Compiler options listed alphabetically

This table contains an alphabetical list of compiler options. For a list of compiler options by category, see the Compiler options listed by category article.

Compiler options

Option Purpose
@ Specifies a response file.
/? Lists the compiler options.
/AI<dir> Specifies a directory to search to resolve file references passed to the #using directive.
/analyze Enables code analysis.
/arch:<IA32|SSE|SSE2|AVX|AVX2|AVX512> Minimum CPU architecture requirements. IA32, SSE, and SSE2 are x86 only.
/arm64EC Generate code compatible with the arm64EC ABI.
/await Enable coroutines (resumable functions) extensions.
/await:strict Enable standard C++20 coroutine support with earlier language versions.
/bigobj Increases the number of addressable sections in an .obj file.
/C Preserves comments during preprocessing.
/c Compiles without linking.
/cgthreads Specifies number of cl.exe threads to use for optimization and code generation.
/clr Produces an output file to run on the common language runtime.
/clr:implicitKeepAlive- Turn off implicit emission of System::GC::KeepAlive(this).
/clr:initialAppDomain Enable initial AppDomain behavior of Visual C++ 2002.
/clr:netcore Produce assemblies targeting .NET Core runtime.
/clr:noAssembly Don't produce an assembly.
/clr:nostdimport Don't import any required assemblies implicitly.
/clr:nostdlib Ignore the system .NET framework directory when searching for assemblies.
/clr:pure Produce an IL-only output file (no native executable code).
/clr:safe Produce an IL-only verifiable output file.
/constexpr:backtrace<N> Show N constexpr evaluations in diagnostics (default: 10).
/constexpr:depth<N> Recursion depth limit for constexpr evaluation (default: 512).
/constexpr:steps<N> Terminate constexpr evaluation after N steps (default: 100000)
/D<name>{=|#}<text> Defines constants and macros.
/diagnostics Diagnostics format: prints column information.
/diagnostics:caret[-] Diagnostics format: prints column and the indicated line of source.
/diagnostics:classic Use legacy diagnostics format.
/doc Processes documentation comments to an XML file.
/E Copies preprocessor output to standard output.
/EHa Enable C++ exception handling (with SEH exceptions).
/EHc extern "C" defaults to nothrow.
/EHr Always generate noexcept runtime termination checks.
/EHs Enable C++ exception handling (no SEH exceptions).
/EP Copies preprocessor output to standard output.
/errorReport Deprecated. Windows Error Reporting (WER) settings control error reporting.
/execution-charset Set execution character set.
/experimental:log Enables experimental structured SARIF output.
/experimental:module Enables experimental module support.
/exportHeader Create the header units files (.ifc) specified by the input arguments.
/external:anglebrackets Treat all headers included via <> as external.
/external:env:<var> Specify an environment variable with locations of external headers.
/external:I <path> Specify location of external headers.
/external:templates[-] Evaluate warning level across template instantiation chain.
/external:W<n> Set warning level for external headers.
/F Sets stack size.
/FA Configures an assembly listing file.
/Fa Creates an assembly listing file.
/fastfail Enable fast-fail mode.
/favor:<blend|AMD64|INTEL64|ATOM> Produces code that is optimized for a specified architecture, or for a range of architectures.
/FC Displays the full path of source code files passed to cl.exe in diagnostic text.
/Fd Renames program database file.
/Fe Renames the executable file.
/FI<file> Preprocesses the specified include file.
/Fi Specifies the preprocessed output file name.
/Fm Creates a mapfile.
/Fo Creates an object file.
/Fp Specifies a precompiled header file name.
/fp:contract Consider floating-point contractions when generating code.
/fp:except[-] Consider floating-point exceptions when generating code.
/fp:fast "fast" floating-point model; results are less predictable.
/fp:precise "precise" floating-point model; results are predictable.
/fp:strict "strict" floating-point model (implies /fp:except).
