gets_s, _getws_s

Gets a line from the stdin stream. These versions of gets, _getws have security enhancements, as described in Security features in the CRT.


char *gets_s(
   char *buffer,
   size_t sizeInCharacters
wchar_t *_getws_s(
   wchar_t *buffer,
   size_t sizeInCharacters
template <size_t size>
char *gets_s( char (&buffer)[size] ); // C++ only

template <size_t size>
wchar_t *_getws_s( wchar_t (&buffer)[size] ); // C++ only


Storage location for input string.

The size of the buffer.

Return value

Returns buffer if successful. A NULL pointer indicates an error or end-of-file condition. Use ferror or feof to determine which one has occurred.


The gets_s function reads a line from the standard input stream stdin and stores it in buffer. The line consists of all characters up to and including the first newline character ('\n'). gets_s then replaces the newline character with a null character ('\0') before returning the line. In contrast, the fgets_s function retains the newline character.

If the first character read is the end-of-file character, a null character is stored at the beginning of buffer, and NULL is returned.

_getws_s is a wide-character version of gets_s; its argument and return value are wide-character strings.

If buffer is NULL or sizeInCharacters is less than or equal to zero, or if the buffer is too small to contain the input line and null terminator, these functions invoke an invalid parameter handler, as described in Parameter validation. If execution is allowed to continue, these functions return NULL and set errno to ERANGE.

In C++, using these functions is simplified by template overloads; the overloads can infer buffer length automatically (eliminating the need to specify a size argument) and they can automatically replace older, non-secure functions with their newer, secure counterparts. For more information, see Secure template overloads.

By default, this function's global state is scoped to the application. To change this behavior, see Global state in the CRT.

Generic-text routine mappings

TCHAR.H routine _UNICODE and _MBCS not defined _MBCS defined _UNICODE defined
_getts_s gets_s gets_s _getws_s


Routine Required header
gets_s <stdio.h>
_getws_s <stdio.h> or <wchar.h>

The console isn't supported in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. The standard stream handles that are associated with the console, stdin, stdout, and stderr, must be redirected before C run-time functions can use them in UWP apps. For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.


// crt_gets_s.c
// This program retrieves a string from the stdin and
// prints the same string to the console.

#include <stdio.h>

int main( void )
   char line[21]; // room for 20 chars + '\0'
   gets_s( line, 20 );
   printf( "The line entered was: %s\n", line );
Hello there!
The line entered was: Hello there!

See also

Stream I/O
gets, _getws
fgets, fgetws
fputs, fputws
puts, _putws