IsWow64Process function (wow64apiset.h)

Determines whether the specified process is running under WOW64 or an Intel64 of x64 processor.


BOOL IsWow64Process(
  [in]  HANDLE hProcess,
  [out] PBOOL  Wow64Process


[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] Wow64Process

A pointer to a value that is set to TRUE if the process is running under WOW64 on an Intel64 or x64 processor. If the process is running under 32-bit Windows, the value is set to FALSE. If the process is a 32-bit application running under 64-bit Windows 10 on ARM, the value is set to FALSE. If the process is a 64-bit application running under 64-bit Windows, the value is also set to FALSE.

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.


Applications should use IsWow64Process2 instead of IsWow64Process to determine if a process is running under WOW. IsWow64Process2 removes the ambiguity inherent to multiple WOW environments by explicitly returning both the architecture of the host and guest for a given process. Applications can use this information to reliably identify situations such as running under emulation on ARM64. To compile an application that uses this function, define _WIN32_WINNT as 0x0501 or later. For more information, see Using the Windows Headers.


For compatibility with operating systems that do not support this function, call GetProcAddress to detect whether IsWow64Process is implemented in Kernel32.dll. If GetProcAddress succeeds, it is safe to call this function. Otherwise, WOW64 is not present. Note that this technique is not a reliable way to detect whether the operating system is a 64-bit version of Windows because the Kernel32.dll in current versions of 32-bit Windows also contains this function.

#include <windows.h>
#include <tchar.h>



BOOL IsWow64()
    BOOL bIsWow64 = FALSE;

    //IsWow64Process is not available on all supported versions of Windows.
    //Use GetModuleHandle to get a handle to the DLL that contains the function
    //and GetProcAddress to get a pointer to the function if available.

    fnIsWow64Process = (LPFN_ISWOW64PROCESS) GetProcAddress(

    if(NULL != fnIsWow64Process)
        if (!fnIsWow64Process(GetCurrentProcess(),&bIsWow64))
            //handle error
    return bIsWow64;

int main( void )
        _tprintf(TEXT("The process is running under WOW64.\n"));
        _tprintf(TEXT("The process is not running under WOW64.\n"));

    return 0;


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows Vista, Windows XP with SP2 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003 with SP1 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header wow64apiset.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