SetClipboardViewer function (winuser.h)

Adds the specified window to the chain of clipboard viewers. Clipboard viewer windows receive a WM_DRAWCLIPBOARD message whenever the content of the clipboard changes. This function is used for backward compatibility with earlier versions of Windows.


HWND SetClipboardViewer(
  [in] HWND hWndNewViewer


[in] hWndNewViewer

Type: HWND

A handle to the window to be added to the clipboard chain.

Return value

Type: HWND

If the function succeeds, the return value identifies the next window in the clipboard viewer chain. If an error occurs or there are no other windows in the clipboard viewer chain, the return value is NULL. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


The windows that are part of the clipboard viewer chain, called clipboard viewer windows, must process the clipboard messages WM_CHANGECBCHAIN and WM_DRAWCLIPBOARD. Each clipboard viewer window calls the SendMessage function to pass these messages to the next window in the clipboard viewer chain.

A clipboard viewer window must eventually remove itself from the clipboard viewer chain by calling the ChangeClipboardChain function — for example, in response to the WM_DESTROY message.

The SetClipboardViewer function exists to provide backward compatibility with earlier versions of Windows. The clipboard viewer chain can be broken by an application that fails to handle the clipboard chain messages properly. New applications should use more robust techniques such as the clipboard sequence number or the registration of a clipboard format listener. For further details on these alternatives techniques, see Monitoring Clipboard Contents.


For an example, see Adding a Window to the Clipboard Viewer Chain.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header winuser.h (include Windows.h)
Library User32.lib
DLL User32.dll
API set ext-ms-win-ntuser-misc-l1-5-1 (introduced in Windows 10, version 10.0.14393)

See also