function maps the specified executable module into the address space of the
| LPCTSTR lpLibFileName
||// address of filename of executable module
Points to a null-terminated string that names the executable module (either a
.DLL or .EXE file). The name specified is the filename of the module and is not
related to the name stored in the library module itself, as specified by the LIBRARY
keyword in the module-definition (.DEF) file.
If the string specifies a path but the file does not exist in the specified
directory, the function fails.
If a path is not specified and the filename extension is omitted, the default
library extension .DLL is appended. However, the filename string can include a
trailing point character (.) to indicate that the module name has no extension.
When no path is specified, the function searches for the file in the following
- The directory from which the application loaded.
- The current directory.
- Windows 95: The Windows system directory. Use the GetSystemDirectory function to get the path of this directory.
The 32-bit Windows system directory. Use the GetSystemDirectory
function to get the path of this directory. The name of this directory is
- Windows NT: The 16-bit Windows system directory. There is no Win32 function that obtains
the path of this directory, but it is searched. The name of this directory is
- The Windows directory. Use the GetWindowsDirectory function to get the path of this directory.
- The directories that are listed in the PATH environment variable.
The first directory searched is the one directory containing the image file
used to create the calling process (for more information, see the CreateProcess
function). Doing this allows private dynamic-link library (DLL) files
associated with a process to be found without adding the process's installed directory
to the PATH environment variable.
Once the function obtains a fully qualified path to a library module file, the
path is compared (case independently) to the full paths of library modules
currently loaded into the calling process. These libraries include those loaded
when the process was starting up as well as those previously loaded by LoadLibrary
but not unloaded by FreeLibrary
. If the path matches the path of an already loaded module, the function just
increments the reference count for the module and returns the module handle for
If the function succeeds, the return value is a handle to the module.
If the function fails, the return value is NULL. To get extended error
information, call GetLastError
LoadLibrary can be used to map a DLL module and return a handle that can be used in GetProcAddress
to get the address of a DLL function. LoadLibrary
can also be used to map other executable modules. For example, the function
can specify an .EXE file to get a handle that can be used in FindResource
Module handles are not global or inheritable. A call to LoadLibrary
by one process does not produce a handle that another process can use
for example, in calling GetProcAddress
. The other process must make its own call to LoadLibrary
for the module before calling GetProcAddress
If the module is a DLL not already mapped for the calling process, the system
calls the DLL's DllEntryPoint
function with the DLL_PROCESS_ATTACH value. If the DLL's entry-point function
does not return TRUE, LoadLibrary
fails and returns NULL.
If you are using LoadLibrary
to load a module that contains a resource whose numeric identifier is greater
than 0x7FFF, LoadLibrary
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