set_terminate (CRT)

Installs your own termination routine to be called by terminate.

terminate_function set_terminate(
   terminate_function termFunction


  • termFunction
    Pointer to a terminate function that you write.

Return Value

Returns a pointer to the previous function registered by set_terminate so that the previous function can be restored later. If no previous function has been set, the return value may be used to restore the default behavior; this value may be NULL.


The set_terminate function installs termFunction as the function called by terminate. set_terminate is used with C++ exception handling and may be called at any point in your program before the exception is thrown. terminate calls abort by default. You can change this default by writing your own termination function and calling set_terminate with the name of your function as its argument. terminate calls the last function given as an argument to set_terminate. After performing any desired cleanup tasks, termFunction should exit the program. If it does not exit (if it returns to its caller), abort is called.

In a multithreaded environment, terminate functions are maintained separately for each thread. Each new thread needs to install its own terminate function. Thus, each thread is in charge of its own termination handling.

The terminate_function type is defined in EH.H as a pointer to a user-defined termination function, termFunction that returns void. Your custom function termFunction can take no arguments and should not return to its caller. If it does, abort is called. An exception may not be thrown from within termFunction.

typedef void ( *terminate_function )( );


The set_terminate function only works outside the debugger.

There is a single set_terminate handler for all dynamically linked DLLs or EXEs; even if you call set_terminate your handler may be replaced by another, or you may be replacing a handler set by another DLL or EXE.

This function is not supported under /clr:pure.



Required header



For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


See the example for terminate.

.NET Framework Equivalent

Not applicable. To call the standard C function, use PInvoke. For more information, see Platform Invoke Examples.

See Also


Exception Handling Routines



set_unexpected (CRT)

terminate (CRT)

unexpected (CRT)