hg_git hg_git - 10 months ago 137
C++ Question

Detecting Windows 10 version

My objective is to detect Windows 10 in my code which has to work cross-platform as well as across different versions of Windows (atleast 7 & up). Windows provides

to tackle this problem, but there's another issue with it, this function isn't present in previous windows versions.

You'll find countless blogs and SO questions regarding this as well as the manifest madness where functions like this and getversion and others return some different version rather than the correct one.

For example on my machine - the method
doesn't compile(I would've to install Win10 SDK), and
as major version.

So is there a sane multi-version way I could solve this problem?

Answer Source

The most straight-forward way to retrieve the true OS version is to call RtlGetVersion. It is what GetVersionEx and VerifyVersionInfo call, but doesn't employ the compatibility shims.

You can either use the DDK (by #including <ntddk.h> and linking against NtosKrnl.lib), or use runtime dynamic linking as in the following snippet:

#define STATUS_SUCCESS (0x00000000)


    HMODULE hMod = ::GetModuleHandleW(L"ntdll.dll");
    if (hMod) {
        RtlGetVersionPtr fxPtr = (RtlGetVersionPtr)::GetProcAddress(hMod, "RtlGetVersion");
        if (fxPtr != nullptr) {
            RTL_OSVERSIONINFOW rovi = { 0 };
            rovi.dwOSVersionInfoSize = sizeof(rovi);
            if ( STATUS_SUCCESS == fxPtr(&rovi) ) {
                return rovi;
    RTL_OSVERSIONINFOW rovi = { 0 };
    return rovi;

In case you need additional information you can pass an RTL_OSVERSIONINFOEXW structure in place of the RTL_OSVERSIONINFOW structure (properly assigning the dwOSVersionInfoSize member).

This returns the expected result on Windows 10, even when there is no manifest attached.

As an aside, it is commonly accepted as a better solution to provide different implementations based on available features rather than OS versions.