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Flushes a stream.

int fflush( 
   FILE *stream 


Pointer to FILE structure.

fflush returns 0 if the buffer was successfully flushed. The value 0 is also returned in cases in which the specified stream has no buffer or is open for reading only. A return value of EOF indicates an error.


If fflush returns EOF, data may have been lost due to a write failure. When setting up a critical error handler, it is safest to turn buffering off with the setvbuf function or to use low-level I/O routines such as _open, _close, and _write instead of the stream I/O functions.

The fflush function flushes a stream. If the file associated with stream is open for output, fflush writes to that file the contents of the buffer associated with the stream. If the stream is open for input, fflush clears the contents of the buffer. fflush negates the effect of any prior call to ungetc against stream. Also, fflush(NULL) flushes all streams opened for output. The stream remains open after the call. fflush has no effect on an unbuffered stream.

Buffers are normally maintained by the operating system, which determines the optimal time to write the data automatically to disk: when a buffer is full, when a stream is closed, or when a program terminates normally without closing the stream. The commit-to-disk feature of the run-time library lets you ensure that critical data is written directly to disk rather than to the operating-system buffers. Without rewriting an existing program, you can enable this feature by linking the program's object files with COMMODE.OBJ. In the resulting executable file, calls to _flushall write the contents of all buffers to disk. Only _flushall and fflush are affected by COMMODE.OBJ.

For information about controlling the commit-to-disk feature, see Stream I/O, fopen, and _fdopen.

This function locks the calling thread and is therefore thread-safe. For a non-locking version, see _fflush_nolock.


Required header



For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.

// crt_fflush.c
#include <stdio.h>
#include <conio.h>

int main( void )
   int integer;
   char string[81];

   // Read each word as a string.
   printf( "Enter a sentence of four words with scanf: " );
   for( integer = 0; integer < 4; integer++ )
      scanf_s( "%s", string, sizeof(string) );      
      printf( "%s\n", string );

   // You must flush the input buffer before using gets. 
   // fflush on input stream is an extension to the C standard 
   fflush( stdin );   
   printf( "Enter the same sentence with gets: " );
   gets_s( string, sizeof(string) );
   printf( "%s\n", string );
This is a test This is a testThis is a test This is a testEnter a sentence of four words with scanf: This is a test This is a test Enter the same sentence with gets: This is a test This is a test