Compiler options listed by category

This article contains a categorical list of compiler options. For an alphabetical list, see Compiler Options Listed Alphabetically.

Optimization

Option Purpose
/O1 Creates small code.
/O2 Creates fast code.
/Ob Controls inline expansion.
/Od Disables optimization.
/Og Deprecated. Uses global optimizations.
/Oi Generates intrinsic functions.
/Os Favors small code.
/Ot Favors fast code.
/Ox Uses maximum optimization (/Ob2gity /Gs).
/Oy Omits frame pointer. (x86 only)
/favor Produces code that is optimized for a specified architecture, or for a range of architectures.

Code generation

Option Purpose
/arch Use SSE or SSE2 instructions in code generation. (x86 only)
/clr Produces an output file to run on the common language runtime.
/EH Specifies the model of exception handling.
/fp Specifies floating-point behavior.
/GA Optimizes for Windows applications.
/Gd Uses the __cdecl calling convention. (x86 only)
/Ge Deprecated. Activates stack probes.
/GF Enables string pooling.
/Gh Calls hook function _penter.
/GH Calls hook function _pexit.
/GL Enables whole program optimization.
/Gm Deprecated. Enables minimal rebuild.
/GR Enables run-time type information (RTTI).
/Gr Uses the __fastcall calling convention. (x86 only)
/GS Checks buffer security.
/Gs Controls stack probes.
/GT Supports fiber safety for data allocated by using static thread-local storage.
/guard:cf Adds control flow guard security checks.
/Gv Uses the __vectorcall calling convention. (x86 and x64 only)
/Gw Enables whole-program global data optimization.
/GX Deprecated. Enables synchronous exception handling. Use /EH instead.
/Gy Enables function-level linking.
/GZ Deprecated. Enables fast checks. (Same as /RTC1)
/Gz Uses the __stdcall calling convention. (x86 only)
/homeparams Forces parameters passed in registers to be written to their locations on the stack upon function entry. This compiler option is only for the x64 compilers (native and cross compile).
/hotpatch Creates a hotpatchable image.
/Qfast_transcendentals Generates fast transcendentals.
/QIfist Deprecated. Suppresses the call of the helper function _ftol when a conversion from a floating-point type to an integral type is required. (x86 only)
/Qimprecise_fwaits Removes fwait commands inside try blocks.
/Qpar Enables automatic parallelization of loops.
/Qpar-report Enables reporting levels for automatic parallelization.
/Qsafe_fp_loads Uses integer move instructions for floating-point values and disables certain floating point load optimizations.
/Qspectre Enable mitigations for CVE 2017-5753, for a class of Spectre attacks.
/Qvec-report Enables reporting levels for automatic vectorization.
/RTC Enables run-time error checking.
/volatile Selects how the volatile keyword is interpreted.

Output files

Option Purpose
/doc Processes documentation comments to an XML file.
/FA Configures an assembly listing file.
/Fa Creates an assembly listing file.
/Fd Renames program database file.
/Fe Renames the executable file.
/Fi Specifies the preprocessed output file name.
/Fm Creates a mapfile.
/Fo Creates an object file.
/Fp Specifies a precompiled header file name.
/FR, /Fr Name generated .sbr browser files.

Preprocessor

Option Purpose
/AI Specifies a directory to search to resolve file references passed to the #using directive.
/C Preserves comments during preprocessing.
/D Defines constants and macros.
/E Copies preprocessor output to standard output.
/EP Copies preprocessor output to standard output.
/FI Preprocesses the specified include file.
/FU Forces the use of a file name, as if it had been passed to the #using directive.
/Fx Merges injected code with the source file.
/I Searches a directory for include files.
/P Writes preprocessor output to a file.
/U Removes a predefined macro.
/u Removes all predefined macros.
/X Ignores the standard include directory.

Language

Option Purpose
/constexpr Control constexpr evaluation at compile-time.
/openmp Enables #pragma omp in source code.
/vd Suppresses or enables hidden vtordisp class members.
/vmb Uses best base for pointers to members.
/vmg Uses full generality for pointers to members.
/vmm Declares multiple inheritance.
/vms Declares single inheritance.
/vmv Declares virtual inheritance.
/Z7 Generates C 7.0-compatible debugging information.
/Za Disables language extensions.
/Zc Specifies standard behavior under /Ze.
/Ze Deprecated. Enables language extensions.
/Zf Improves PDB generation time in parallel builds.
/ZI Includes debug information in a program database compatible with Edit and Continue. (x86 only)
/Zi Generates complete debugging information.
/Zl Removes the default library name from the .obj file.
/Zp n Packs structure members.
/Zs Checks syntax only.
/ZW Produces an output file to run on the Windows Runtime.

