C Specification

To import memory from a Windows handle, add a VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR structure to the pNext chain of the VkMemoryAllocateInfo structure.

The VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR structure is defined as:

// Provided by VK_KHR_external_memory_win32
typedef struct VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR {
    VkStructureType                       sType;
    const void*                           pNext;
    VkExternalMemoryHandleTypeFlagBits    handleType;
    HANDLE                                handle;
    LPCWSTR                               name;
} VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR;


  • sType is a VkStructureType value identifying this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to a structure extending this structure.

  • handleType is a VkExternalMemoryHandleTypeFlagBits value specifying the type of handle or name.

  • handle is NULL or the external handle to import.

  • name is NULL or a null-terminated UTF-16 string naming the payload to import.


Importing memory object payloads from Windows handles does not transfer ownership of the handle to the Vulkan implementation. For handle types defined as NT handles, the application must release handle ownership using the CloseHandle system call when the handle is no longer needed. For handle types defined as NT handles, the imported memory object holds a reference to its payload.


Non-NT handle import operations do not add a reference to their associated payload. If the original object owning the payload is destroyed, all resources and handles sharing that payload will become invalid.

Applications can import the same payload into multiple instances of Vulkan, into the same instance from which it was exported, and multiple times into a given Vulkan instance. In all cases, each import operation must create a distinct VkDeviceMemory object.

Valid Usage
  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handleType-00658
    If handleType is not 0, it must be supported for import, as reported by VkExternalImageFormatProperties or VkExternalBufferProperties

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handle-00659
    The memory from which handle was exported, or the memory named by name must have been created on the same underlying physical device as device

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handleType-00660
    If handleType is not 0, it must be defined as an NT handle or a global share handle

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handleType-01439

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handleType-01440
    If handleType is not 0 and handle is NULL, name must name a valid memory resource of the type specified by handleType

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handleType-00661
    If handleType is not 0 and name is NULL, handle must be a valid handle of the type specified by handleType

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handle-01441
    If handle is not NULL, name must be NULL

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handle-01518
    If handle is not NULL, it must obey any requirements listed for handleType in external memory handle types compatibility

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-name-01519
    If name is not NULL, it must obey any requirements listed for handleType in external memory handle types compatibility

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-sType-sType

  • VUID-VkImportMemoryWin32HandleInfoKHR-handleType-parameter
    If handleType is not 0, handleType must be a valid VkExternalMemoryHandleTypeFlagBits value

See Also

Document Notes

For more information, see the Vulkan Specification

This page is extracted from the Vulkan Specification. Fixes and changes should be made to the Specification, not directly.

Copyright 2014-2023 The Khronos Group Inc.

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0