Edit and Continue, Debugging, Options Dialog Box

To access the Edit and Continue page, open the Tools menu and select Options. In the Options dialog box, expand the Debugging folder and select Edit and Continue. This page allows you to set the following options for Edit and Continue. For more information, see Edit and Continue.

  • Enable Edit and Continue
    When selected, enables Edit and Continue.


    Edit and Continue is not supported for C++ in Windows Store apps or components.

    Edit and Continue allows you to change your source code while your program is in break mode (with some limitations) and applies those changes without having to end the debug session and build your program again.

    This setting cannot be changed during debugging.

  • Invoked by debug commands
    (Native only) When selected, enables Edit and Continue to be invoked by execution commands such as Step.

  • Ask first
    (Native only)Tells the debugger to ask you first before invoking Edit and Continue from a debug command. This allows the cancellation of the invocation, if you want to.

  • Warn about stale code
    (Native only)When selected, the debugger warns you about stale code with the Stale Code Warning dialog box. (See Stale Code Warning Dialog Box.)

    In some cases, Edit and Continue cannot apply code changes to the executable immediately, but may be able to apply the code changes later if you continue to debug. Edit and Continue updates the code at that time. Until the code updates, the source window shows the original code in gray. Because this code has been superceded by code changes, it is outdated or stale. You cannot edit stale code.

  • Relink code changes after debugging
    (Native only) Relinks native code changes after you debug.

    Edit and Continue does not invoke custom build steps. If your program uses custom build steps, you might want to rebuild manually so that custom build steps can be invoked. In that case, you can disable relinking after Edit and Continue to ensure that you are prompted to manually rebuild.

  • Allow precompiling
    (Native only) Allows Edit and Continue to load and process precompiled headers in the background to speed up processing of code changes. Loading precompiled headers requires allocation of physical memory, which can be a problem if you are compiling on a computer with limited RAM. You can determine if this might be a problem by using the Task Manager to determine the amount of available physical memory while you are debugging. If this amount is greater than the size of your precompiled headers, Edit and Continue should have no problem. If the amount is less than the size of your precompiled headers, you can prevent Edit and Continue from loading precompiled headers in the background by clearing this option.

  • Enable while remote debugging or debugging an application running under another user account
    (Native only) Allows Edit and Continue operations when you debug between computers or across user accounts.


Enabling native Edit and Continue when you debug remotely or across user accounts has serious security implications. Enabling native Edit and Continue for these scenarios exposes a security vulnerability that might be exploited by the application that you are debugging, by another application that is running on the same computer, or by a third party on another computer that is connected to the same network. By exploiting this vulnerability, a malicious party could launch and run arbitrary code on the computer that you are debugging. Do not enable this feature unless you trust the applications that you are debugging, the computers that you are debugging, and the network that you are connected to.

See Also


How to: Specify Debugger Settings


Edit and Continue (Visual C#)

Debugging, Options Dialog Box


Edit and Continue

Other Resources

Edit and Continue (Visual C++)

Edit and Continue (Visual Basic)