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Gets and sets the floating-point control word. This version of _control87, _controlfp, __control87_2 has security enhancements, as described in Security features in the CRT.


errno_t _controlfp_s(
    unsigned int *currentControl,
    unsigned int newControl,
    unsigned int mask


The current control-word bit value.

New control-word bit values.

Mask for new control-word bits to set.

Return value

Zero if successful, or an errno value error code.


The _controlfp_s function is a platform-independent and more secure version of _control87, which gets the floating-point control word into the address that's stored in currentControl and sets it by using newControl. The bits in the values indicate the floating-point control state. The floating-point control state enables the program to change the precision, rounding, and infinity modes in the floating-point math package, depending on the platform. You can also use _controlfp_s to mask or unmask floating-point exceptions.

If the value for mask is equal to 0, _controlfp_s gets the floating-point control word and stores the retrieved value in currentControl.

If mask is nonzero, a new value for the control word is set: For any bit that is set (that is, equal to 1) in mask, the corresponding bit in new is used to update the control word. In other words, fpcntrl = ((fpcntrl & ~mask) | (newControl & mask)) where fpcntrl is the floating-point control word. In this scenario, currentControl is set to the value after the change completes; it isn't the old control-word bit value.


By default, the run-time libraries mask all floating-point exceptions.

_controlfp_s is nearly identical to the _control87 function on Intel (x86), x64, and ARM platforms. If you're targeting x86, x64, or ARM platforms, you can use _control87 or _controlfp_s.

The difference between _control87 and _controlfp_s is in how they treat denormal values. For Intel (x86), x64, and ARM platforms, _control87 can set and clear the DENORMAL OPERAND exception mask. _controlfp_s doesn't modify the DENORMAL OPERAND exception mask. This example demonstrates the difference:

_control87( _EM_INVALID, _MCW_EM );
// DENORMAL is unmasked by this call.
unsigned int current_word = 0;
_controlfp_s( &current_word, _EM_INVALID, _MCW_EM );
// DENORMAL exception mask remains unchanged.

The possible values for the mask constant (mask) and new control values (newControl) are shown in the following Hexadecimal Values table. Use the portable constants listed below (_MCW_EM, _EM_INVALID, and so on) as arguments to these functions, rather than supplying the hexadecimal values explicitly.

Intel (x86)-derived platforms support the DENORMAL input and output values in hardware. The x86 behavior is to preserve DENORMAL values. The ARM platform and the x64 platforms that have SSE2 support enable DENORMAL operands and results to be flushed, or forced to zero. The _controlfp_s, _controlfp, and _control87 functions provide a mask to change this behavior. The following example demonstrates the use of this mask:

unsigned int current_word = 0;
_controlfp_s(&current_word, _DN_SAVE, _MCW_DN);
// Denormal values preserved on ARM platforms and on x64 processors with
// SSE2 support. NOP on x86 platforms.
_controlfp_s(&current_word, _DN_FLUSH, _MCW_DN);
// Denormal values flushed to zero by hardware on ARM platforms
// and x64 processors with SSE2 support. Ignored on other x86 platforms.

On ARM platforms, the _controlfp_s function applies to the FPSCR register. On x64 architectures, only the SSE2 control word that's stored in the MXCSR register is affected. On Intel (x86) platforms, _controlfp_s affects the control words for both the x87 and the SSE2, if present. It's possible for the two control words to be inconsistent with each other (because of a previous call to __control87_2, for example); if there's an inconsistency between the two control words, _controlfp_s sets the EM_AMBIGUOUS flag in currentControl. It's a warning that the returned control word might not represent the state of both floating-point control words accurately.

On the ARM and x64 architectures, changing the infinity mode or the floating-point precision isn't supported. If the precision control mask is used on the x64 platform, the function raises an assertion and the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter validation.

If the mask isn't set correctly, this function generates an invalid parameter exception, as described in Parameter validation. If execution is allowed to continue, this function returns EINVAL and sets errno to EINVAL.

This function is ignored when you use /clr (Common Language Runtime Compilation) to compile because the common language runtime (CLR) only supports the default floating-point precision.

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

Mask constants and values

For the _MCW_EM mask, clearing it sets the exception, which allows the hardware exception; setting it hides the exception. If a _EM_UNDERFLOW or _EM_OVERFLOW occurs, no hardware exception is thrown until the next floating-point instruction is executed. To generate a hardware exception immediately after _EM_UNDERFLOW or _EM_OVERFLOW, call the FWAIT MASM instruction.

Mask Hex value Constant Hex value
_MCW_DN (Denormal control) 0x03000000 _DN_SAVE


_MCW_EM (Interrupt exception mask) 0x0008001F _EM_INVALID










_MCW_IC (Infinity control)

(Not supported on ARM or x64 platforms.)
0x00040000 _IC_AFFINE


_MCW_RC (Rounding control) 0x00000300 _RC_CHOP






_MCW_PC (Precision control)

(Not supported on ARM or x64 platforms.)
0x00030000 _PC_24 (24 bits)

_PC_53 (53 bits)

_PC_64 (64 bits)




Routine Required header
_controlfp_s <float.h>

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.


// crt_contrlfp_s.c
// processor: x86
// This program uses _controlfp_s to output the FP control
// word, set the precision to 24 bits, and reset the status to
// the default.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <float.h>
#pragma fenv_access (on)

int main( void )
    double a = 0.1;
    unsigned int control_word;
    int err;

    // Show original FP control word and do calculation.
    err = _controlfp_s(&control_word, 0, 0);
    if ( err ) /* handle error here */;

    printf( "Original: 0x%.4x\n", control_word );
    printf( "%1.1f * %1.1f = %.15e\n", a, a, a * a );

    // Set precision to 24 bits and recalculate.
    err = _controlfp_s(&control_word, _PC_24, MCW_PC);
    if ( err ) /* handle error here */;

    printf( "24-bit:   0x%.4x\n", control_word );
    printf( "%1.1f * %1.1f = %.15e\n", a, a, a * a );

    // Restore default precision-control bits and recalculate.
    err = _controlfp_s(&control_word, _CW_DEFAULT, MCW_PC);
    if ( err ) /* handle error here */;

    printf( "Default:  0x%.4x\n", control_word );
    printf( "%1.1f * %1.1f = %.15e\n", a, a, a * a );
Original: 0x9001f
0.1 * 0.1 = 1.000000000000000e-002
24-bit:   0xa001f
0.1 * 0.1 = 9.999999776482582e-003
Default:  0x9001f
0.1 * 0.1 = 1.000000000000000e-002

See also

Math and floating-point support
_clear87, _clearfp
_status87, _statusfp, _statusfp2
_control87, _controlfp, __control87_2