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C++ Download: Tips and Tricks to Optimize Your C++ Code and Performance

How to Download and Install C++ on Windows

C++ is a popular programming language that has evolved from C and added object-oriented, generic, and functional features. It is designed for systems programming, embedded software, and large systems, with performance, efficiency, and flexibility as its goals. C++ supports object-oriented programming, which helps modularize and maintain a program efficiently. C++ also has other features like namespace, operator overloading, error and exception handling, and a concepts library.

If you want to learn C++ or use it for your projects, you need to have a C++ compiler and an integrated development environment (IDE) installed on your computer. In this article, we will show you how to download and install C++ on Windows using Visual Studio, which is one of the most popular IDEs for C++ development. Visual Studio provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating, debugging, testing, and deploying C++ applications.

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Before you begin installing Visual Studio and C++, make sure your computer meets the . You also need to apply the latest Windows updates, reboot your computer, and free up some disk space.

Step 1: Download Visual Studio Installer

The first step is to download the Visual Studio Installer from the Microsoft website. The installer is a lightweight application that lets you choose and install the features you need for Visual Studio.

To download the installer, go to the and select the edition of Visual Studio that you want. You can choose from Community, Professional, or Enterprise editions. For this tutorial, we will use the Community edition, which is free for students, open-source contributors, and individual developers.

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After selecting the edition, click on the Free trial or Free download button. This will download a bootstrapper file named vs_community.exe (or vs_professional.exe or vs_enterprise.exe depending on your choice) to your Downloads folder.

Double-click on the bootstrapper file to run it. If you receive a User Account Control notice, choose Yes to allow it. You will be asked to accept the Microsoft License Terms and the Microsoft Privacy Statement. Choose Continue.

Step 2: Choose Workloads for C++ Development

The installer will present you with a list of workloads, which are groups of related options for specific development areas. Support for C++ is now part of optional workloads that are not installed by default.

For C++ development, you need to select the Desktop development with C++ workload. This workload includes features such as:

  • The MSVC compiler toolset

  • The Windows SDK

  • CMake tools

  • Testing tools

  • Debugging tools

  • Code analysis tools

  • The Standard Template Library (STL)

  • The Boost library

  • The Google Test framework

  • The MFC library

  • The ATL library

To select the Desktop development with C++ workload, check the box next to it. You can also expand the workload to see the optional components that you can install or deselect. For example, you can choose to install support for Linux development with C++ or Windows 10 SDK (10.0.19041.0).

After selecting the workload and the components you want, click on the Install button at the bottom right corner of the installer. The installer will show you the progress and status of the installation. Depending on your internet speed and computer configuration, this may take some time.

Step 3: Install and Launch Visual Studio

When the installation is complete, you will see a message that says "Installation successful!" You can now launch Visual Studio by clicking on the Launch button in the installer or by finding it in your Start menu.

When you launch Visual Studio for the first time, you will be asked to sign in with your Microsoft account. You can also create a new account if you don't have one. Signing in will allow you to access online services such as Azure and Visual Studio Marketplace.

After signing in, you will be asked to choose a color theme and a development settings profile. You can choose from Light, Dark, or Blue themes and from General, C#, C++, Python, or Web development settings. For this tutorial, we will choose the Dark theme and the C++ development settings.

Visual Studio will then open and show you a start page with various options. To create a new project, click on the Create a new project button.

Step 4: Write and Run a Simple C++ Program

To write and run a simple C++ program, you need to create a project that contains your source code files and other resources. A project also specifies how to build and run your program using various tools and settings.

To create a new project, follow these steps:

  • In the Create a new project window, search for "C++" in the search box and select "Console App" from the list of templates. Click on Next.

  • In the Configure your new project window, enter a name for your project (such as HelloWorld) and choose a location to save it. You can also change other options such as the solution name, the target platform, and the language standard. Click on Create.

  • Visual Studio will create a new project and open it in the main window. You will see a Solution Explorer pane on the right side that shows the files and folders in your project. You will also see an editor pane that shows the source code of your main.cpp file.

The main.cpp file contains a simple C++ program that prints "Hello World!" to the console. The code looks like this:


using namespace std; int main() cout

To build and run your program, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Build menu and select Build Solution (or press Ctrl+Shift+B). This will compile your source code into an executable file using the MSVC compiler toolset.

  • Click on the Debug menu and select Start Without Debugging (or press Ctrl+F5). This will run your executable file in a console window.

  • You should see a message that says "Hello World!" in the console window. Press any key to close it.


In this article, we have shown you how to download and install C++ on Windows using Visual Studio. We have also shown you how to create, build, and run a simple C++ program using Visual Studio tools.

C++ is a powerful and versatile programming language that can be used for various purposes. If you want to learn more about C++, you can check out some of these resources:

  • : The official documentation for C++ by Microsoft.

  • : A comprehensive tutorial for beginners by

  • : A complete reference for C++ by


What are some other C++ compilers for Windows?

Besides Visual Studio, there are some other popular C++ compilers for Windows, such as:

  • : A minimalist GNU for Windows that provides GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) compilers for C and C++.

  • : A Linux-like environment for Windows that provides GCC compilers for C and C++.

  • : A free and open-source IDE for C and C++ that supports multiple compilers, such as GCC, Clang, and MSVC.

How to update Visual Studio and C++ tools?

To update Visual Studio and C++ tools, you can use the Visual Studio Installer. To launch the installer, go to the Start menu and search for Visual Studio Installer. In the installer, you will see a list of installed products and their versions. If there are any updates available, you will see an Update button next to the product. Click on the Update button to download and install the updates.

How to uninstall Visual Studio and C++ tools?

To uninstall Visual Studio and C++ tools, you can also use the Visual Studio Installer. In the installer, you will see a list of installed products and their versions. To uninstall a product, click on the More button next to the product and select Uninstall. You will be asked to confirm your


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