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Application Activation and Deactivation Sample

This sample demonstrates how to handle both the Activated and Deactivated events to monitor the activation status of an application.

This sample demonstrates a specific feature of the Windows Presentation Foundation and, consequently, does not follow application development best practices. For comprehensive coverage of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Microsoft .NET Framework application development best practices, refer to the following as appropriate:

Accessibility - Accessibility Best Practices

Localization - WPF Globalization and Localization Overview

Performance - Optimizing WPF Application Performance

Security - Windows Presentation Foundation Security

Download sample

  • Install the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) and open its build environment command window. On the Start menu, point to All Programs, Microsoft Windows SDK, and then click CMD Shell.

  • Download the sample, usually from the software development kit (SDK) documentation, to your hard disk drive.

  • To build the sample from the build environment command window, go to the source directory of the sample. At the command prompt, type MSBUILD.

  • To build the sample in Microsoft Visual Studio, load the sample solution or project file and then press CTRL+SHIFT+B.

  • To run the compiled sample from the build environment command window, execute the .exe file in the Bin\Debug or Bin\Release folder contained under the sample source code folder.

  • To run the compiled sample with debugging in Visual Studio, press F5.

The sample simulates the mail server polling functionality of a mail client. When mail is received, the application notifies the user using one of two mechanisms that depend on application's activation status; if the application is currently activated, the UI is updated, otherwise an icon is displayed in the system tray.


This sample uses the NotifyIcon component from Windows Forms to display a system tray icon. Consequently, this sample also demonstrates integration of Windows Forms technology into Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).