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This Spy is no Cheat, MSSpy++ OSS alternate, WinCheat


About.com - C / C++ / C# - WinCheat - A Better MS Spy

"I don't think the name is great as it sounds like a game hacking tool, but WinCheat is an excellent open source improved version of WinSpy by Microsoft developer Alin Constantin. Though it's over two years old it runs fine on Windows 7 as the screenshot shows. It not only captures Window details (not messages though), it has a Windows capture that can grab bitmaps or text and a very nifty magnifier zoom (up to 16x) that tracks the mouse and shows a live window of what the mouse is over.

There's a help chm included and if you tick the sources box when you install you get the full Visual Studio project. That said, it uses MFC so you'll need a full version of Visual C++/Studio to build it as Visual C++ Express lacks the MFC libraries." [GD: Post leached in full]

Alin Constantin's Home Page - WinCheat

Current version

    1.6 build 3140, released on 01/09/2009


    Download WinCheat 1.6 for Windows XP/Vista/2008 clicking here.
    Download WinCheat 1.5 Unicode for Windows NT/2000/older clicking here.
    Download WinCheat 1.4 Ansi for Windows 98/ME clicking here.
    You might want to check WinCheat's download page for WinCheat's sources and Microsoft Windows Installer.


  • Pick visible windows with the mouse and see information about them (like MsSpy++ does, but identifying better the window under the cursor).
  • Explore the windows hierarchy of the current desktop.
  • Allow to see and modify windows styles
  • Send/post messages to windows, enable/disable/show/hide them
  • Capture the text from windows (and yes, this works for password fields on WinNT/Win2000/WinXP)
  • Capture/save window content as bitmap
  • Magnify a rectangle on screen following the mouse movements
    See for yourself some screenshots.

Supported OS

    WinCheat runs on Windows 98, Millennium Edition, NT4, 2000, XP, 2003 Server and Vista.


    WinCheat is written and distributed under GNU General Public License which means that its source code is freely-distributed and available to the general public.
    If you find a bug, I would appreciate if you'd let me know about it. I might provide support and build a new version, if I'll have enough time. Just send me an e-mail.

Why WinCheat

    I started to develop WinCheat a while back, in Romania. At that time I used it as a small tool to trick weak registration of some programs which validated the user/password input only on edit change notifications, and not on OK button commands, as they should have done. In that phase, it was just another message sender application.
    Later, I used it to recover forgotten passwords for my e-mail accounts in TheBat! (btw, this is a great e-mail program in my opinion, see for yourself and download it from here).
    Currently I'm developing WinCheat as a debugging helper tool (I'm using it at work during debugging sessions, or to get additional information when I found a bug). To remember where all started, I kept the "cheat" name.


I use MSSpy++ every so often, and thought it pretty cool seeing this OSS alternate. And while WinCheat is a couple years old, the  version of MSSpy++ I use is 12 years old...lol


Published at DZone with permission of Greg Duncan, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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