8 Best C++ IDEs to use in 2023

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Today’s post is devoted to 8 popular C++ programming environments. Many of them also support other languages.


  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • NetBeans
  • CodeLite
  • Sublime Text
  • Code::Blocks
  • QT Creator
  • Eclipse CDT
  • CLion

1. Microsoft Visual Studio

With the help of Visual Studio, an integrated C++ development environment, you can create both console and graphical apps, including those that use Windows Forms. It is also suitable for creating websites, web applications and web services for all supported platforms: Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows CE, .NET Framework, Xbox, Windows Phone, .NET Compact Framework and Silverlight.


  • A free version of Visual Studio Community is available.
  • Built-in command line interface.
  • API for connecting additional debugging tools.
  • A complete set of developer tools for creating and cloning Git repositories, managing branches, and resolving merge conflicts right within the C++ IDE.
  • A large set of add-ons to expand the basic functionality.


  • High hardware requirements.
  • No Linux version.
  • High prices for paid Professional and Enterprise versions (starting from $45 per month).

Official website: https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/

2. NetBeans

NetBeans is a free IDE which allows you to create applications in Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript, C, C++ and other programming languages. This C++ IDE is distributable for Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, OpenSolaris and Solaris platforms. You can create your own copy of NetBeans from the source code for all other platforms.


  • Free C++ Integrated Development Environment.
  • Cross-platform support.
  • A large selection of plugins.
  • Code completion, refactoring tools.
  • Developers community.


  • Own cache issues when creating final programs.
  • Installation requires the JDK.
  • Slow start up.

Official link for downloading: https://netbeans.apache.org/download/index.html

3. CodeLite

CodeLite is also free and runs on many operating systems: Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, ArchLinux and macOS. It’s a great option for beginners because of its straightforward and user-friendly interface. It should be mentioned that the most recent versions of this C++ IDE now support projects for Node.js and PHP.


  • A powerful code completion tool based on its own parser.
  • Plugins for working with Git and SVN.
  • Built-in debugger.


  • Complex interface

Official website: https://codelite.org

4. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is a proprietary text editor written in C++ and Python, developed in 2008. This code editor has a large community, so there is no problem finding add-ons and tutorials.


  • Can be used for free.
  • Does not make high demands on hardware.
  • Built-in support for several dozen programming languages.
  • Auto-completion and syntax highlighting in a code editor.
  • A large selection of plugins written in Python.


  • As a debugging tool, it’s not as good as Visual Studio and other IDEs.
  • No autosave files.
  • Constantly offers to buy a paid version.

Official website: https://www.sublimetext.com

5. Code::Blocks

Another great free development environment is Code::Blocks. It allows users to write code not only in C/C ++, but also provides support for such programming languages as Fortran and D (with some restrictions). The developer toolkit has the ability to be extended by installing plugins. This C++ programming environment has versions for Windows, macOS and Linux, but it is possible to install it on any Unix-like system using the source code.


  • Free C++ development environment.
  • Code completion.
  • Built-in debugger.
  • A large selection of plugins to expand functionality.


  • Not suitable for developing large projects.

Official website: https://www.codeblocks.org

6. QT Creator

Qt Creator is a C++ IDE available on Windows, Linux and macOS. It provides a free version that is valid for one month and offers a complete set of developer tools for building and deploying applications.


  • Supports debugging, profiling, code completion and refactoring.
  • Ability to compile projects for different operating systems.


  • Large app size.
  • Code completion doesn’t always work.
  • The paid version is quite pricey.
  • Registration is required to download the free version.

Official website: https://www.qt.io/?hsLang=en

7. Eclipse CDT

Eclipse is a free IDE for developing modular cross-platform applications that has become very popular among Java developers. In this post, we will look at the Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling) release. This environment is an excellent choice, since Eclipse CDT not only has all the necessary tools, but is also free and runs on various operating systems: Windows/Linux/macOS.


  • Free to use.
  • Auto-completion and other features that help you write code faster.
  • A large set of plugins to extend functionality.
  • Well-developed community, detailed documentation.
  • Built-in unit testing, test optimization.
  • Customizable GUI.


  • Slow start up, high memory consumption.
  • Backward compatibility issues.
  • Possible plugin conflicts.

Official link for downloading: https://github.com/eclipse-cdt/

8. CLion

The last IDE on my list is a cross-platform C++ programming environment from JetBrains called CLion. It includes modern C++, libc++ and Boost standards, and also supports other programming languages – Kotlin, Python, Rust, etc. by using plugins.


  • User-friendly mechanisms for debugging applications.
  • Code completion.
  • VIM support.


  • No free version – only a 30-day demo.
  • There is no built-in compiler.
  • There may be problems installing the compiler.

Official link for downloading: https://www.jetbrains.com/clion/download/#section=windows


Choosing the right IDE for you is no easy task. I hope this list of the best C++ IDEs has provided insight into the various options available.
While I’ve featured the major contenders and explored their feature sets, nothing will replace hands-on use. I recommend giving your favorites from this list a try with an actual project to see which works best for you.
Leave a comment below which IDE you liked the most and describe your experience!

That, in fact, is all that has accumulated at the moment. I hope you find my observations interesting and they will help someone.
Do you think I missed something important? Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Source: https://dev.to/mariamarsh/8-best-c-ides-to-use-in-2023-4kf5

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