When a console application is started either from the File Manager, the
Program Manager, Windows NT Explorer, or by typing start <progname>
the command prompt, it executes in its own console. This console disappears
as soon as the application terminates, and therefore the user can't read
anything written to the screen between the last pause and program exit.
There are two approaches to keep the console window from disappearing.
Method 1: Pause if Process is Running in Separate Console
The first method is for implementing a console application to not terminate
immediately when it is running in a separate console window. It is not
likely that you would want an application to always pause after displaying
information to the console window when you started from the prompt.
However, there is no API (application programming interface) that directly
determines whether or not the application shares a console with CMD.EXE.
This method looks at the current location of the console cursor, and if it
is (0,0), then the program assumes it is running in a separate console
hStdOutput = GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE);
if (!GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(hStdOutput, &csbi))
printf("GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo failed: %d\n", GetLastError());
// if cursor position is (0,0) then use pause
bUsePause = ((!csbi.dwCursorPosition.X) &&
printf("Interesting information to read.\n");
printf("More interesting information to read.\n");
// only pause if running in separate console window.
printf("\n\tPress any key to exit...\n");
ch = getch();
NOTE: This method will not work if the user combines a clear screen (CLS)
and execution of the application into one step (for example, [C:\] CLS &
<progname>), because the cursor position will be (0, 0), but the
application is using the console, which belongs to CMD.EXE.
Method 2: Start the console with cmd.exe /K
This method is for starting a console application in a separate window and
forcing the window to remain after the application has terminated. An
application can use the following command line with WinExec(),
CreateProcess(), or in a batch file:
cmd /K consoleapp.exe
After consoleapp.exe has terminated, the /K switch makes the console window
remain on the screen. The application user can then type the exit
to close the console window.