Targeting your application for Windows

In Windows 8.1 and later, the GetVersion and GetVersionEx functions have been deprecated. As of Windows 10, the VerifyVersionInfo function is also deprecated. You can still call the deprecated functions, but if your application doesn't specifically target Windows 8.1 or later, then the functions will return the Windows 8 version (6.2).


GetVersion, GetVersionEx, VerifyVersionInfo, and the Version Helper functions are for desktop apps only. Universal Windows apps can use the AnalyticsInfo.VersionInfo property for telemetry and diagnostic logs.

In order for your app to target Windows 8.1 or later, you'll need to include an app (executable) manifest for the app's executable. Then, in the <compatibility> section of the manifest, you'll need to add a <supportedOS> element for each Windows version you want to declare that your app supports.

The following example shows an app manifest file for an app that supports all versions of Windows from Windows Vista to Windows 11:

<!-- example.exe.manifest -->
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<assembly manifestVersion="1.0" xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" xmlns:asmv3="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3">
    <description>Contoso Example Application</description>
    <compatibility xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:compatibility.v1">
            <!-- Windows 10 and Windows 11 -->
            <supportedOS Id="{8e0f7a12-bfb3-4fe8-b9a5-48fd50a15a9a}"/>
            <!-- Windows 8.1 -->
            <supportedOS Id="{1f676c76-80e1-4239-95bb-83d0f6d0da78}"/>
            <!-- Windows 8 -->
            <supportedOS Id="{4a2f28e3-53b9-4441-ba9c-d69d4a4a6e38}"/>
            <!-- Windows 7 -->
            <supportedOS Id="{35138b9a-5d96-4fbd-8e2d-a2440225f93a}"/>
            <!-- Windows Vista -->
            <supportedOS Id="{e2011457-1546-43c5-a5fe-008deee3d3f0}"/> 
    <trustInfo xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3">
                  UAC settings:
                  - app should run at same integrity level as calling process
                  - app does not need to manipulate windows belonging to
                    higher-integrity-level processes

Declaring support for Windows 8.1 or later in your app manifest will not have any effect when running your app on previous operating systems.

The above app manifest also includes a <trustInfo> section, which specifies how the system should treat it with respect to User Account Control (UAC). Adding trustInfo isn't essential, but it is highly recommended, even when your app doesn't need any particular UAC-related behavior. In particular, if you don't add trustInfo at all, then 32-bit x86 versions of your app will be subject to UAC file virtualization, which allows writes to administrator-privileged folders like the Windows system folders to succeed when they would otherwise fail, but redirects them to a user-specific "VirtualStore" folder.