It often happens, when using Windows or a specific program, that you don’t find that function that would help streamline your work. It’s not simple at all modify Windows and other proprietary programs when no source code is available.
In the case of the Microsoft platform, you can customize the system using, for example, scripts that allow you to speed up Windows 11 and optimize it or make Windows 10 faster by adapting it to your expectations. In all cases, however, changes are used that Microsoft has foreseen and which can be activated by acting for example on the configuration of the system registry.
Windhawk allows you to modify Windows and running programs
An open source application called Windhawk released in March 2022 and released from “beta” in November 2023, it allows you to modify Windows and all other running programs by intervening directly on the processes loaded in memory.
Multiple situations can lead a user to modify the instance of a running program. You may need to add a minor customization or enrich your application with a missing feature. The intervention can prove useful, for example, when a program is no longer updated, when the developer refuses to add a feature or fix a bug or, again, based on other reasons.
Change running processes in Windows
Windhawk allows you to modify a Windows process in memory, while it is loaded at the operating system level. Processes running on a Windows system are loaded into memory and contain the instructions eh data necessary to perform program tasks.
The behavior of a process can involve manipulation of data within the process, e.g changing values of variables; you may need to alter the executable code within the process so as to change the behavior of the program; Furthermore, you may need to modify CPU registers, pointers, data structures, or other parameters that affect the behavior of the process.
Because modifying an executable is disadvantageous
A “patch binaria” is a file or set of data applied directly to the executable code of a program to modify its behavior, fix errors, make improvements, or fix vulnerabilities without accessing the original source code of the application itself. This type of operation, in the case of proprietary softwareis generally prohibited in the user license conditions.
Direct modification of an executable (in Windows
.exe) or a DLL library has others disadvantages. Just think that if the executable file contains a company digital, any modification made to the contents of the file automatically makes it invalid. Furthermore, every time a executable file is updated by the developer software house, it is necessary to create a new one patch that is, a modified version of the same object.
If something goes wrong with the patch, there is no easy way to cancel the changes: You must be careful to create a backup before applying the patch. And if the modified executable or library were an integral part of the operating system, in some situations it could even be difficult to restore the original situation, even in safe mode.
The benefits of editing Windows and other programs in memory
Changing arunning instance of any program already loaded into memory, is usually the best, safest, and most robust solution. A patch applied in memory it can be activated when needed and removed simply by closing the “target” application. Furthermore, in case of any errors, even in the event that the system would become unstablejust stop the single program or restart the machine to overcome theimpasse.
Make changes to a proprietary application (we remind you that there is no availability of the source code) can be quite a challenging task. In addition to the implementation of the customizationit is necessary to resort to the mechanism of Process Injection to inject code into the running process.
The activity of Function Hooking it then allows you to replace or intercept calls to existing functions to modify their behavior. With the Symbol Loading you can proceed with loading the symbols and resources necessary for modifying the application.
High-level description of how Windhawk works (source: GitHub repository, Ramen Software).
What Windhawk allows you to do
Windhawk is an application designed to simplify the process of implementing customizations or changes to existing programs. The tool aims to eliminate the challenges associated with making these customizations, allowing programmers to focus solely on creation of the change itself.
The program deals with the more complex aspects such as the phase of Process Injectionit allows to share the changes with other users making the process of deploying customizations more efficient and accessible.
The changes that Windhawk can make are called modshort for modification. These are “pre-packaged” packages from other developers that allow you to alter behavior of Windows or any other application in memory.
Even before using Windhawk, you can access the Browse for mods web page which lists all the modifications already available in the program and can be activated with a simple click. In the case of Windows, some changes applicable to the interface have been implemented by Microsoft with the release of the latest ones Moment packages and with the release of the most recent one feature update.
By clicking on Detailsfor each mod it is possible to discover the technical information and examine the code source. More experienced users, with a quick analysis of the code, can quite easily ascertain that the modification is legitimate and does not lead to potential problems safety e privacy.
Everything is fine mod created with Windhawk consists of a single code file: this makes it easier for users to verify and understand what the modification actually does, unlike an executable file, whose operation is certainly more difficult to verify.
To apply a mod it is sufficient that theWindhawk icon be present in traybar Windows: When the icon is not present, all changes are not applied.
How to use Windhawk
To use a mod and apply it in Windows, just select it from the program interface and then click the button Install. The application draws attention to the fact that any mod malicious programs can damage the system or violate the user’s privacy: it is therefore important to only install them mod reliable, appreciated by other users and only after analysis of the corresponding source code.
With one click your Accept the risk, the change is immediately active, without the need to reboot the system or apply interventions at the file system level. Precisely because it occurs in memory.
Can Windhawk be dangerous?
Windhawk itself is not and cannot be a dangerous application. As the developers clearly point out, however, problems could arise if the user loaded code into memory coming from unreliable sources or “malicious developers”.
For those who want to try Windhawk’s services, we recommend using the portable version of the program: just choose the option Portable installation.
In this way, if you want to get rid of Windhawk, just right-click on the icon in the traybar, choose You go out then simply remove the folder where the program files are saved. This is because, with thePortable installation Windhawk does not write any information to the Windows registry or store any files at the file system level in any folder other than its own.
With one click your Settings we also suggest deactivating the option Check for updates.
Examining the C/C++ source of the various ones mod, it is in fact possible to understand – in detail – their behavior. The Windhawk authors certainly do some source checking mod proposed. However, it could happen, which is also common to others marketplacethat one…