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Tip: Getting Text from any External Window in C#

Learn to use the GetForegroundWindow and the GetWindowText API functions.


To get the text of an external window you could use the GetForegroundWindow and the GetWindowText API functions. Here is a small example of its usage:

public partial class Form1 : Form

        static extern int GetForegroundWindow();


        static extern int GetWindowText(int hWnd, StringBuilder text, int count); 
        //Use SetWindowPos to make app alwaysontop

        public Form1()

        private void GetActiveWindow()

            const int nChars = 256;
            int handle = 0;
            StringBuilder Buff = new StringBuilder(nChars);

            handle = GetForegroundWindow();

            if (GetWindowText(handle, Buff, nChars)  0)
                this.captionWindowLabel.Text = Buff.ToString();
                this.IDWindowLabel.Text = handle.ToString();


        private void timer1_Tick(object sender, EventArgs e)




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