/fpcvt:BC Backward-compatible floating-point to unsigned integer conversions.
/fpcvt:IA Intel native floating-point to unsigned integer conversion behavior.
/FR, /Fr Name generated .sbr browser files. /Fr is deprecated.
/FS Forces writes to the PDB file to be serialized through MSPDBSRV.EXE.
/fsanitize Enables compilation of sanitizer instrumentation such as AddressSanitizer.
/fsanitize-coverage Enables compilation of code coverage instrumentation for libraries such as LibFuzzer.
/Ft<dir> Location of the header files generated for #import.
/FU<file> Forces the use of a file name, as if it had been passed to the #using directive.
/Fx Merges injected code with the source file.
/GA Optimizes for Windows applications.
/Gd Uses the __cdecl calling convention. (x86 only)
/Ge Deprecated. Activates stack probes.
/GF Enables string pooling.
/GH Calls hook function _pexit.
/Gh Calls hook function _penter.
/GL[-] Enables whole program optimization.
/Gm[-] Deprecated. Enables minimal rebuild.
/GR[-] Enables run-time type information (RTTI).
/Gr Uses the __fastcall calling convention. (x86 only)
/GS[-] Checks buffer security.
/Gs[n] Controls stack probes.
/GT Supports fiber safety for data allocated by using static thread-local storage.
/Gu[-] Ensure distinct functions have distinct addresses.
/guard:cf[-] Adds control flow guard security checks.
/guard:ehcont[-] Enables EH continuation metadata.
/Gv Uses the __vectorcall calling convention. (x86 and x64 only)
/Gw[-] Enables whole-program global data optimization.
/GX[-] Deprecated. Enables synchronous exception handling. Use /EH instead.
/Gy[-] Enables function-level linking.
/GZ Deprecated. Enables fast checks. (Same as /RTC1)
/Gz Uses the __stdcall calling convention. (x86 only)
/H Deprecated. Restricts the length of external (public) names.
/headerName Build a header unit from the specified header.
/headerUnit Specify where to find the header unit file (.ifc) for the specified header.
/HELP Lists the compiler options.
/homeparams Forces parameters passed in registers to be written to their locations on the stack upon function entry. This compiler option is only for the x64 compilers (native and cross compile).
/hotpatch Creates a hotpatchable image.
/I<dir> Searches a directory for include files.
/ifcOutput Specify output file name or directory for built .ifc files.
/interface Treat the input file as a module interface unit.
/internalPartition Treat the input file as an internal partition unit.
/J Changes the default char type.
/jumptablerdata Put switch case statement jump tables in the .rdata section.
/JMC Supports native C++ Just My Code debugging.
/kernel The compiler and linker create a binary that can be executed in the Windows kernel.
/LD Creates a dynamic-link library.
/LDd Creates a debug dynamic-link library.
/link Passes the specified option to LINK.
/LN Creates an MSIL .netmodule.
/MD Compiles to create a multithreaded DLL, by using MSVCRT.lib.
/MDd Compiles to create a debug multithreaded DLL, by using MSVCRTD.lib.
/MP Builds multiple source files concurrently.
/MT Compiles to create a multithreaded executable file, by using LIBCMT.lib.
/MTd Compiles to create a debug multithreaded executable file, by using LIBCMTD.lib.
/nologo Suppresses display of sign-on banner.
/O1 Creates small code.
/O2 Creates fast code.
/Ob<n> Controls inline expansion.
/Od Disables optimization.
/Og Deprecated. Uses global optimizations.
/Oi[-] Generates intrinsic functions.
/openmp Enables #pragma omp in source code.
/openmp:experimental Enable OpenMP 2.0 language extensions plus select OpenMP 3.0+ language extensions.
/openmp:llvm OpenMP language extensions using LLVM runtime.
/options:strict Unrecognized compiler options are errors.
/Os Favors small code.
/Ot Favors fast code.
/Ox A subset of /O2 that doesn't include /GF or /Gy.
