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How to: Debug 64-Bit Applications

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With Visual Studio 2010, you can debug a 64-bit application that is running on the local computer or on a remote computer.

If you are debugging locally, Visual Studio 2010 runs under WOW64, the 32-bit x86 emulator that allows 32-bit Windows applications to run on 64-bit Windows. Local debugging under WOW64 is supported on x64 only.

If you are debugging remotely, Visual Studio can run under WOW64 or on a 32-bit computer. You can debug both IA64 and x64 applications, in addition to 32-bit applications that are running under x64 WOW mode or on 32-bit operating systems.

To debug a 64-bit application that is running on a remote computer, you need to install the 64-bit remote debugger on the remote computer. The 64-bit remote debugger is available on the last disc of your Visual Studio installation set.

If you debug a 64-bit application on the local computer, Visual Studio uses remote debugging to connect between WOW64 and the 64-bit application on the same computer. For more information, see Debugging on a 64-Bit Platform. The remote debugging components will be installed automatically when you install Visual Studio on the computer.

In either case, installing remote debugging on a 64-bit computer installs both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of the Remote Debugging Monitor. To debug a 64-bit application, you must use the correct version, which is Remote Debugger (x64) on the Start menu. For information about how to install 64-bit remote debugging components, see How to: Set Up Remote Debugging.

Debugging 64-bit code is almost identical to debugging 32-bit code. One difference is that Edit and Continue is not available for 64-bit code.

Mixed-mode debugging (calls from native code to managed code, or vice versa) is supported for x64 processes, if the managed code uses Microsoft .NET Framework version 4 or later.

Mixed-mode debugging is not supported for IA64 processes or for x64 processes that use .NET Framework versions earlier than 4.0.

To start the 64-bit Remote Debugging Monitor

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, point to Visual Studio Tools, and then click Remote Debugger (x64) or Remote Debugger (IA64).


    From the Windows Command Prompt, run Install path\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common7\IDE\Remote Debugger\x64 or Install path\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common7\IDE\Remote Debugger\ia64.

  2. Configure the Remote Debugging Monitor for remote debugging.