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pywinauto is a set of python modules to automate the Microsoft Windows GUI. At its simplest it allows you to send mouse and keyboard actions to windows dialogs and controls, but it has support for more complex actions like getting text data.

Supported technologies under the hood: Win32 API (backend="win32"; used by default), MS UI Automation (backend="uia"). User input emulation modules mouse and keyboard work on both Windows and Linux.

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Your help is valuable since this is a hobby project for all of us: we do new features development during out-of-office hours.

  • In general the library tends to be cross-platform in the near future (Linux in 2018, macOS in 2019).
  • Reliable text based "record-replay" generator is also a high priority feature under development.
  • More feature requests and discusions are welcome in the issues.


  • run pip install -U pywinauto (dependencies will be installed automatically)

Documentation / Help

Simple Example

It is simple and the resulting scripts are very readable. How simple?

from pywinauto.application import Application
app = Application().start("notepad.exe")

app.UntitledNotepad.menu_select("Help->About Notepad")
app.UntitledNotepad.Edit.type_keys("pywinauto Works!", with_spaces = True)

MS UI Automation Example

More detailed example for explorer.exe:

from pywinauto import Desktop, Application

Application().start('explorer.exe "C:\\Program Files"')

# connect to another process spawned by explorer.exe
# Note: make sure the script is running as Administrator!
app = Application(backend="uia").connect(path="explorer.exe", title="Program Files")

common_files = app.ProgramFiles.ItemsView.get_item('Common Files')

# this dialog is open in another process (Desktop object doesn't rely on any process id)
Properties = Desktop(backend='uia').Common_Files_Properties
Properties.wait_not('visible') # make sure the dialog is closed

Dependencies (if install manually)

  • Windows:
  • Linux:
  • Optional packages:
    • Install Pillow (by pip install -U Pillow) to be able to call capture_as_image() method for making a control's snapshot.

Packages required for running unit tests

Run all the tests: python ./pywinauto/unittests/


Pull requests are very welcome. Read Contribution Guide for more details about unit tests, coding conventions, etc.


Pywinauto for native Windows GUI was initially written by Mark Mc Mahon. Mark brought many great ideas into the life using power of Python. Further contributors are inspired of the nice API so that the development continues.

Starting from 0.6.0 pywinauto is distributed under the BSD 3-clause license. Pywinauto 0.5.4 and before was distributed under the LGPL v2.1 or later.

  • (c) The Open Source Community, 2015-2018 (0.6.0+ development)
  • (c) Intel Corporation, 2015 (0.5.x maintenance)
  • (c) Michael Herrmann, 2012-2013 (0.4.2)
  • (c) Mark Mc Mahon, 2006-2010 (0.4.0 and before)