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_getch, _getwch

Gets a character from the console without echo.


This API cannot be used in applications that execute in the Windows Runtime. For more information, see CRT functions not supported in Universal Windows Platform apps.


int _getch( void );
wint_t _getwch( void );

Return value

Returns the character read. There's no error return.


The _getch and _getwch functions read a single character from the console without echoing the character. To read a function key or arrow key, each function must be called twice. The first call returns 0 or 0xE0. The second call returns the key scan code.

These functions lock the calling thread and so are thread-safe. For non-locking versions, see _getch_nolock, _getwch_nolock.

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
_gettch _getch _getch _getwch


Routine Required header
_getch <conio.h>
_getwch <conio.h> or <wchar.h>

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.


// crt_getch.c
// compile with: /c
// This program reads characters from
// the keyboard until it receives a 'Y' or 'y'.

#include <conio.h>
#include <ctype.h>

int main( void )
   int ch;

   _cputs( "Type 'Y' when finished typing keys: " );
      ch = _getch();
      ch = toupper( ch );
   } while( ch != 'Y' );

   _putch( ch );
   _putch( '\r' );    // Carriage return
   _putch( '\n' );    // Line feed
Type 'Y' when finished typing keys: Y

See also

Console and port I/O
_getche, _getwche
_cgets, _cgetws
getc, getwc
_ungetch, _ungetwch, _ungetch_nolock, _ungetwch_nolock