Can I Debug an .EXE Without a Project or Workspace?

Yes, you can debug an .EXE without a project or workspace. For example, maybe you just picked up an .EXE and the related source code but you don’t have an associated project or workspace. You can use the Open command on the File menu to select the .EXE file you want to debug. The debug information should already be in either the .EXE or the related .PDB file. After Visual C++ opens the file, choose the Start Debug command on the Build menu to begin debugging.

*Note* You can also select the .EXE file you want to debug using the Open Workspace command on the File menu. Both the Open and the Open Workspace command work the same way.

*Note* When you open a file, the Executable for debug session edit box on the Debug tab of the Project Settings dialog is automatically set to the name of the .EXE file that is opened. When you close the temporary workspace, you can optionally save the project settings in a <project>.opt file.