Visual Studio Code (or VS Code for short) is a versatile text editor and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that many developers use to write and run code. If you’re looking to write and run C++ code in Visual Studio, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process, and we’ll make use of some essential keywords like “Visual Studio Code,” “C and C++,” “Install,” “Code Runner,” and more.

Getting Started with Visual Studio Code

Before we dive into the specifics of running C++ code, including how to С++ dereference a pointer, let’s make sure you have Visual Studio Code installed on your system. You can download it directly from the official website. If you want to experience the latest updates instantly, consider installing Visual Studio Code Insiders, which contains all the latest features.

Installation Process

Once you’ve downloaded the installer, follow these steps:

  1. Accept the agreement and click Next.
  2. Keep all default settings as they are.
  3. Check all the boxes and click Next.
  4. Click Install and let the installation process finish.
  5. Finally, click Finish to complete the installation.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed Visual Studio Code/VS Code Insiders on your system.

Preparing Visual Studio Code for C++ Code

Now that you have Visual Studio Code installed, it’s time to set it up for C++ development. Follow these steps:

1. Install Extensions

Go to the Extension tab in Visual Studio Code and search for “C” or “C++.” Install the first extension that is verified by Microsoft itself. Additionally, install the “C/C++ Extension Pack,” which is also verified by Microsoft. These extensions will enhance your C++ development experience.

2. Install Code Runner

Search for “Code Runner” in the extensions and install it. Code Runner allows you to execute your C++ code directly from Visual Studio Code.

3. Configure Settings

Click on the gear icon (Manage section) and then select Settings. In the search bar, type “Run code in terminal” and press Enter. Ensure that the box next to “Code-runner: Run In Terminal” is checked. This setting allows you to run your code in the terminal.

4. Restart Visual Studio Code

Close and reopen Visual Studio Code to apply the changes you’ve made to the settings.

Writing and Running C++ Code

With Visual Studio Code set up for C++ development, you can now write and run your code effortlessly.

  1. Open Visual Studio Code and create a new file with a .cpp extension for C++ code.
  2. Write your C++ code in the file.

Running Your Code

To run your code, simply click the play button located in the upper right corner of Visual Studio Code. This will compile and run your C++ code directly. Code Runner will handle the execution, and you’ll see the output in the terminal.


Running C++ code in Visual Studio Code is straightforward when you follow these steps. Visual Studio Code’s flexibility and the availability of extensions like “C/C++” and “Code Runner” make it an excellent choice for C++ development.

By installing the necessary extensions and configuring the settings, you can streamline your C++ development workflow. Now you’re ready to write, compile, and run C++ code seamlessly within Visual Studio Code.

Don’t forget to explore the latest features in Visual Studio Code Insiders if you’re looking for the most up-to-date development experience. Happy coding!


Is Visual Studio the Best IDE for C++ Development?

Visual Studio is indeed one of the top choices for C++ development, but whether it’s the “best” depends on your specific needs and preferences. Visual Studio offers a powerful and feature-rich environment for C++ development, making it an excellent option for many developers. Here are some reasons why developers often choose Visual Studio for C++ development:

Integrated Environment: Visual Studio provides an integrated development environment (IDE) that includes a code editor, debugger, and various tools, all within a single application. This integration streamlines the development process and enhances productivity.

Debugger: Visual Studio’s debugger is known for its robustness and ease of use. It allows developers to easily debug their C++ code, set breakpoints, inspect variables, and track down issues efficiently.

Code Navigation: Visual Studio offers powerful code navigation features such as “Go to Definition” and “Find All References.” These features help developers understand and navigate large codebases more easily.

Code Analysis: The IDE includes code analysis tools that can help identify code issues, potential bugs, and style violations. This can lead to improved code quality.

Extensions: Visual Studio supports a wide range of extensions and plugins, including those specifically designed for C++ development. These extensions can enhance functionality and tailor the IDE to your needs.

Platform Support: Visual Studio supports various platforms, including Windows, Linux (with Visual Studio Code), and cross-platform development using tools like Visual C++ for Linux.

However, it’s essential to note that other IDEs like CLion, Code::Blocks, and JetBrains’ Rider also offer strong C++ development capabilities. The choice of the best IDE depends on your familiarity with the environment, project requirements, and personal preferences. It’s a good idea to explore different IDEs and choose the one that aligns best with your development goals.

Are There Any Specific Settings Required to Run C++ Code in Visual Studio?

Running C++ code in Visual Studio is relatively straightforward, but you may need to configure a few settings depending on your project’s specifics. In most cases, Visual Studio’s default settings are sufficient for running C++ code. However, project-specific configurations may require adjustments. It’s important to read the documentation for any libraries or frameworks you’re using and ensure that Visual Studio is set up to accommodate them. Additionally, staying up-to-date with Visual Studio updates and C++ standards is a good practice to make the most of your development environment.

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