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Debug and Release Configurations

A Visual Studio project has separate configurations for Release and Debug versions of your program. As the names imply, you build the Debug version for debugging and the Release version for the final release distribution.

If you create your program in Visual Studio, Visual Studio automatically creates these configurations and sets appropriate default options and other settings. With the default settings:

  • The Debug configuration of your program is compiled with full symbolic debug information and no optimization. (Optimization complicates debugging, since the relationship between source code and generated instructions is more complex.)
  • The Release configuration of your program is fully optimized and contains no symbolic debug information. Debug information may be generated in separate PDB files.

You can switch between Release and Debug versions using the Standard toolbar.

To switch to the Debug (or Release) configuration

  • On the Standard toolbar, choose Debug (or Release) from the Solution Configurations list box.

You can change the settings for a configuration using the <Project> Property Pages dialog box.

To change the settings for the Debug (or Release) configuration

  1. In Solution Explorer, select the project.
  2. From the View menu, click Property Pages.
  3. In the <Project> Property Pages dialog box, in the Configuration list box, choose Debug (or Release)
  4. Open the Configuration Properties folder and locate the settings you want to change.
  5. Edit the value of the settings in the properties grid.

See Also

Debug Settings and Preparation | Project Settings for a C or C++ Debug Configuration | Project Settings for a C# Debug Configuration | Project Settings for a Visual Basic Debug Configuration

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