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How to: Break Execution

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When you are debugging an application with the Visual Studio debugger, your application is either running (executing) or it is in break mode. Most debugger features, such as evaluating expressions in the Watch window, are available only in break mode.

The debugger breaks execution of the program when execution reaches a breakpoint or when an exception occurs. For more information, see Handling Exceptions. You can break execution manually at any time. If you break while executing code without corresponding source, you will be able to debug in the Disassembly window.

To break the execution of your program manually

  • On the Debug menu, click Break All.

    The debugger stops the execution of all programs running under the debugger. The programs do not exit and you can resume execution at any time. The debugger and your application are now in break mode.

If you are debugging multiple programs, a breakpoint or Break All command affects all programs being debugged by default. You can change this default if you want to break only the current program.

To change break behavior when debugging multiple programs

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, select the Debugging folder, and click the General category.

  3. Toggle When one process breaks, break all processes.

  4. Click OK.