This function enables or disables mouse and keyboard input to the specified window or control. When input is disabled, the window does not receive input such as mouse clicks and key presses. When input is enabled, the window receives all input.

BOOL EnableWindow( 
  HWND hWnd, 
  BOOL bEnable 


  • hWnd
    Handle to the window to be enabled or disabled.
  • bEnable
    Boolean that specifies whether to enable or disable the window. If this parameter is TRUE, the window is enabled. If the parameter is FALSE, the window is disabled.

Return Values

Nonzero indicates that the window was previously disabled. Zero indicates that the window was not previously disabled. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


If the enabled state of a window is changing, a WM_ENABLE message is sent before the EnableWindow function returns. If a window is already disabled, all its child windows are implicitly disabled, although they are not sent a WM_ENABLE message.

A window must be enabled before it can be activated. For example, if an application is displaying a modeless dialog box and has disabled its main window, the application must enable the main window before destroying the dialog box. Otherwise, another window will receive the keyboard focus and be activated. If a child window is disabled, it is ignored when the system tries to determine which window should receive mouse messages.

By default, a window is enabled when it is created. To create a window that is initially disabled, an application can specify the WS_DISABLED style in the CreateWindow or CreateWindowEx function. After a window has been created, an application can use EnableWindow to enable or disable the window.

An application can use this function to enable or disable a control in a dialog box. A disabled control cannot receive the keyboard focus, nor can a user gain access to it.


OS Versions: Windows CE 1.0 and later.
Header: Winuser.h.
Link Library: Wmgr_c.lib.

See Also

CreateWindow | CreateWindowEx | IsWindowEnabled | WM_ENABLE

Last updated on Wednesday, April 13, 2005

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