Check if a process is running or not on Windows with Python

You can not rely on lock files in Linux or Windows. I would just bite the bullet and iterate through all the running programs. I really do not believe it will be as "expensive" as you think. psutil is an excellent cross-platform python module cable of enumerating all the running programs on a system.

import psutil    
"someProgram" in ( for p in psutil.process_iter())

Although @zeller said it already here is an example how to use tasklist. As I was just looking for vanilla python alternatives...

import subprocess

def process_exists(process_name):
    call = 'TASKLIST', '/FI', 'imagename eq %s' % process_name
    # use buildin check_output right away
    output = subprocess.check_output(call).decode()
    # check in last line for process name
    last_line = output.strip().split('\r\n')[-1]
    # because Fail message could be translated
    return last_line.lower().startswith(process_name.lower())

and now you can do:

>>> process_exists('eclipse.exe')

>>> process_exists('AJKGVSJGSCSeclipse.exe')

To avoid calling this multiple times and have an overview of all the processes this way you could do something like:

# get info dict about all running processes
import subprocess
output = subprocess.check_output(('TASKLIST', '/FO', 'CSV')).decode()
# get rid of extra " and split into lines
output = output.replace('"', '').split('\r\n')
keys = output[0].split(',')
proc_list = [i.split(',') for i in output[1:] if i]
# make dict with proc names as keys and dicts with the extra nfo as values
proc_dict = dict((i[0], dict(zip(keys[1:], i[1:]))) for i in proc_list)
for name, values in sorted(proc_dict.items(), key=lambda x: x[0].lower()):
    print('%s: %s' % (name, values))

win32ui.FindWindow(classname, None) returns a window handle if any window with the given class name is found. It raises window32ui.error otherwise.

import win32ui

def WindowExists(classname):
        win32ui.FindWindow(classname, None)
    except win32ui.error:
        return False
        return True

if WindowExists("DropboxTrayIcon"):
    print "Dropbox is running, sir."
    print "Dropbox is running..... not."

I found that the window class name for the Dropbox tray icon was DropboxTrayIcon using Autohotkey Window Spy.

See also

MSDN FindWindow