autohotkey – What is AU3_Spy.exe? Where can I find it?

autohotkey – What is AU3_Spy.exe? Where can I find it?

Window Spy or AU3_Spy.exe is a program which can be used to retrieve information about a window for scripting.

While it isnt included with the portable version of AHK, you can use 7-Zip to extract AU3_Spy.exe from the AutoHotkey installer.

  1. Download the AutoHotkey installer (


  2. Open installer file using 7-Zip and extract AU3_Spy.exe.


  3. Place AU3_Spy.exe in your AutoHotkey folder.


  4. While running AHK, right-click the AHK icon in the notification area and select Window Spy.


  5. Done! You can now click any window to retrieve useful information such as window title, mouse position, and controls.


TL;DR: All older answers are now obsolete and dont reflect current situation.

The last release that includes standalone Windows Spy utility is

Here is the link to installer download.

Since v1.1.27.00, AutoHotKey_L no more includes Windows Spy utility (AU3_spy.exe) as a standalone exe; it is replaced by WindowSpy.ahk as noted in comment of another answer. Here is the relevant excerpt of release announcement:

Replaced AU3_Spy.exe with WindowSpy.ahk.

  • AU3_Spy.exe is still launched if WindowSpy.ahk is not found.
  • It now follows the focused control by default, and has a checkbox for both window and control to follow the mouse.
  • It no longer takes over a global hotkey (Win+A). Instead, hold Ctrl or Shift to suspend updates (release them after focusing Window Spy).
  • It is now possible to Alt-Tab to Window Spy on Windows 10 without the contents of the GUI changing.

As other answers have stated, use 7-Zip to extract AU3_spy.exe within the installer, then place it in any location of your favorite choice, and call it a day.

For 1.1.x users, they can actually use the new spy script to get equivalent functionality.

But not so fortunate for AutoHotKey 2.0 alpha/beta users, as the script was written in 1.x language, which is incompatible with 2.0. For them, getting the standalone exe is the only option. (There exists other replacement utilities, such as Spy++ from Visual Studio, but not as convenient.)

autohotkey – What is AU3_Spy.exe? Where can I find it?

In latest AutoHotkey installer (v1.1, v2.0…), only Full-installer includes that, and after installation you can find it:

C:Program FilesAutoHotkeyWindowSpy.exe

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