/Oy Omits frame pointer. (x86 only)
/P Writes preprocessor output to a file.
/PD Print all macro definitions.
/permissive[-] Set standard-conformance mode.
/PH Generate #pragma file_hash when preprocessing.
/presetPadding Zero initialize padding for stack based class types.
/Qfast_transcendentals Generates fast transcendentals.
/QIfist Deprecated. Suppresses the call of the helper function _ftol when a conversion from a floating-point type to an integral type is required. (x86 only)
/Qimprecise_fwaits Removes fwait commands inside try blocks.
/QIntel-jcc-erratum Mitigates the performance impact of the Intel JCC erratum microcode update.
/Qpar-report:<n> Enables reporting levels for automatic parallelization.
/Qpar Enables automatic parallelization of loops.
/Qsafe_fp_loads Uses integer move instructions for floating-point values and disables certain floating point load optimizations.
/Qspectre[-] Enable mitigations for CVE 2017-5753, for a class of Spectre attacks.
/Qspectre-load Generate serializing instructions for every load instruction.
/Qspectre-load-cf Generate serializing instructions for every control flow instruction that loads memory.
/Qvec-report:<n> Enables reporting levels for automatic vectorization.
/reference Use named module IFC.
/RTC1 Enable fast runtime checks (equivalent to /RTCsu).
/RTCc Convert to smaller type checks at run-time.
/RTCs Enable stack frame runtime checks.
/RTCu Enables uninitialized local usage checks.
/scanDependencies List module dependencies in C++ Standard JSON form.
/sdl Enable more security features and warnings.
/showIncludes Displays a list of all include files during compilation.
/source-charset Set source character set.
/sourceDependencies List all source-level dependencies.
/sourceDependencies:directives List module and header unit dependencies.
/std:c++14 C++14 standard ISO/IEC 14882:2014 (default).
/std:c++17 C++17 standard ISO/IEC 14882:2017.
/std:c++20 C++20 standard ISO/IEC 14882:2020.
/std:c++latest The latest draft C++ standard preview features.
/std:c11 C11 standard ISO/IEC 9899:2011.
/std:c17 C17 standard ISO/IEC 9899:2018.
/std:clatest The latest draft C standard preview features.
/TC Specifies all source files are C.
/Tc Specifies a C source file.
/TP Specifies all source files are C++.
/Tp Specifies a C++ source file.
/translateInclude Treat #include as import.
/U<name> Removes a predefined macro.
/u Removes all predefined macros.
/utf-8 Set source and execution character sets to UTF-8.
/V Deprecated. Sets the version string.
/validate-charset Validate UTF-8 files for only compatible characters.
/vd{0|1|2} Suppresses or enables hidden vtordisp class members.
/vmb Uses best base for pointers to members.
/vmg Uses full generality for pointers to members.
/vmm Declares multiple inheritance.
/vms Declares single inheritance.
/vmv Declares virtual inheritance.
/volatile:iso Acquire/release semantics not guaranteed on volatile accesses.
/volatile:ms Acquire/release semantics guaranteed on volatile accesses.
/volatileMetadata Generate metadata on volatile memory accesses.
/w Disable all warnings.
/W0, /W1, /W2, /W3, /W4 Set output warning level.
/w1<n>, /w2<n>, /w3<n>, /w4<n> Set warning level for the specified warning.
/Wall Enable all warnings, including warnings that are disabled by default.
/wd<n> Disable the specified warning.
/we<n> Treat the specified warning as an error.
/WL Enable one-line diagnostics for error and warning messages when compiling C++ source code from the command line.
/wo<n> Display the specified warning only once.
/Wv:xx[.yy[.zzzzz]] Disable warnings introduced after the specified version of the compiler.
/WX Treat warnings as errors.
/X Ignores the standard include directory.
/Y- Ignores all other precompiled-header compiler options in the current build.
/Yc Create .PCH file.
