Best C++ IDE for Developers

By | May 31, 2020

C++ is one of the best high-level programming languages and basic of all object-oriented programming out there which is a must for a beginner to learn before choosing any other complicated language. It is my first programming language and trusts me it helps a lot to understand the basic Data Structure and Algorithms which are so important if you to build a career in Programming languages as a Developer.

C++ is a combination of Procedural and Object-Oriented programming language, unlike other programming languages, Java and Python which are only Object Oriented. C++ helps you to perceive “How Procedural and Object-Oriented programming languages work” and “Why we use Object-Oriented Programming languages more the Procedural.”


Though now C++ is not that famous, still it is a building block of almost every programming language such as Java, Python, etc., even big tech companies such as Google had used C++ for the Google Chrome browser. I will just say that I do not underestimate the power of C++. These all enough about C++, this article is not about C++. To learn this powerful programming language, you need to practice it and learn how to code C++. For that, you need to understand the concept of IDE, which can assist you to write code and make you more productive for the C++ future.

What is an IDE?

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment, and these are the software that is used to write the code for the different programming languages. There are many IDE on the internet many of those are free to use and many are paid. IDEs are designed to assist the developer so they could be more productive to the developer community. Almost all IDE provides some common features such as Text editor, Debugger, Compiler, Auto Code completion and Integration Plugin.

Why do we need IDEs?

When we talk about a thousand lines of code then we require such tools that can tell us where we are getting bugs or error here IDEs play their roles. The debugger is one of the main features that every IDE provides so the developer can easily grasp the bugs and debug it. Though you can code for every programming language on your notepad or command prompt, they do not provide features like Auto code completion and syntax highlighting which play an important role when you code for big projects. IDE helps a developer to code easily and efficiently so the developer can more focus on the logic and algorithms of the program, than the silly mistakes of spellings or exceptions.

Best C++ IDE

So here in this article, we are going to discuss some best IDEs of C++ which you can try in order to learn C++.

1. Turbo C++

Turbo C++

  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by Borland
  • For Windows
  • Open Source

Turbo C++ is a very famous Integrated Development Tool for C++. It is created by tech company Borland which is no longer active. If you have ever used C++ or work with C, it is not possible that you never heard of Turbo C++. It was first released on May 1990. Turbo C++ is a kind of a legend for all IDEs. It is an open-source and lightweight IDE, which makes it possible to run smoothly on low-end computers. It is not a very powerful IDE and does not even provide all basic features, which an IDEs supposed to provide these days, yet it is in the top IDEs in the list of best IDEs because it is primarily used for learning and teaching purposes and developer used Turbo C++ for their project.

Some Main Features of Turbo C++

  • Lightweight
  • Discontinuous C++ Compiler
  • Old Blue Interface, yet Interesting


  • It is very beginner-friendly.
  • Lightweight IDE.
  • It can execute both C as well as C++ code.
  • Consume fewer CPU resources.


  • It does not provide too many features as other popular IDE’s
  • Not an ideal IDE for big C++ projects.
  • Even the editor interface is not interactive.
  • It does not have even auto-code suggestion feature.
  • Only available for windows.

2. Dev C++

Dev C++

  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by Bloodshed Software
  • For windows, Alpha (Linux)
  • Open Source

Dev C++ is an open-source, lightweight Integrated Development Environment tool created by Orwell. It is the best IDEs for beginners and easy to use. It is specially designed for C++, though you can code for C language too, it supports both C and C++. It is an Ideal IDE for the beginners as well as for the Advance level developer but the problem is, Dev C++ only available for windows and Alpha (Linux) operating system. If you are a Mac or Linux user, there is no Dev C++ IDE for these operating systems.

Some More features of Dev C++:

  • Free to download
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Intelligence Autocompletion
  • Debugging
  • Compiler
  • GUI Building


  • Lightweight IDE.
  • It provides many features like auto code completion, auto-close brackets, syntax highlighting, etc.
  • It comes with a very interactive code editor.
  • It make easy to switch between multiple files.
  • Support both C as well as C++ programming.


  • We do not get the customization features.
  • It does not provide multiple themes.
  • It has many bugs.
  • Only available for windows.

