WinDBG Docking Feedback

I was encouraged by everyone I met from Microsoft to send feedback to the feedback aliases, so when I got home, I thought about anything that had bothered me over the last year to see if I had anything to send. The only thing that came to mind, and it came to mind immediately, was the WinDBG docking setup. So I sent my feedback in to the feedback alias ( and got a response within minutes from Drew Bliss.

Drew told me that Microsoft has been made aware of the issue, particularly as it relates to new users or users newly transitioning from the old MDI interface from previous debuggers. His advice for simulating the old environment:

You can achieve an old-school UI with the existing support if you want to.

1. Use Window.Undock All to float all of your windows.
2. Right-click on the title bars of the floating windows. Select Always floating and Move with frame.

You can freely size and position floating windows. With the Move with frame option the floating windows will move
along with the frame when you move the frame, so you get a setup that works very similarly to the old MDI interface,
except that you’re free to put your floating windows outside of the frame if you feel like it.

He also recommended using saved workspaces, known as Themes, as a way to start with an appropriate set of windows pre-configured. Look in the Themes directory under the WinDBG install. There’s a six-page document there called Themes.doc that has lots of good information.

So, if you’re frustrated by WinDBG’s new UI, check out Themes support. It’s still a bit of a pain getting it set up the way I want it, but it works.

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