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Published: Feb 23, 2016 License: Apache-2.0, Apache-2.0 Imports: 0 Imported by: 0



mousetrap is a tiny library that answers a single question.

On a Windows machine, was the process invoked by someone double clicking on the executable file while browsing in explorer?


Windows developers unfamiliar with command line tools will often "double-click" the executable for a tool. Because most CLI tools print the help and then exit when invoked without arguments, this is often very frustrating for those users.

mousetrap provides a way to detect these invocations so that you can provide more helpful behavior and instructions on how to run the CLI tool. To see what this looks like, both from an organizational and a technical perspective, see

The interface

The library exposes a single interface:

func StartedByExplorer() (bool)




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func StartedByExplorer

func StartedByExplorer() bool

StartedByExplorer returns true if the program was invoked by the user double-clicking on the executable from explorer.exe

It is conservative and returns false if any of the internal calls fail. It does not guarantee that the program was run from a terminal. It only can tell you whether it was launched from explorer.exe

On non-Windows platforms, it always returns false.


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