/Fe (Name EXE File)

Specifies a name and a directory for the .exe file or DLL created by the compiler.


/Fe[pathname] /Fe: pathname


The relative or absolute path and base file name, or relative or absolute path to a directory, or base file name to use for the generated executable.


The /Fe option allows you to specify the output directory, output executable name, or both, for the generated executable file. If pathname ends in a path separator (\), it is assumed to specify only the output directory. Otherwise, the last component of pathname is used as the output file base name, and the rest of pathname specifies the output directory. If pathname does not have any path separators, it's assumed to specify the output file name in the current directory. The pathname must be enclosed in double quotes (") if it contains any characters that can't be in a short path, such as spaces, extended characters, or path components more than eight characters long.

When the /Fe option is not specified, or when a file base name is not specified in pathname, the compiler gives the output file a default name using the base name of the first source or object file specified on the command line and the extension .exe or .dll.

If you specify the /c (Compile Without Linking) option, /Fe has no effect.

To set this compiler option in the Visual Studio development environment

  1. Open the project's Property Pages dialog box. For details, see Set C++ compiler and build properties in Visual Studio.

  2. Open the Configuration Properties > Linker > General property page.

  3. Modify the Output File property. Choose OK to save your changes.

To set this compiler option programmatically


The following command line compiles and links all C source files in the current directory. The resulting executable file is named PROCESS.exe and is created in the directory "C:\Users\User Name\repos\My Project\bin".

CL /Fe"C:\Users\User Name\repos\My Project\bin\PROCESS" *.C


The following command line creates an executable file in C:\BIN with the same base name as the first source file in the current directory:

CL /FeC:\BIN\ *.C

See also

Output-File (/F) Options
MSVC Compiler Options
MSVC Compiler Command-Line Syntax
Specifying the Pathname