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What Are the Best C and C++ IDEs for Software Developers?

C and C++ are popular programming languages used in many areas of software development, from building device drivers and development for embedded systems to desktop applications and rich UI creation.

These two languages form the foundation for other popular programming languages like C#, PHP, Python, Java, and many others.

An IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, is an environment in a programming language for editing and debugging the source code. This type of environment often has built-in support for compilation as well.

What Are the Best C and C++ IDEs for Software Developers?

It is also used for analysis and compilation, including interpreting the result of an analysis step, doing compile-time code optimization, generating code for integration into an operating system, or generating code for run-time compilation.

Top C/C++ IDEs

When it comes to developing robust and efficient software in C and C++, choosing the right Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is of top priority. Let’s explore some of the best C and C++ IDEs that cater to the diverse needs of software developers.


Eclipse is definitely one of the most popular IDEs. It provides a number of different coding tools to create efficient, understandable, and easily comprehensible code.

It has some impressive compiler and compilation-related features, like bytecode optimization and even compile-time type safety. It supports debugging, compiling, profiling, auto-completion of code, and refactoring.


NetBeans is a cross-platform development environment for Java (Java SE) applications, including HTML5, CSS3, XML, JavaScript, Objective-C, and C++.

Unlike traditional IDEs, NetBeans is easily integrated into web browsers and enterprise productivity systems, allowing the functionality of a single IDE to be extended with a variety of editing, debugging, profiling, web services, and other development tools.

It comes with automatic indentation, semantic highlighting, and formatting (provides a choice of formatting styles), code folding, bracket matching, and templates.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio is a full-featured C++ IDE that allows the creation of C++ apps on Windows using a wide variety of tools.

What Are the Best C and C++ IDEs for Software Developers?

Its toolchain includes the managed frameworks Visual Basic and Visual C++, as well as the free, open-source plugins based on Visual Studio C++ and the Visual Studio Tools for Visual Studio (VSVC).

Visual Studio’s IDE is supported on Mac, Linux, and many other operating systems. Both C++ and C# projects can be created in Visual Studio.

Qt Creator

Qt Creator is one of the best IDEs for C++ development. It supports all major OS platforms and is truly cross-platform: it allows sharing projects using a single development tool on different operating systems.

It also allows debugging, compiling, profiling, auto-completion of code, and refactoring. In addition to that, it supports static code analysis, has one of the best GUI designers based on the Qt framework, and is super fast.


Xcode is an IDE for Mac OS. It supports such programming languages as C++, Objective-C, and Swift. It contains most of the features the other IDEs provide, and it can also be integrated with Apple’s online developer services like iTunes Connect.

This means that developers can publish their apps on the App Store and can use Apple services such as iCloud in the apps they’ve designed.


Code::Blocks is an open-source, cross-platform IDE that supports C and C++ development. It features a customizable interface and supports multiple compilers, which makes it a convincing option for developers.

Code::Blocks includes an integrated debugger, code completion, and project management tools. With its plugin system, developers can improve the functionality according to their specific demands and conditions.


Developed by JetBrains, CLion is a mighty and helpful IDE developed specifically for C and C++ development. It’s equipped with advanced coding assistance, smart code navigation, and an integrated debugger.

CLion’s refactoring tools and code generation features contribute to a more productive development of software. It also supports CMake, which makes it a perfect match for projects with complex build systems.


CodeLite is a free, open-source IDE that supports C, C++, and other programming languages. It offers a lightweight and fast environment with functions like code completion, syntax highlighting, and an integrated debugger.

CodeLite has a convenient interface and supports multiple compilers, making it a good choice for both beginners and experienced developers.

Dev C++

Dev C++ is a popular, open-source IDE for C and C++ development on the Windows platform. It is pretty simple to use and provides a fast compiler. Dev C++ includes an integrated debugger, syntax highlighting, and project management tools.

While it may not have as many advanced features as some other IDEs, it might be a great choice for those who prefer a straightforward development environment.

C++ Builder

C++ Builder, developed by Embarcadero Technologies, is an IDE th