WSAIoctl function

The WSAIoctl function controls the mode of a socket.


int WSAAPI WSAIoctl(
  SOCKET                             s,
  DWORD                              dwIoControlCode,
  LPVOID                             lpvInBuffer,
  DWORD                              cbInBuffer,
  LPVOID                             lpvOutBuffer,
  DWORD                              cbOutBuffer,
  LPDWORD                            lpcbBytesReturned,
  LPWSAOVERLAPPED                    lpOverlapped,



A descriptor identifying a socket.


The control code of operation to perform.


A pointer to the input buffer.


The size, in bytes, of the input buffer.


A pointer to the output buffer.


The size, in bytes, of the output buffer.


A pointer to actual number of bytes of output.


A pointer to a WSAOVERLAPPED structure (ignored for non-overlapped sockets).


Note  A pointer to the completion routine called when the operation has been completed (ignored for non-overlapped sockets). See Remarks.

Return Value

Upon successful completion, the WSAIoctl returns zero. Otherwise, a value of SOCKET_ERROR is returned, and a specific error code can be retrieved by calling WSAGetLastError.

Error code Meaning
An overlapped operation was successfully initiated and completion will be indicated at a later time.
The network subsystem has failed.
The lpvInBuffer, lpvOutBuffer, lpcbBytesReturned, lpOverlapped, or lpCompletionRoutine parameter is not totally contained in a valid part of the user address space, or the cbInBuffer or cbOutBuffer parameter is too small.
The dwIoControlCode parameter is not a valid command, or a specified input parameter is not acceptable, or the command is not applicable to the type of socket specified.
The function is invoked when a callback is in progress.
The descriptor s is not a socket.
The specified IOCTL command cannot be realized. (For example, the FLOWSPEC structures specified in SIO_SET_QOS or SIO_SET_GROUP_QOS cannot be satisfied.)
The socket is marked as non-blocking and the requested operation would block.
The socket option is not supported on the specified protocol. For example, an attempt to use the SIO_GET_BROADCAST_ADDRESS IOCTL was made on an IPv6 socket or an attempt to use the TCP SIO_KEEPALIVE_VALS IOCTL was made on a datagram socket.


The WSAIoctl function is used to set or retrieve operating parameters associated with the socket, the transport protocol, or the communications subsystem.

If both lpOverlapped and lpCompletionRoutine are NULL, the socket in this function will be treated as a non-overlapped socket. For a non-overlapped socket, lpOverlapped and lpCompletionRoutine parameters are ignored, which causes the function to behave like the standard ioctlsocket function except that the function can block if socket s is in blocking mode. If socket s is in non-blocking mode, this function can return WSAEWOULDBLOCK when the specified operation cannot be finished immediately. In this case, the application may change the socket to blocking mode and reissue the request or wait for the corresponding network event (such as FD_ROUTING_INTERFACE_CHANGE or FD_ADDRESS_LIST_CHANGE in the case of SIO_ROUTING_INTERFACE_CHANGE or SIO_ADDRESS_LIST_CHANGE) using a Windows message (using WSAAsyncSelect)-based or event (using WSAEventSelect)-based notification mechanism.

For overlapped sockets, operations that cannot be completed immediately will be initiated, and completion will be indicated at a later time. The DWORD value pointed to by the lpcbBytesReturned parameter that is returned may be ignored. The final completion status and bytes returned can be retrieved when the appropriate completion method is signaled when the operation has completed.

Any IOCTL may block indefinitely, depending on the service provider's implementation. If the application cannot tolerate blocking in a WSAIoctl call, overlapped I/O would be advised for IOCTLs that are especially likely to block including:









Some protocol-specific IOCTLs may also be especially likely to block. Check the relevant protocol-specific annex for any available information.

The prototype for the completion routine pointed to by the lpCompletionRoutine parameter is as follows:

#ifndef UNICODE
#define UNICODE


#include <winsock2.h> #include <Ws2tcpip.h> #include <stdio.h>

// Link with ws2_32.lib #pragma comment(lib, "Ws2_32.lib")

void CALLBACK CompletionRoutine ( IN DWORD dwError, IN DWORD cbTransferred, IN LPWSAOVERLAPPED lpOverlapped, IN DWORD dwFlags );

The CompletionRoutine is a placeholder for an application-supplied function name. The dwError parameter specifies the completion status for the overlapped operation as indicated by lpOverlapped parameter. The cbTransferred parameter specifies the number of bytes received. The dwFlags parameter is not used for this IOCTL. The completion routine does not return a value.

It is possible to adopt an encoding scheme that preserves the currently defined ioctlsocket opcodes while providing a convenient way to partition the opcode identifier space in as much as the dwIoControlCode parameter is now a 32-bit entity. The dwIoControlCode parameter is built to allow for protocol and vendor independence when adding new control codes while retaining backward compatibility with the Windows Sockets 1.1 and Unix control codes. The dwIoControlCode parameter has the following form.

