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Windows NT
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Header File
Platform Notes


The ExitProcess function ends a process and all its threads.

VOID ExitProcess(

UINT uExitCode
// exit code for all threads



Specifies the exit code for the process, and for all threads that are terminated as a result of this call. Use the GetExitCodeProcess function to retrieve the process's exit value. Use the GetExitCodeThread function to retrieve a thread's exit value.

Return Values

This function does not return a value.


is the preferred method of ending a process. This function provides a clean process shutdown. This includes calling the entry-point function of all attached dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) with a value indicating that the process is detaching from the DLL. If a process terminates by calling TerminateProcess, the DLLs that the process is attached to are not notified of the process termination.

After all attached DLLs have executed any process termination value, this function terminates the current process.

Terminating a process causes the following:

  1. All of the object handles opened by the process are closed.

  2. All of the threads in the process terminate their execution.

  3. The state of the process object becomes signaled, satisfying any threads that had been waiting for the process to terminate.

  4. The states of all threads of the process become signaled, satisfying any threads that had been waiting for the threads to terminate.

  5. The termination status of the process changes from STILL_ACTIVE to the exit value of the process.

Terminating a process does not cause child processes to be terminated.

Terminating a process does not necessarily remove the process object from the operating system. A process object is deleted when the last handle to the process is closed.

The ExitProcess, ExitThread, CreateThread, CreateRemoteThread functions, and a process that is starting (as the result of a call by CreateProcess) are serialized between each other within a process. Only one of these events can happen in an address space at a time. This means the following restrictions hold:

  • During process startup and DLL initialization routines, new threads can be created, but they do not begin execution until DLL initialization is done for the process.

  • Only one thread in a process can be in a DLL initialization or detach routine at a time.

  • ExitProcess does not return until no threads are in their DLL initialization or detach routines.

See Also

, CreateRemoteThread, CreateThread, ExitThread, GetExitCodeProcess, GetExitCodeThread, OpenProcess, TerminateProcess

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