Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How to open Popup Blocker Settings window of IE programmatically

How to open Popup Blocker Settings window of IE programmatically??

Well it is with the help of "DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog" function in the "C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetcpl.cpl".

But here rather just showing a misterious function, I would like to explain the methods by which I found out the name of function.

This question was asked by some one in the codeproject and at that time I was also unaware of any function for this. How ever I felt it interesting so just decided to have a try.

At first I took this "Popup Blocker Settings " dialog in the IE. My first intention was to find out the dll name which created the dialog. There is an application called WinID[^] with which we can find which dll created a perticular windows. In one of my previous post, I have explained How to find which dll / exe created a window.[^] using code. Below is a screenshot of what WinID showed me for the "Popup Blocker Settings" dialog .

It told me that "USER32.dll" has created the dialog. Liar... I was much sure that user32.dll isn't the real dll behind it. So this technique to find the dll didn't really work. So I had to find another way...

Every window has a thread associated with it. If you have the window handle, you can easily retirive the thread Id associated with it using the GetWindowThreadProcessId function. Any way I am not going to code for this. Tools like spy++, WinID displays the thread id of the window if we select a window using it. So the Thread ID displayed in Spy++ was 0xB94( 2964 in decimal ).

If we took the properties of a process in the process explorer, it will list all the threads in the process and each thread's call stack. So the thing next to do is to select the iexplorer process, select the thread with ID 2964 and took its call stack.

And in the call stack, there was only one un familiar dll and function the "inetcpl.cpl" and the DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog function in it. So I found out the "inetcpl.cpl" file in the system32 folder and when double clicked on it, huiii it shows the "internet options" dialog.

The control panel files (.cpl ), are just a dll with a some special export functions( If you want to know more about control panel files I suggest you to read Paul DiLascia's Q&A[^] article ). With the dependency walker, I confirmed the presence of DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog in it. But to call this function, I need to the find how it is declared, what all are the arguments etc. Fortunately some else has already document the function proto and with a google search, I was able to find it out. Happy ending!!!!

And ho ya here is the sample code..

typedef BOOL (WINAPI *DisplayPopupWindowP)( HANDLE hWnd, LPCTSTR lpCaption );
void CDialogBasedDlg::OnBnClickedButton1()
HMODULE hModule = LoadLibrary( _T("inetcpl.cpl") );
DisplayPopupWindowP DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog =
( DisplayPopupWindowP)GetProcAddress(hModule,
"DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog" );
if( !DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog )
DisplayPopupWindowManagementDialog( m_hWnd,

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