_ungetch, _ungetwch, _ungetch_nolock, _ungetwch_nolock

Pushes back the last character read from the console.

int _ungetch(
   int c 
wint_t _ungetwch(
   wint_t c 
int _ungetch_nolock(
   int c 
wint_t _ungetwch_nolock(
   wint_t c 


  • c
    Character to be pushed.

Return Value

Both functions return the character c if successful. If there is an error, _ungetch returns a value of EOF and _ungetwchreturnsWEOF.


These functions push the character c back to the console, causing c to be the next character read by _getch or _getche (or_getwch or_getwche). _ungetch and _ungetwch fail if they are called more than once before the next read. The c argument may not be EOF (or WEOF).

The versions with the _nolock suffix are identical except that they are not protected from interference by other threads. They may be faster since they do not incur the overhead of locking out other threads. Use these functions only in thread-safe contexts such as single-threaded applications or where the calling scope already handles thread isolation.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine

_UNICODE & _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined











Required header

_ungetch, _ungetch_nolock


_ungetwch, _ungetwch_nolock

<conio.h> or <wchar.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


// crt_ungetch.c
// compile with: /c
// In this program, a white-space delimited 
// token is read from the keyboard. When the program 
// encounters a delimiter, it uses _ungetch to replace 
// the character in the keyboard buffer.

#include <conio.h>
#include <ctype.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int main( void )
   char buffer[100];
   int count = 0;
   int ch;

   ch = _getche();
   while( isspace( ch ) )      // Skip preceding white space.
      ch = _getche();
   while( count < 99 )         // Gather token.
      if( isspace( ch ) )      // End of token.
      buffer[count++] = (char)ch;
      ch = _getche();
   _ungetch( ch );            // Put back delimiter.
   buffer[count] = '\0';      // Null terminate the token.
   printf( "\ntoken = %s\n", buffer );

Whitetoken = White

See Also


Console and Port I/O

_cscanf, _cscanf_l, _cwscanf, _cwscanf_l

_getch, _getwch