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The Difference Between WPF and WinForms

WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation)

WPF is a UI framework used for developing Windows or desktop client applications. It is the latest approach to the GUI framework being used with the .NET framework. It was introduced to develop Windows client apps that run on the Windows operating system, and the next generation of Windows forms. It has all the functionality that is being required to develop, run, execute, manage, and handle Windows client applications.

It generally provides holistic means for combining or integrating UI, 2D and 3D graphics, digital media, and documents. It is responsible for developing, displaying, and manipulating UI, documents, images, etc., in Windows 7 and later operating systems. It is the current platform for developing windows applications.


  • Powerful styling and skinning structure

  • Easy to create an own look and feel

  • It’s very flexible so you can re design your own controls without buying new controls

  • It's newer and thereby more in tune with current standards of technology

  • Does support Windows Forms

  • XAML makes it easy to create and edit your GUI, and allows the work to be split between a designer (XAML) and a programmer

  • Highly advanced data binding possible.

  • Uses hardware acceleration for drawing the GUI, for better performance

  • The ability to reuse existing code

  • Declarative vs. procedural code


  • Requires .NET Framework 3.0

  • Compared to Windows Forms, still in evolving phases.

  • Requires Dx9 compatible video card for advanced graphics

WinForms (Windows Forms)

WinForms is a GUI-based approach introduced to the .NET framework. Prior to WPF and Silverlight, it was the main API for .NET that is being used to build GUI. It does not require any type of support other than runtime and OS for developing a standalone application.

One can develop apps that are easy to deploy, update, manage, and work offline while connected to the Internet. The development of WinForms is very simple as it is only based on the drag and drop placement of UI controls on canvas. It is the old platform for developing desktop applications.


  • Extensive documentation can be found on the Internet

  • Plenty of examples and tested thoroughly for years

  • Supports WPF

  • There are lot of 3rd party controls in the market to make the job easier

  • The designer in Visual Studio is still, as of writing, better for WinForms than for WPF, where you will have to do more of the work yourself with WPF


  • Designing your own look and feel in an application is a lot of work

  • Extra cost incurred to buy third party controls

Difference Between WinForms vs WPF

WinForms WPF

Windows form is an old concept for developing desktop applications

WPF is an advance or latest concept for developing the applications

Windows forms are simple to use as controls can be easily used.

WPF is complex to use as compared to Windows Forms.

Windows forms are less scalable if the UI element needs to be extended later on.

WPF is extensively scalable for the UI elements in application

Windows forms have less secure features

WPF has enhanced security features.

Windows forms are not be used where designing is required

WPF is mainly used for designing the UI part of the application

In windows forms, things are achieved at a slower rate.

In WPF, things are mainly achieved at a very fast rate comparatively.

It takes a smaller memory footprint.

It takes up more RAM than WinForms.

It is considered good if you want to develop an application without much added modern functionality, more online resources.

It is considered good when the application requires many media types, create a skinned UI, bind to XML, develop a desktop application having a web-like navigation style.

The Tech Platform


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