GetFileInformationByHandle function

Retrieves file information for the specified file.

For a more advanced version of this function, see GetFileInformationByHandleEx.

To set file information using a file handle, see SetFileInformationByHandle.


BOOL GetFileInformationByHandle(
  HANDLE                       hFile,



A handle to the file that contains the information to be retrieved.

This handle should not be a pipe handle.


A pointer to a BY_HANDLE_FILE_INFORMATION structure that receives the file information.

Return Value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero and file information data is contained in the buffer pointed to by the lpFileInformation parameter.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


Depending on the underlying network features of the operating system and the type of server connected to, the GetFileInformationByHandle function may fail, return partial information, or full information for the given file.

You can compare the VolumeSerialNumber and FileIndex members returned in the BY_HANDLE_FILE_INFORMATION structure to determine if two paths map to the same target; for example, you can compare two file paths and determine if they map to the same directory.

IIn Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, this function is supported by the following technologies.

Technology Supported
Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 protocol Yes
SMB 3.0 Transparent Failover (TFO) Yes
SMB 3.0 with Scale-out File Shares (SO) Yes
Cluster Shared Volume File System (CsvFS) Yes
Resilient File System (ReFS) Yes

Transacted Operations

If there is a transaction bound to the thread at the time of the call, then the function returns the compressed file size of the isolated file view. For more information, see About Transactional NTFS.


Windows version Windows XP [desktop apps only] Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header fileapi.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See Also

File Management Functions