Using the Visual Studio IDE for C++ Desktop Development

The Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) offers a set of features that help you manage large and small code projects, write and refactor your code, and detect and correct errors by using both static analysis and powerful debugging tools. This set of articles is designed to walk you through each step you'll need to manage your projects, write, test, and debug your code, and then deploy it to another computer.


If you haven't installed Visual Studio yet, now is the time. To get Visual Studio, you can download it from Visual Studio Downloads. Be sure to include the Visual C++ development tools when you install Visual Studio, because they are not installed by default. For more information about how to install Visual Studio, see Install Visual Studio.

These walkthroughs assume that you have installed Visual Studio and the Visual C++ language and components required for Windows Desktop development. We also assume you understand the fundamentals of the C++ language. If you need to learn C++, there are many books and web resources available. One good place to start is the Get Started page of the Standard C++ Foundation website.

Once your Visual Studio installation is complete, you are ready to continue.

Get started

To get started using the Visual Studio IDE to build C++ apps, work through each of these topics in order. Each one builds on the work you completed in the previous topics:

Next steps

Once you've completed these walkthroughs, you're ready to start building your own projects. For more information and resources for Visual C++ development, see Visual C++ in Visual Studio.

See also

Get started developing with Visual Studio