3. CLion


  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by JetBrains
  • Paid IDE
  • For Windows, Linux and Mac OS

Click here to download

CLion is a very popular Integrated Development Environment Tool created by JetBrains. JetBrains is very famous for their IDEs and all those features they provide in their IDEs are just awesome but all of this comes with a price Tag. CLion is not an open source IDE. If you want to use this IDE for your project, you have to pay for it. If you are a beginner and trying to learn C++ Just for basics, I would not refer CLion as an IDE, but if you have a big project to do or you are an Advance C++ learner you can buy this and let me tell you it’s worth to buy.

Some Main Feature of CLion:

    • Easily shift from one programme to another
    • Find and replace symbols or context
    • Generate code
    • Debugging
    • Syntax highlighting
    • Intelligence code completion
    • Support Git, Mercurial, CVS, perforce and TFS
    • Hundreds of Plug-ins


  • Can be used for large scale projects
  • Multiplatform (Windows, macOS, Linux)
  • Editor Customization


  • Not free
  • Not user-friendly
  • Slow

4. Eclipse IDE for C/C++

  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by Eclipse Foundation
  • Open Source
  • For Windows, Linux and Mac OS

Click here to download

Eclipse is a well known Integrated Development Environment tool, which used for the various programming language and C++ is one of those. It is a very powerful and widely used IDE for C++. The main reason behind its popularity is it is an Open-source IDE and provides many features that you get in paid IDEs. But this IDE has its own pros and cons. One of the main cons is, it is a very heavy IDE and computers with the low-end process can face hang problem when you run it and it has a very complicated interface, but on the other side, it is more productive as well.

Some main feature of Eclipse:

    • C/C++ Development Tools
    • Remote System Explorer
    • Debugging
    • Compiler
    • Code Auto-Completion
    • Syntax highlighting
    • Attractive Graphical Interface
    • Profiling


  • Free and Open Source
  • Widely used for project creation
  • Multiplatform
  • Has an excellent GUI (drag and drop functionality)


  • Huge in size
  • Cumbersome to add plugins
  • Little Slow

5. Code:: Blocks


  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by The Code::Blocks Team
  • Open source
  • for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

Click here to download

Code:: Blocks is a very lightweight Integrated Development Environment tool specifically used for the programming of C, C++ and Fortran languages. It is an open-source IDE and Code:: Blocks provides you with the source code of the IDE so you can make changes and debug it to support the code:: block community. Though this IDE is not that powerful like eclipse and CLion, it is enough to provide you with the basic feature that an IDE should have. Code:: Blocks are very user-friendly and run very smoothly on every system.

Some Main features of Code:: Blocks

  • It supports multiple compilers
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Auto code completion
  • Debugger
  • Code folding for C, C++, Fortran, XML, and many more files.
  • One key swap
  • External customizable


  • Free and Open Source
  • Multi-target projects
  • User customizable interface
  • Supports multiple compilers
  • Feature-rich


  • Poor code completion
  • Much more complicated than most IDEs

6. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio

  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by Microsoft
  • Open Source (Community version), Paid (Professional and Enterprise versions)
  • For Windows, Mac OS, and Linux

Click here to download

Visual Studio Code is a very powerful Integrated Development Environment tool created by Microsoft. It is written in C++ and C# and these two languages are the most widely used programming languages in Visual Studio. Visual Studio available in 3 versions out of which only one is free to download and the other 2 are paid versions. Apart from C++ and C#, you can use visual studio to write code for different programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, etc. via simple plugins. Visual Studio is used for the development of computer programs, web apps, mobile apps, and websites. It is a very versatile IDE that provides flexibility to the developer.

