Install C++ support in Visual Studio

If you haven't downloaded and installed Visual Studio and the Visual C++ tools yet, here's how to get started.

Prerequisites

  • A broadband internet connection. The Visual Studio installer can download several gigabytes of data.

  • A computer that runs Microsoft Windows 7 or later versions. We recommend Windows 10 for the best development experience. Make sure that the latest updates are applied to your system before you install Visual Studio.

  • Enough free disk space. Visual Studio requires at least 7GB of disk space, and can take 50GB or more if many common options are installed. We recommend you install it on your C: drive.

For details on the disk space and operating system requirements, see Visual Studio Product Family System Requirements. The installer reports how much disk space is required for the options you select.

Installation

  1. Download the latest Visual Studio 2017 installer for Windows.

    Tip

    The Community edition is for individual developers, classroom learning, academic research, and open source development. For other uses, install Visual Studio 2017 Professional or Visual Studio 2017 Enterprise.

  2. Find the installer file you downloaded and run it. It may be displayed in your browser, or you may find it in your Downloads folder. The installer needs Administrator privileges to run. You may see a User Account Control dialog asking you to give permission to let the installer make changes to your system; choose Yes. If you are having trouble, find the downloaded file in File Explorer, right-click on the installer icon, and choose Run as Administrator from the context menu.

    Run the Visual Studio 2017 installer

  3. The installer presents you with a list of workloads, which are groups of related options for specific development areas. Support for C++ is now part of optional workloads that aren't installed by default.

    Desktop development with C++

    For C++, select the Desktop development with C++ workload and then choose Install.

    Install the Desktop development with C++ workload

  4. When the installation completes, choose the Launch button to start Visual Studio.

    The first time you run Visual Studio, you are asked to sign in with a Microsoft Account. If you don't have one, you can create one for free. You must also choose a theme. Don't worry, you can change it later if you want to.

    It may take Visual Studio several minutes to get ready for use the first time you run it. Here's what it looks like in a quick time-lapse:

    Visual Studio 2017 sign in

    Visual Studio starts much faster when you run it again.

  5. When Visual Studio opens, check to see if the flag icon in the title bar is highlighted:

    Visual Studio 2017 notification flag

    If it is highlighted, select it to open the Notifications window. If there are any updates available for Visual Studio, we recommend you install them now. Once the installation is complete, restart Visual Studio.

When Visual Studio is running, you are ready to continue to the next step.

Next Steps