Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Gflags.exe: Global Flags Editor (with Page Heap Verification)

This tool allows you to enable and disable advanced internal system diagnostics and troubleshooting features on computers running Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, and Windows Server 2003. Gflags is designed as a debugging tool for application developers. It is most often used to turn on indicators that other tools track, count, and log. You can run Gflags from the command line or use its graphical user interface dialog box.

Use Gflags to activate the following debugging features:

  • Registry. Set systemwide debugging features for all Windows processes. These settings are stored in the registry. They take effect when you restart the system and remain effective until you change them.

  • Kernel mode settings. Set debugging features for this session. These settings are effective immediately, but are lost when the system stops. The settings affect processes started after this command completes.

  • Image file settings. Set debugging features for a particular program. These settings are stored in the registry. They take effect when you restart the program and remain effective until you change them.

  • Debugger. Specify that a particular program always runs in a debugger. This setting is stored in the registry. It is effective immediately and remains effective until you change it. (This feature is available only from the Gflags dialog box.)

  • Launch. Run a program with the specified debugging settings. The debugging settings are effective until the program stops. (This feature is available only from the Gflags dialog box.)

  • Page heap verification. Enable, disable, and configure page heap verification for a program. When enabled, page heap monitors dynamic heap memory operations, including allocations and frees, and causes a debugger break when it detects a heap error.


  • Use Gflags only in consultation with Microsoft Product Support Services. It is an optional component provided solely for troubleshooting purposes. Incorrect use of this tool can degrade system performance or prevent the system from starting, requiring you to reinstall the operating system.


  • Pool tagging is permanently enabled on all versions of Windows Server 2003. On these systems, the Enable pool tagging check box on the Gflags dialog box is dimmed and commands to enable or disable pool tagging fail.

Corresponding UI

This version of Gflags incorporates the functions of Pageheap.exe, a heap allocation monitoring tool formerly included in the Support Tools folder.

System Requirements

The following are the system requirements for Gflags:

  • This version of Gflags runs only on Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003. A version of Gflags for Windows 2000 is included in the Support Tools directory of Windows 2000 Server.

  • The user must be a member of the Administrators group on the computer.

  • Gflags is a local computer tool. You cannot use it to set flags on a remote computer.

File Required

  • Gflags.exe

See Also


Gflags Remarks
Gflags Syntax
Gflags UI
Gflags Examples
Gflags Flag Reference
Alphabetical List of Tools
Windiff Overview
Remote Overview
Poolmon Overview
Msizap Overview
Msicuu Overview
Memsnap Overview
Devcon Overview
Pviewer Overview
Exctrlst Overview
Devcon Overview
Apmstat Overview