Some main features of Visual Studio:

    • Code Editor
    • Intelligence code completion
    • Integrated debugger
    • Code refactoring
    • Customizable theme
    • Code Profiler
    • Syntax Highlighting
    • Support Multi-languages


  • Free and Open Source
  • Can be used for large scale projects
  • Multi-Platforms including Windows, Android, iOS and the web
  • Intelligent code completion
  • Simple GUI
  • Feature full


  • Extremely slow at times
  • Slow launch time
  • It’s not an IDE, but a text editor
  • Many functions rely on extensions

7. NetBeans


  • Category: IDE
  • Developed by Apache Software Foundation, Oracle Corporation
  • For Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and Solaris
  • Open Source

Click here to download

NetBeans is an open-source Integrated Development Environment tool created by Apache Software Foundation, Oracle Corporation. It is very famous for its multi-programming language support feature apart from C/C++ in NetBeans you can code for Java, PHP, and HTML too. Using NetBeans, you can simply perform the drag and Drop to lad your .cpp file and it provides you shortcuts to move from one file to another. It is quite famous in the web development community because it supports PHP and front-end development tools.

Some main features of NetBeans:

  • It can create C/C++ applications with dynamic and static libraries
  • Drag and drop
  • Integrated Debugger
  • Refactoring code
  • Intelligence code completion
  • Unit Testing (You can create and run C/C++ tests right from the IDE)


  • Free and Open Source
  • Can be used for large scale projects
  • Supports Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux
  • Qt toolkit support
  • Use development tools on remote hosts to create projects
  • Support for multiple compilers


  • Takes time to load
  • Heavy software

8. CodeLite

CodeLite is another simple and free IDE available for C++ and supports multiple platforms. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License v2 or later. It gets daily updates and enjoys good support on the GitHub platform. It is compatible with most of the programming languages and the interface is straightforward and easy to use.


  • Free and Open Source
  • Supports Static code analysis
  • Multiplatform
  • SpellChecker
  • Word Completion
  • A lot of useful plugins


  • Boring UI
  • Doesn’t provide anything unique

9. Atom Code Editor

This is an IDE which developers can customize to meet their demands. It supports a wide range of languages and looks very minimal. Like most text editors, Atom enables users to install third-party packages and customize the features. Packages can be installed, managed and published via Atom’s package manager app.


  • Open Source
  • Really easy to use
  • Integrated Package Manager
  • Developer Tools
  • Good support from Github


  • Can’t be used for large scale projects
  • Can’t handle large files
  • Slow

10. Xcode

This IDE is the best choice for Mac users. If you’re a developer who wants to create an app for Apple’s App Store, this is what you want. The bottom line is, Apple made it. That should be reason enough to use Xcode.


  • Well designed UI
  • Can be used for large scale projects
  • Free
  • Excellent at code completion
  • Quick Access
  • Testing


  • Outdated
  • Lack of online support
  • Only for Apple users

11. Sublime Text Editor

Sublime Text is a well-refined, multi-platform text editor designed and developed for code, markup, and prose. We can use it for writing C/C++ code and offers a great user UI. It supports many programming languages. Users with community-built plugins can add functions.


  • Split Editing
  • Multiplatform
  • Project switching support
  • Fast
  • Supports tons of plugins


  • Inadequate language support
  • Stability issues
  • Free to use, but registration is paid
  • It’s a text editor, not an IDE

12. GNAT Programming Studio

GNAT Programming Studio, also known as GPS, simplifies the interaction with your programs. The new version also includes new edit functions, among which is an intelligent autocomplete feature. GPS gives you a direct interface to the GNAT Pro tools and thus easy access to program builders, debuggers, and static and dynamic analysis tools. It also allows the integration of third-party version control systems and can be tailored to your specific project needs.


  • Can be used for large scale projects
  • Interactive UI
  • Customizable
  • Autocomplete


  • Fewer features
  • Can’t be used for large scale projects


Here in this article, we have provided you some best IDEs you can choose for your C++ journey. Out of these IDEs, Turbo C++ and Dev C++ are my favorite ones and they are the two most widely used IDEs of C++. There are many more IDEs available on the internet that we have not mentioned here because of their popularity. All the IDEs we have listed above are the most widely used IDEs for C++. Now I hope you have got some idea which IDE you should probably choose.

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2 thoughts on “Best C++ IDE for Developers

  1. Robert

    I think you meant visual studio code not visual studio

    1. techgeekbuzz

      Thanks for your response, I have changed the content. Thanks for. giving us the feedback.


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