Sets the matching behavior of the WinTitle parameter in commands such as WinWait.

SetTitleMatchMode, MatchMode
SetTitleMatchMode, Speed



Specify one of the following values:

1: Default behavior. A window's title must start with the specified WinTitle to be a match.

2: A window's title can contain WinTitle anywhere inside it to be a match.

3: A window's title must exactly match WinTitle to be a match.

RegEx [v1.0.45+]: Changes WinTitle, WinText, ExcludeTitle, and ExcludeText to accept regular expressions, e.g. WinActivate Untitled.*Notepad. RegEx also applies to ahk_class and ahk_exe, e.g. ahk_class IEFrame searches for any window whose class name contains IEFrame anywhere (this is because by default, regular expressions find a match anywhere in the target string). For WinTitle, each component is separate, e.g. in i)^untitled ahk_class i)^notepad$ ahk_pid %mypid%, i)^untitled and i)^notepad$ are separate regex patterns and %mypid% is always compared numerically (it is not a regex pattern). For WinText, each text element (i.e. each control's text) is matched against the RegEx separately, so it is not possible to have a match span more than one text element. Due to a 1023 character limit, very long patterns may produce unexpected results.

The modes above also affect ExcludeTitle in the same way as WinTitle. For example, mode 3 requires that a window's title exactly match ExcludeTitle for that window to be excluded.

Of the modes, only RegEx mode affects the non-title window matching criteria ahk_class and ahk_exe. Those matching criteria will operate identically in any of the numbered modes.


Specify one of the following words to indicate how the WinText and ExcludeText parameters should be matched:

Fast: Default behavior. Performance may be substantially better than the slow mode, but certain types of controls are not detected. For instance, text is typically detected within Static and Button controls, but not Edit controls, unless they are owned by the script.

Slow: Can be much slower, but works with all controls which respond to the WM_GETTEXT message.


If SetTitleMatchMode is not used, the default match mode is 1 and the default speed is fast.

This command affects the behavior of all windowing commands, e.g. WinExist() and WinActivate. WinGetText and ControlGetText are affected in the same way as other commands, but they always use the slow mode to retrieve text.

If a window group is used, the current title match mode applies to each individual rule in the group.

Generally, the slow mode should be used only if the target window cannot be uniquely identified by its title and fast-mode text. This is because the slow mode can be extremely slow if there are any application windows that are busy or "not responding".

Window Spy has an option for Slow TitleMatchMode so that its easy to determine whether the slow mode is needed.

If you wish to change both attributes, run the command twice as in this example:

SetTitleMatchMode, 2
SetTitleMatchMode, Slow

The built-in variables A_TitleMatchMode and A_TitleMatchModeSpeed contain the current settings.

Regardless of the current match mode, WinTitle, WinText, ExcludeTitle and ExcludeText are case-sensitive. The only exception is the case-insensitive option of the RegEx mode, e.g. i)untitled - notepad.

Every newly launched thread (such as a hotkey, custom menu item, or timed subroutine) starts off fresh with the default setting for this command. That default may be changed by using this command in the auto-execute section (top part of the script).

The WinTitle Parameter, SetWinDelay, WinExist(), WinActivate, RegExMatch()


Allows windowing commands to operate upon windows whose titles contain WinTitle anywhere instead of at the beginning.

SetTitleMatchMode 2

Allows windowing commands to possibly detect more control types, but with lower performance. Note that Slow/Fast can be set independently of all the other modes.

SetTitleMatchMode Slow

Use RegEx mode to easily exclude multiple windows. Replace the following ExcludeTitles with actual window titles that you want to exclude from counting.

SetTitleMatchMode RegEx
WinGet, CountAll, Count
WinGet, CountExcluded, Count,,, ExcludeTitle1|ExcludeTitle2
MsgBox % CountExcluded " out of " CountAll " windows were counted"