How to Convert CPP File to EXE

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

A .cpp is a file extension that is used for C++ source files. A file with the .cpp extension contains C++ programming code. An .exe file is a "compiled" file extension that Windows can "run" or execute. There are situations where you will need to convert your .cpp file into an .exe program so as to run it in windows.

Find and download a free or commercial compiler. Some free compilers include Dev C/C++ and Cfree. For this tutorial, use Microsoft's Visual C++. It is a commercial product that is easy to use. Install and launch the compiler of your choice.

Click on "File" in the upper left-hand corner. In the pop-up window, under the "File" tab, click on "C++ Source File" and then click "OK." Paste the code into the text box that opens up and save the file.

Compile the file by clicking on "Build" and then click on "Compile example.cpp" (where " example.cpp" is the file that you just saved). Click "Yes" when you are prompted to create a project workspace.

Build the file by clicking on "Build" and then "Build example.cpp." You may just tap "F7" instead.

Open the directory in which you saved your .cpp file. Locate and open the folder labeled "Debug." You will find your new .exe file here and can now execute it.


The source code for your .cpp file has to be in C or C++.