Binding to the Window Title in UWP

I was recently in a scenario where I had a UWP app with a timer. The running timer was supposed to be displayed in the title bar of the app (the app is a UWP app that will run only on laptops). To my surprise, this wasn’t possible out of the box. We can set a title but we can’t bind to it, since the title property cannot be accessed in XAML.

The default way to set the title

Setting the title is very much the same workflow as setting the title bar’s color, or the buttons in the title bar.

var window = ApplicationView.GetForCurrentView();
window.Title = "Hello World!";

When you run this, you’ll notice that the window’s title bar says “Hello World - AppName”. No matter what you set the title as, the system will always append the appname to it.

Now, how to get this into a binding? The answer is through an attached property.

Attached Properties

So, what are attached properties? Attached properties are a form of global properties that can be set on a XAML element. An example of attached properties that you have no doubt used are Grid.Row and Grid.Column. Custom attached properties are often used when you want to expose a property in XAML. Exactly what we want to do here.

Creating the Attached Property

To create an attached property you’ll need a static class and a special form of Dependency Property. Instead of calling DependencyProperty.Register, we need to call DependencyProperty.RegisterAttached. Another difference is the underlying property. Instead of an actual property we need to write two methods, something that will look familiar to those that know a bit of Java. The naming of those methods are important since Attached Properties are convention based.

Here’s the full example

public static class PageExtensions
    public static readonly DependencyProperty TitleProperty =
        DependencyProperty.RegisterAttached("Title", typeof(string),
            new PropertyMetadata(string.Empty, OnTitlePropertyChanged));

    public static string GetTitle(DependencyObject d)
        return d.GetValue(TitleProperty).ToString();

    public static void SetTitle(DependencyObject d, string value)
        d.SetValue(TitleProperty, value);

    private static void OnTitlePropertyChanged(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        string title = e.NewValue.ToString();
        var window= ApplicationView.GetForCurrentView();
        window.Title = title;

The actual logic of setting the window title happens in the property changed event handler.

Binding to the property

Final step, time to see if this actually works!

I’ve added a string property in my MainPage.xaml.cs.

public sealed partial class MainPage : Page
    public string WindowTitle { get; set; }

    public MainPage()

        WindowTitle = "Hello World!";

Very simple example here, but enough to show the gist of it. Next, in MainPage.xaml we can add the binding (extra lines omitted for clarity)

<Page x:Class="App10.MainPage"
      local:PageExtensions.Title="{x:Bind WindowTitle}"

Run the app, and the value of the string property should be set as the window title! (Note: I used x:Bind here, so no need to set the DataContext, it’s always the code-behind)


In this article I’ve shown how I tackled a problem that I ran into this week, binding a viewmodel property to the window title in a UWP app. In the real application I’ve used a TimeSpan to bind to the window title, it goes up every second and the title is refreshed every second as well.

Happy coding!

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