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NativeWindow::ReleaseHandle Method

Releases the handle associated with this window.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

virtual void ReleaseHandle()

This method does not destroy the window handle. Instead, it sets the handle's window procedure to the default window procedure. It sets the Handle property to 0 and calls OnHandleChange to reflect the change.

A window automatically calls this method if it receives a native Win32 WM_NCDESTROY message, indicating that Windows has destroyed the handle.

The following code example demonstrates intercepting operating system window messages in a window procedure. The example creates a class that inherits from NativeWindow to accomplish this.

The MyNativeWindowListener class hooks into the window procedure of the form passed into the constructor, and overrides the WndProc method to intercepts the WM_ACTIVATEAPP window message. The class demonstrates the use of the AssignHandle and ReleaseHandle methods to identify the window handle the NativeWindow will use. The handle is assign based upon the Control::HandleCreated and Control::HandleDestroyed events. When the WM_ACTIVATEAPP window message is received, the class calls the form1 ApplicationActivated method.

This code is an excerpt from the example shown in the NativeWindow class overview. Some code is not shown for the purpose of brevity. See NativeWindow for the whole code listing.

// NativeWindow class to listen to operating system messages. 
ref class MyNativeWindowListener: public NativeWindow

   // Constant value was found in the S"windows.h" header file.
   literal int WM_ACTIVATEAPP = 0x001C;
   Form1^ parent;

   MyNativeWindowListener( Form1^ parent )
      parent->HandleCreated += gcnew EventHandler( this, &MyNativeWindowListener::OnHandleCreated );
      parent->HandleDestroyed += gcnew EventHandler( this, &MyNativeWindowListener::OnHandleDestroyed );
      this->parent = parent;


   // Listen for the control's window creation and then hook into it. 
   void OnHandleCreated( Object^ sender, EventArgs^ /*e*/ )
      // Window is now created, assign handle to NativeWindow.
      AssignHandle( (dynamic_cast<Form1^>(sender))->Handle );

   void OnHandleDestroyed( Object^ /*sender*/, EventArgs^ /*e*/ )
      // Window was destroyed, release hook.


   virtual void WndProc( Message %m ) override
      // Listen for operating system messages 
      switch ( m.Msg )
         case WM_ACTIVATEAPP:

            // Notify the form that this message was received. 
            // Application is activated or deactivated, 
            // based upon the WParam parameter.
            parent->ApplicationActived( ((int)m.WParam != 0) );
      NativeWindow::WndProc( m );


Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0