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[GetVersion may be altered or unavailable for releases after Windows 8.1. Instead, use the Version Helper functions]

With the release of Windows 8.1, the behavior of the GetVersion API has changed in the value it will return for the operating system version. The value returned by the GetVersion 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, GetVersion 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.


DWORD WINAPI GetVersion(void);


This function has no parameters.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value includes the major and minor version numbers of the operating system in the low-order word, and information about the operating system platform in the high-order word. See the OSVERSIONINFOEX structure for more information.

For all platforms, the low-order word contains the version number of the operating system. The low-order byte of this word specifies the major version number, in hexadecimal notation. The high-order byte specifies the minor version (revision) number, in hexadecimal notation. The high-order bit is zero, the next 7 bits represent the build number, and the low-order byte is 5.


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

void main()
    DWORD dwVersion = 0; 
    DWORD dwMajorVersion = 0;
    DWORD dwMinorVersion = 0; 
    DWORD dwBuild = 0;

    dwVersion = GetVersion();
    // Get the Windows version.

    dwMajorVersion = (DWORD)(LOBYTE(LOWORD(dwVersion)));
    dwMinorVersion = (DWORD)(HIBYTE(LOWORD(dwVersion)));

    // Get the build number.

    if (dwVersion < 0x80000000)              
        dwBuild = (DWORD)(HIWORD(dwVersion));

    printf("Version is %d.%d (%d)\n", 


  • Kernel32.dll