The PEB_LDR_DATA structure is the defining record of which user-mode modules are loaded in a process. It is essentially the head of three double-linked lists of LDR_DATA_TABLE_ENTRY structures. Each structure represents one loaded module. Each list links through the structures in a different order.


Each process has the one PEB_LDR_DATA. Its address is kept in the Ldr member of the process’s PEB.

In early versions, the PEB_LDR_DATA is in its own heap allocation that is obtained while NTDLL initialises the process. This is wasteful since the process will only ever have the one PEB_LDR_DATA. In version 5.2 and higher, this one and only PEB_LDR_DATA is an internal variable in the NTDLL data. It can be handy, when debugging, to know that the name of this internal variable is PebLdr.

Documentation Status

In an ideal world, the PEB_LDR_DATA might be opaque outside NTDLL. But various high-level modules supplied with Windows over the years have used at least one member of the PEB_LDR_DATA, which eventually had to be disclosed.

A new header, named WINTERNL.H, for previously internal APIs was added to the Software Development Kit (SDK) apparently in 2002, and remains to this day. Anyone competent who was looking at the time, e.g., because they were paid to as work for a Technical Committee that was to enforce the settlement that compelled the disclosure, might have pointed out the PEB_LDR_DATA as a candidate. Somehow, though, it got missed. Make no mistake that I mean here that the Technical Committee can only have been incompetent and gullible, or have been too tired to avoid the appearance, and that by extension this appiles also to the government and court. There is a lesson here for future attempts at using anti-trust legislation against “big tech”.

When WINTERNL.H eventually got round to the PEB_LDR_DATA, starting with the SDK for Windows 7, it presented only a modified PEB_LDR_DATA that has just the InMemoryOrderModuleList member, plus padding that gets this member to the same offset as in the true structure. Incomplete as this is, it’s out there now, and Microsoft seems unlikely to change the PEB_LDR_DATA in any way that moves this member.


Indeed, the PEB_LDR_DATA is surprisingly stable across Windows versions. No members have yet moved or even been redefined. The structure has grown only by extension. The following table shows the changing sizes:

Version Size (x86) Size (x64)
3.51 to 5.0 0x24  
5.1 to early 6.0 (before SP1) 0x28 0x48
late 6.0 to 2004 0x30 0x58

These sizes, and the offsets, types and names in the tables that follow, are from public symbol files for the kernel starting with Windows 2000 SP3 and for NTDLL starting with Windows XP. Symbol files for earlier versions do not contain type information for the PEB_LDR_DATA, but something similar is available for a few earlier versions: type information in statically linked libraries GDISRVL.LIB for Windows NT 3.51 and SHELL32.LIB for Windows NT 4.0 (both distributed with their respective editions of the Device Driver Kit); and the output of the KDEX2X86 debugger extension’s !strct command for the original Windows 2000. Inspection of binaries anyway confirms that all members that were in use for Windows 2000 SP3 were used the same way as far back as Windows NT 3.1.

Offset (x86) Offset (x64) Definition Versions
0x00 0x00
ULONG Length;
0x04 0x04
BOOLEAN Initialized;
0x08 0x08
PVOID SsHandle;
0x0C 0x10
LIST_ENTRY InLoadOrderModuleList;
0x14 0x20
LIST_ENTRY InMemoryOrderModuleList;
0x1C 0x30
LIST_ENTRY InInitializationOrderModuleList;
0x24 0x40
PVOID EntryInProgress;
5.1 and higher
0x28 0x48
BOOLEAN ShutdownInProgress;
late 6.0 and higher
0x2C 0x50
HANDLE ShutdownThreadId;
late 6.0 and higher

The Length and Initialized members are set to the size (in bytes) of the structure and to TRUE, respectively, when the structure is prepared. They are not known to change.

No use is (yet) known of the SsHandle member in any version.

Though EntryInProgress is retained in the symbol files, no use of it is known after version 6.1. In earlier versions, what it points to, when it points to anything, is a LDR_DATA_TABLE_ENTRY for a DLL whose imports are to be resolved. In version 5.1, imports became subject to activation contexts. The importing DLL may redirect its imports via a manifest. If a callback function for DLL manifest probing has been set by an earlier call to the undocumented NTDLL export LdrSetDllManifestProber, then EntryInProgress is set while the callback is made.

Though ShutdownThreadId is shown above as a HANDLE, it is indeed a thread ID as suggested by its name. It is picked up from the UniqueThread member of the CLIENT_ID in the TEB of the thread that asks to terminate the process.