Popular Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) for C/C++

There are many IDEs available for development of C/C++ projects. Eclipse is the most widely used. Microsoft Visual Studio is favoured in the corporate world for its developer friendliness and production support.

1. Eclipse

Eclipse is among the most popular and powerful IDE’s for C/C++. Its functionality can be extended and integrated with open source tools using plugins.


  • Open-source software, free to use in any environment.
  • Supports all platforms – Windows, Linux, Mac OS X.
  • Supports debugging, compiling, profiling, auto-completion and refactoring of code.
  • Graphical user interface available to arrange element using drag and drop functionality.
  • Supports static code analysis

2. Code Blocks

Code Blocks is a free C, C++ IDE built to meet needs of C/C++ developers, with a consistent look, feel and operation across platforms. Built around a plugin framework, Code::Blocks can be extended with plugins. Any kind of functionality can be added by installing/coding a plugin. !


  • Works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
  • Compiling and debugging functionality is provided by plugins.
  • Code coverage, profiling, auto-completion of code is supported.
  • Has Graphical User Interface to arrange elements using drag and drop functionality and also supports code analysis

3. Microsoft Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is a suite of tools for creating software, from the planning phase through UI design, coding, testing, debugging and analyzing code quality and performance. Visual Studio by default provides support for C#, C and C++, JavaScript, F#, and Visual Basic.


  • Visual Studio works and integrates well with third-party applications.
  • You can extend Visual Studio yourself by creating custom tools that perform specialized tasks.
  • Apps and games that run not only on Windows, but also Android and iOS.
  • Code completion.
  • Syntax hilighting editor.
  • Integrated debugging
  • Multi-threaded debugging

4. Dev C++

Dev C++ is another good IDE for C and C++ programming languages. It is an open source IDE but supports only Windows platform..


  • Code Completion
  • Profiling support
  • Class Browser
  • Support GCC-based compilers
  • Customizable syntax highlighting editor
  • Integrated debugging (using GDB)

4. Code Lite

CodeLite is an another excellent free, open source and cross platform IDE for the C/C++.


  • Generic support for compilers and errors are clickable via the buildtab
  • Very fast code completion tool based on their internal parser.
  • Has its RAD tool for building Widgets-based applications
  • Supports Static code analysis, class browsing, refactoring and profiling.

5. Netbeans IDE

Netbeans C++ IDE consists of many project based templates for C and C++, that helps build applications with dynamic and static libraries in C and C++. It is more popular among web developers.


  • Free and open source IDE
  • Available on all platforms.
  • Code completion, refactoring for C/C++
  • Integrated with the multi-session gdb debugger.
  • Automatic indentation, semantic highlighting, and formatting , bracket matching and templates.

6. QT Creator

This is another cross platform C++ IDE and available on payment subscriptions. You can get its free trial version for one month of use.


  • Available on all platforms.
  • Rich library support for media and graphic programming.
  • Debugging, compiling, profiling, refactoring, auto-completion.
  • Has drag and drop functionality

7. C++ Builder

C++ Builder is great in building high-performance C++ applications for Windows without database connectivity. It is not a free IDE, has proprietary license.


  • Multi session debugging.
  • Profiling.
  • Auto completion
  • Class browsing.
  • Refactoring

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