFOA or OSVERSIONINFOEXA structure.


Identifying the current operating system is usually not the best way to determine whether a particular operating system feature is present. This is because the operating system may have had new features added in a redistributable DLL. Rather than using GetVersionEx to determine the operating system platform or version number, test for the presence of the feature itself. For more information, see Operating System Version.

The GetSystemMetrics function provides additional information about the current operating system.

Product Setting
Windows XP Media Center Edition SM_MEDIACENTER
Windows XP Starter Edition SM_STARTER
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SM_TABLETPC
Windows Server 2003 R2 SM_SERVERR2

To check for specific operating systems or operating system features, use the IsOS function. The GetProductInfo function retrieves the product type.

To retrieve information for the operating system on a remote computer, use the NetWkstaGetInfo function, the Win32_OperatingSystem WMI class, or the OperatingSystem property of the IADsComputer interface.

To compare the current system version to a required version, use the VerifyVersionInfo function instead of using GetVersionEx to perform the comparison yourself.

If compatibility mode is in effect, the GetVersionEx function reports the operating system as it identifies itself, which may not be the operating system that is installed. For example, if compatibility mode is in effect, GetVersionEx reports the operating system that is selected for application compatibility.


When using the GetVersionEx function to determine whether your application is running on a particular version of the operating system, check for version numbers that are greater than or equal to the desired version numbers. This ensures that the test succeeds for later versions of the operating system. For example, if your application requires Windows XP or later, use the following test.

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

void main()
    BOOL bIsWindowsXPorLater;

    ZeroMemory(&osvi, sizeof(OSVERSIONINFO));
    osvi.dwOSVersionInfoSize = sizeof(OSVERSIONINFO);


    bIsWindowsXPorLater = 
       ( (osvi.dwMajorVersion > 5) ||
       ( (osvi.dwMajorVersion == 5) && (osvi.dwMinorVersion >= 1) ));

        printf("The system meets the requirements.\n");
    else printf("The system does not meet the requirements.\n");

For an example that identifies the current operating system, see Getting the System Version.


The sysinfoapi.h header defines GetVersionEx as an alias which automatically selects the ANSI or Unicode version of this function based on the definition of the UNICODE preprocessor constant. Mixing usage of the encoding-neutral alias with code that not encoding-neutral can lead to mismatches that result in compilation or runtime errors. For more information, see Conventions for Function Prototypes.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header sysinfoapi.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See also




Operating System Version

System Information Functions


Version Helper functions