Skip to main content
HeapReAlloc function

Reallocates a block of memory from a heap. This function enables you to resize a memory block and change other memory block properties. The allocated memory is not movable.


  _In_ HANDLE hHeap,
  _In_ DWORD  dwFlags,
  _In_ LPVOID lpMem,
  _In_ SIZE_T dwBytes


hHeap [in]

A handle to the heap from which the memory is to be reallocated. This handle is a returned by either the HeapCreate or GetProcessHeap function.

dwFlags [in]

The heap reallocation options. Specifying a value overrides the corresponding value specified in the flOptions parameter when the heap was created by using the HeapCreate function. This parameter can be one or more of the following values.


The operating-system raises an exception to indicate a function failure, such as an out-of-memory condition, instead of returning NULL.

To ensure that exceptions are generated for all calls to this function, specify HEAP_GENERATE_EXCEPTIONS in the call to HeapCreate. In this case, it is not necessary to additionally specify HEAP_GENERATE_EXCEPTIONS in this function call.


Serialized access will not be used. For more information, see Remarks.

To ensure that serialized access is disabled for all calls to this function, specify HEAP_NO_SERIALIZE in the call to HeapCreate. In this case, it is not necessary to additionally specify HEAP_NO_SERIALIZE in this function call.

This value should not be specified when accessing the process heap. The system may create additional threads within the application's process, such as a CTRL+C handler, that simultaneously access the process heap.


There can be no movement when reallocating a memory block. If this value is not specified, the function may move the block to a new location. If this value is specified and the block cannot be resized without moving, the function fails, leaving the original memory block unchanged.


If the reallocation request is for a larger size, the additional region of memory beyond the original size be initialized to zero. The contents of the memory block up to its original size are unaffected.


lpMem [in]

A pointer to the block of memory that the function reallocates. This pointer is returned by an earlier call to the HeapAlloc or HeapReAlloc function.

dwBytes [in]

The new size of the memory block, in bytes. A memory block's size can be increased or decreased by using this function.

If the heap specified by the hHeap parameter is a "non-growable" heap, dwBytes must be less than 0x7FFF8. You create a non-growable heap by calling the HeapCreate function with a nonzero value.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is a pointer to the reallocated memory block.

If the function fails and you have not specified HEAP_GENERATE_EXCEPTIONS, the return value is NULL.

If the function fails and you have specified HEAP_GENERATE_EXCEPTIONS, the function may generate either of the exceptions listed in the following table. For more information, see GetExceptionCode.

Exception codeDescription
STATUS_NO_MEMORYThe allocation attempt failed because of a lack of available memory or heap corruption.
STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATIONThe allocation attempt failed because of heap corruption or improper function parameters.


If the function fails, it does not call SetLastError. An application cannot call GetLastError for extended error information.


If HeapReAlloc succeeds, it allocates at least the amount of memory requested.

If HeapReAlloc fails, the original memory is not freed, and the original handle and pointer are still valid.

HeapReAlloc is guaranteed to preserve the content of the memory being reallocated, even if the new memory is allocated at a different location. The process of preserving the memory content involves a memory copy operation that is potentially very time-consuming.

To free a block of memory allocated by HeapReAlloc, use the HeapFree function.

Serialization ensures mutual exclusion when two or more threads attempt to simultaneously allocate or free blocks from the same heap. There is a small performance cost to serialization, but it must be used whenever multiple threads allocate and free memory from the same heap. Setting the HEAP_NO_SERIALIZE value eliminates mutual exclusion on the heap. Without serialization, two or more threads that use the same heap handle might attempt to allocate or free memory simultaneously, likely causing corruption in the heap. The HEAP_NO_SERIALIZE value can, therefore, be safely used only in the following situations:

  • The process has only one thread.
  • The process has multiple threads, but only one thread calls the heap functions for a specific heap.
  • The process has multiple threads, and the application provides its own mechanism for mutual exclusion to a specific heap.


Minimum supported client

Windows XP [desktop apps | UWP apps]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps | UWP apps]

Minimum supported phone

Windows Phone 8


HeapApi.h (include Windows.h);
WinBase.h on Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP (include Windows.h)





See also

Heap Functions
Memory Management Functions