/Yd Deprecated. Places complete debugging information in all object files. Use /Zi instead.
/Yl Injects a PCH reference when creating a debug library.
/Yu Uses a precompiled header file during build.
/Z7 Generates C 7.0-compatible debugging information.
/Za Disables some C89 language extensions in C code.
/Zc:__cplusplus[-] Enable the __cplusplus macro to report the supported standard (off by default).
/Zc:__STDC__ Enable the __STDC__ macro to report the C standard is supported (off by default).
/Zc:alignedNew[-] Enable C++17 over-aligned dynamic allocation (on by default in C++17).
/Zc:auto[-] Enforce the new Standard C++ meaning for auto (on by default).
/Zc:char8_t[-] Enable or disable C++20 native u8 literal support as const char8_t (off by default, except under /std:c++20).
/Zc:enumTypes[-] Enable Standard C++ rules for enum type deduction (off by default).
/Zc:externC[-] Enforce Standard C++ rules for extern "C" functions (implied by /permissive-).
/Zc:externConstexpr[-] Enable external linkage for constexpr variables (off by default).
/Zc:forScope[-] Enforce Standard C++ for scoping rules (on by default).
/Zc:gotoScope Enforce Standard C++ goto rules around local variable initialization (implied by /permissive-).
/Zc:hiddenFriend[-] Enforce Standard C++ hidden friend rules (implied by /permissive-)
/Zc:implicitNoexcept[-] Enable implicit noexcept on required functions (on by default).
/Zc:inline[-] Remove unreferenced functions or data if they're COMDAT or have internal linkage only (off by default).
/Zc:lambda[-] Enable new lambda processor for conformance-mode syntactic checks in generic lambdas.
/Zc:noexceptTypes[-] Enforce C++17 noexcept rules (on by default in C++17 or later).
/Zc:nrvo[-] Enable optional copy and move elisions (on by default under /O2, /permissive-, or /std:c++20 or later).
/Zc:preprocessor[-] Use the new conforming preprocessor (off by default, except in C11/C17).
/Zc:referenceBinding[-] A UDT temporary won't bind to a non-const lvalue reference (off by default).
/Zc:rvalueCast[-] Enforce Standard C++ explicit type conversion rules (off by default).
/Zc:sizedDealloc[-] Enable C++14 global sized deallocation functions (on by default).
/Zc:strictStrings[-] Disable string-literal to char* or wchar_t* conversion (off by default).
/Zc:templateScope[-] Enforce Standard C++ template parameter shadowing rules (off by default).
/Zc:ternary[-] Enforce conditional operator rules on operand types (off by default).
/Zc:threadSafeInit[-] Enable thread-safe local static initialization (on by default).
/Zc:throwingNew[-] Assume operator new throws on failure (off by default).
/Zc:tlsGuards[-] Generate runtime checks for TLS variable initialization (on by default).
/Zc:trigraphs Enable trigraphs (obsolete, off by default).
/Zc:twoPhase[-] Use nonconforming template parsing behavior (conforming by default).
/Zc:wchar_t[-] wchar_t is a native type, not a typedef (on by default).
/Zc:zeroSizeArrayNew[-] Call member new/delete for zero-size arrays of objects (on by default).
/Ze Deprecated. Enables C89 language extensions.
/Zf Improves PDB generation time in parallel builds.
/ZH:[MD5|SHA1|SHA_256] Specifies MD5, SHA-1, or SHA-256 for checksums in debug info.
/ZI Includes debug information in a program database compatible with Edit and Continue. (x86 only)
/Zi Generates complete debugging information.
/Zl Removes the default library name from the .obj file.
/Zm Specifies the precompiled header memory allocation limit.
/Zo[-] Generate richer debugging information for optimized code.
/Zp[n] Packs structure members.
/Zs Checks syntax only.
/ZW Produces an output file to run on the Windows Runtime.

See also

MSVC compiler options
MSVC compiler command-line syntax