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How To Exit A Program In C

How To Exit A Program In C

Developing a C program is more than just the skill of getting the app to run in the first place. It’s important to know how to make the app behave properly within the environment of the computer or device on which it is running. Proper behavior isn’t just about how and where we read and store data but also slightly less obvious things like making sure our app terminates properly under various conditions. The instructions in this article apply to a C++ or C program. So, in C or C++, how we can exit a program when it is running?

Using a fast and reliable C++ IDE like Dev-C++ or the truly excellent C++ Builder to create your C program or C++ apps is very important for both beginners and professionals alike since it helps developers in remembering which language features exist, how to use them, and even detect errors when we get them wrong. C is one of the most perennially powerful and popular programming languages. You can Learn C++ and C languages easily from our web site which is free to everyone. We believe that knowledge is power, and knowledge shared is empowering programming world.

The free version of C++ Builder CE is great for beginners. If you want to develop professionally it is highly recommended that you start with the C++ Builder CE version. Today we have a great selection to choose from when looking for a free C++ IDE. Tools like C++ Builder CEDev-C++, and even the BCC32 command line compiler.

How To Exit A Program In C? RAD Studio 11.2 image.

How to exit a program in C when running in terminal?

  • If you run your C or C++ app in Command Prompt, and it is in loop or you want to end this running program, just press Ctrl+C to close the app. This is default in Windows and Linux console apps, in addition Mac-OS console apps too.
  • If you are running a C or C++ app in the C++ IDE, there is a STOP button to stop the application from running. You can use the PAUSE button to Pause and continue too.
  • In Windows, if you are not able to end your C++ application, the last chance is to use Task Manager. Right-click on the taskbar – or Start button in Windows 11 and then choose Task Manager. In the Task Manager, find your C++ app listed and right-click on it then select “end task”.

How to correctly exit a program or app at the end of code?

In C and C++ programs we use return to exit a program in C. If you are a beginner, then “Hello World” examples are good to understand features of the programming language. This full example below is a “Hello World” C example that can be run with C++ Builder.

In this example above we define main() function as a integer (int) function, that means we should return a integer value. Here, we print a text with printf() function and then we wait to get a character input (key press) with the getchar(); function, sometimes this is necessary to see results when running it. Then we exit and return 0; which means our main app successfully run and exit.

We highly recommend you exit by using return function. In some compilers, If you want to exit from app you can use exit(); or abort(); functions, you need to add stdlib.h header. If you want to show the exit value in terms of coding, there are two definitions, EXIT_SUCCESS and EXIT_FAILURE are defined in stdlib.h. Include stdlib.h then;

You can exit from your app as below,
return EXIT_SUCCESS;
If this is about failure of your program then you can exit from your app as below,
return EXIT_FAILURE;

Here is a C example to close your main program,

How to correctly exit a program in C that is executing a loop?

In most C languages you do not need to define main() program as int. That means you don’t need to return 0. For example, this program will exit automatically,

You can use return in the mid or end of your main program to exit from C program. For example,

The example above has a void main() function. Some C compilers require the main function to be declared as void. Again, you do not need to use return; because it is a void function, as in the example below,

How to exit a program in C that is running in C++ Builder?

cbuider_studio_final_icons_64-9744851-4964591-6127446-4112068-5843153

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, macOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio, and C++ Builder is one of the most professional IDE’s that work under RAD Studio. C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.

How To Exit A Program In C? The RAD Studio Welcome window.
The Latest RAD Studio, C++ Builder Welcome Screen

You can simply run your application in Debug mode and use STOP button to exit from your C or C++ application. If you run your application in release mode and you are not able to stop your app via window close buttons, you must use Task Manager in Windows and you should end your application by the right click and kill process operations.

You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition here: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder/starter.

Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.

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About author

33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux and some other operating systems. Dr. Yilmaz Yoru was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the same department of the same university. He has married and he is a father of a son. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations.
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