pct (Step to Next Call or Return)

The pct command executes the program until it reaches a call instruction or a return instruction.


[~Thread] pct [r] [= StartAddress] [Count] 


pct [r] [= StartAddress] [Count] 


Specifies threads to continue executing. All other threads are frozen. For more information about the syntax, see Thread Syntax. You can specify threads only in user mode.

Turns on and off the display of registers and flags. By default, the registers and flags are displayed. You can disable register display through the pctr, pr, tr, or .prompt_allow -reg commands. All of these commands control the same setting and you can use any of them to override any previous use of these commands.

You can also disable register display by using the l-os command. This setting is separate from the other three commands. To control which registers and flags are displayed, use the rm (Register Mask) command.

Specifies the address where the debugger begins execution. Otherwise, the debugger begins at the instruction that the instruction pointer points to. For more information about the syntax, see Address and Address Range Syntax.

Specifies the number of call or return instructions that must be encountered for this command to stop. The default value is one.



User mode, kernel mode


Live debugging only



Additional Information

For more information about related commands, see Controlling the Target.


The pct command causes the target to begin executing. This execution continues until a call or return instruction is reached or a breakpoint is encountered.

If the program counter is already on a call or return instruction, the entire call or return is executed. After this call or return is returned, execution continues until another call or return is reached. This execution, rather than tracing, of the call is the only difference between pct and tct (Trace to Next Call or Return).

In source mode, you can associate one source line with multiple assembly instructions. The pct command does not stop at a call or return instruction that is associated with the current source line.