Linking

Option Purpose
/F Sets stack size.
/LD Creates a dynamic-link library.
/LDd Creates a debug dynamic-link library.
/link Passes the specified option to LINK.
/LN Creates an MSIL module.
/MD Compiles to create a multithreaded DLL, by using MSVCRT.lib.
/MDd Compiles to create a debug multithreaded DLL, by using MSVCRTD.lib.
/MT Compiles to create a multithreaded executable file, by using LIBCMT.lib.
/MTd Compiles to create a debug multithreaded executable file, by using LIBCMTD.lib.

Miscellaneous

Option Purpose
/? Lists the compiler options.
@ Specifies a response file.
/analyze Enables code analysis.
/bigobj Increases the number of addressable sections in an .obj file.
/c Compiles without linking.
/cgthreads Specifies number of cl.exe threads to use for optimization and code generation.
/errorReport Enables you to provide internal compiler error (ICE) information directly to the Visual C++ team.
/FC Displays the full path of source code files passed to cl.exe in diagnostic text.
/FS Forces writes to the program database (PDB) file to be serialized through MSPDBSRV.EXE.
/H Deprecated. Restricts the length of external (public) names.
/HELP Lists the compiler options.
/J Changes the default char type.
/JMC Supports native C++ Just My Code debugging.
/kernel The compiler and linker will create a binary that can be executed in the Windows kernel.
/MP Builds multiple source files concurrently.
/nologo Suppresses display of sign-on banner.
/sdl Enables additional security features and warnings.
/showIncludes Displays a list of all include files during compilation.
/Tc Specifies a C source file.
/TC Specifies all source files are C.
/Tp Specifies a C++ source file.
/TP Specifies all source files are C++.
/V Deprecated. Sets the version string.
/w Disables all warnings.
/W0, /W1, /W2, /W3, /W4 Sets output warning level.
/w1, /w2, /w3, /w4 Sets warning level for the specified warning.
/Wall Enables all warnings, including warnings that are disabled by default.
/wd Disables the specified warning.
/we Treats the specified warning as an error.
/WL Enables one-line diagnostics for error and warning messages when compiling C++ source code from the command line.
/wo Displays the specified warning only once.
/Wv Disables warnings introduced by later versions of the compiler.
/WX Treats warnings as errors.
/Yc Create .PCH file.
/Yd Deprecated. Places complete debugging information in all object files. Use /Zi instead.
/Yl Injects a PCH reference when creating a debug library.
/Yu Uses a precompiled header file during build.
/Y- Ignores all other precompiled-header compiler options in the current build.
/Zm Specifies the precompiled header memory allocation limit.
/await Enable coroutines (resumable functions) extensions.
/source-charset Set source character set.
/execution-charset Set execution character set.
/utf-8 Set source and execution character sets to UTF-8.
/validate-charset Validate UTF-8 files for only compatible characters.
/diagnostics Controls the format of diagnostic messages.
/permissive- Set standard-conformance mode.
/std C++ standard version compatibility selector.

Deprecated and removed compiler options

Option Purpose
/clr:noAssembly Deprecated. Use /LN (Create MSIL Module) instead.
/Fr Deprecated. Creates a browse information file without local variables.
/Ge Deprecated. Activates stack probes. On by default.
/Gm Deprecated. Enables minimal rebuild.
/GX Deprecated. Enables synchronous exception handling. Use /EH instead.
/GZ Deprecated. Enables fast checks. Use /RTC1 instead.
/H Deprecated. Restricts the length of external (public) names.
/Og Deprecated. Uses global optimizations.
/QIfist Deprecated. Once used to specify how to convert from a floating-point type to an integral type.
/V Deprecated. Sets the .obj file version string.
/Wp64 Obsolete. Detects 64-bit portability problems.
/Yd Deprecated. Places complete debugging information in all object files. Use /Zi instead.
/Zc:forScope- Deprecated. Disables conformance in for loop scope.
/Ze Deprecated. Enables language extensions.
/Zg Removed in Visual C++ 2015. Generates function prototypes.

See also

C/C++ Building Reference
Compiler Options
Setting Compiler Options