I'm seeking recommendations for gratis software that will run on Windows that can copy strings from any window, especially from error message windows / message boxes.

In particular, the app must be able to copy strings from windows in which normal copy/paste functionality is not present (such as most error message windows... ugh).

Cross-platform recommendations are most welcome, but at the least, the app must run on Windows 7.

Historically, I've used NirSoft's SysExporter, but unlike all the other wonderful NirSoft apps, I don't find this particular app to work in many situations.

Portable apps (no installer, and no writing to the Windows registry) are strongly preferred, but that is not a hard requirement.

The app must not include any forced telemetry or other required forms of internet access.

3 Answers 3


GetWindowsText https://softwareok.com/?seite=Microsoft/GetWindowText

But you can copy text from standard error windows simply by press CTRL+C


The Windows scripting language AutoIt comes with a tool named AutoIt Window Information Tool that allows to extract a lot of details from every Window, dialog and even control in a dialog/window.

It allows to select a target window easily using drag & drop of the Finder Tool.

The extracted text is visible in the tab Visible text.

The tool is included in the AutoIt download package: https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/downloads/

As you only want the Window Information tool you can download the "AutoIt– Self Extracting Archive" version. Download it, open it using an archiver like 7-Zip and extract Au3Info_x64.exe. This EXE file works standalone as it is and does not need anything else from the archive.

  • Wow. That looks incredible. Thank you. I'm not currently using AutoIt, so I'll see if I can just extract that tool and use it by itself. Feb 28, 2022 at 0:26
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket On the download page is an "AutoIt– Self Extracting Archive" version, that should be best. Download it, open it using an archiver like 7-Zip and extract Au3Info_x64.exe. The EXE file works out of the box and does not need anything from the AutoIt installation.
    – Robert
    Feb 28, 2022 at 8:10
  • Thanks Robert. That's exactly what I was going to try, so I sincerely appreciate knowing in advance that it should work. As a quick aside, I see AutoIt hasn't had any recent updates. Do you know if the project is still active and alive? I remember using it years ago, and it was a pleasure to use... very powerful too. Feb 28, 2022 at 8:53
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket I only use AutoIt occasionally, so I have not noticed that there were any new releases.
    – Robert
    Feb 28, 2022 at 10:06

Just for your info, in most MessageBoxes you actually can copy the content, just by pressing <ctrl><c>. This works if the system dialogs where used.

  • 1
    Thanks. I need to see if this works for the message boxes I receive. Most of the software I use is cross-platform, so often the message boxes are not native for the OS. Because the text isn't selectable. I admit that I'm not sure if I've simply tried just pressing ctrl+c; ~99% of the time you need to select text before copying it! :) I'll definitely try your tip in the future. Thank you. Mar 3, 2022 at 23:00

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