I O V T Vendor/address family Code
3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Note   The bits in dwIoControlCode parameter displayed in the table must be read vertically from top to bottom by column. So the left-most bit is bit 31, the next bit is bit 30, and the right-most bit is bit 0.
I is set if the input buffer is valid for the code, as with IOC_IN.

O is set if the output buffer is valid for the code, as with IOC_OUT. Control codes using both input and output buffers set both I and O.

V is set if there are no parameters for the code, as with IOC_VOID.

T is a 2-bit quantity that defines the type of the IOCTL. The following values are defined:

0 The IOCTL is a standard Unix IOCTL code, as with FIONREAD and FIONBIO.

1 The IOCTL is a generic Windows Sockets 2 IOCTL code. New IOCTL codes defined for Windows Sockets 2 will have T == 1.

2 The IOCTL applies only to a specific address family.

3 The IOCTL applies only to a specific vendor's provider, as with IOC_VENDOR. This type allows companies to be assigned a vendor number that appears in the Vendor/Address family parameter. Then, the vendor can define new IOCTLs specific to that vendor without having to register the IOCTL with a clearinghouse, thereby providing vendor flexibility and privacy.

Vendor/Address family An 11-bit quantity that defines the vendor who owns the code (if T == 3) or that contains the address family to which the code applies (if T == 2). If this is a Unix IOCTL code (T == 0) then this parameter has the same value as the code on Unix. If this is a generic Windows Sockets 2 IOCTL (T == 1) then this parameter can be used as an extension of the code parameter to provide additional code values.

Code The 16-bit quantity that contains the specific IOCTL code for the operation.

The following Unix IOCTL codes (commands) are supported.

The following Windows Sockets 2 commands are supported.

If an overlapped operation completes immediately, WSAIoctl returns a value of zero and the lpcbBytesReturned parameter is updated with the number of bytes in the output buffer. If the overlapped operation is successfully initiated and will complete later, this function returns SOCKET_ERROR and indicates error code WSA_IO_PENDING. In this case, lpcbBytesReturned is not updated. When the overlapped operation completes the amount of data in the output buffer is indicated either through the cbTransferred parameter in the completion routine (if specified), or through the lpcbTransfer parameter in WSAGetOverlappedResult.

When called with an overlapped socket, the lpOverlapped parameter must be valid for the duration of the overlapped operation. The lpOverlapped parameter contains the address of a WSAOVERLAPPED structure.

If the lpCompletionRoutine parameter is NULL, the hEvent parameter of lpOverlapped is signaled when the overlapped operation completes if it contains a valid event object handle. An application can use WSAWaitForMultipleEvents or WSAGetOverlappedResult to wait or poll on the event object.

Note  All I/O initiated by a given thread is canceled when that thread exits. For overlapped sockets, pending asynchronous operations can fail if the thread is closed before the operations complete. See ExitThread for more information.
If lpCompletionRoutine is not NULL, the hEvent parameter is ignored and can be used by the application to pass context information to the completion routine. A caller that passes a non-NULL lpCompletionRoutine and later calls WSAGetOverlappedResult for the same overlapped I/O request may not set the fWait parameter for that invocation of WSAGetOverlappedResult to TRUE. In this case, the usage of the hEvent parameter is undefined, and attempting to wait on the hEvent parameter would produce unpredictable results.

The prototype of the completion routine is as follows:

void CALLBACK CompletionRoutine(
  IN DWORD dwError, 
  IN DWORD cbTransferred, 
  IN DWORD dwFlags 
This CompletionRoutine is a placeholder for an application-defined or library-defined function. The completion routine is invoked only if the thread is in an alertable state. To put a thread into an alertable state, use the WSAWaitForMultipleEvents, WaitForSingleObjectEx, or WaitForMultipleObjectsEx function with the fAlertable or bAlertable parameter set to TRUE.

The dwError parameter of CompletionRoutine specifies the completion status for the overlapped operation as indicated by lpOverlapped. The cbTransferred parameter specifies the number of bytes returned. Currently, no flag values are defined and dwFlags will be zero. The CompletionRoutine function does not return a value.

Returning from this function allows invocation of another pending completion routine for this socket. The completion routines can be called in any order, not necessarily in the same order the overlapped operations are completed.


The IOCTL codes with T == 0 are a subset of the IOCTL codes used in Berkeley sockets. In particular, there is no command that is equivalent to FIOASYNC.
Note  Some IOCTL codes require additional header files. For example, use of the SIO_RCVALL IOCTL requires the Mstcpip.h header file.
Windows Phone 8: This function is supported for Windows Phone Store apps on Windows Phone 8 and later.

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: This function is supported for Windows Store apps on Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and later.


Windows version Windows 8.1, Windows Vista [desktop apps UWP apps] Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header winsock2.h
Library Ws2_32.lib
DLL Ws2_32.dll

See Also

SOL_SOCKET Socket Options


Winsock Functions

Winsock Reference