CPP file icon

CPP File Extension

C++ Source Code Format

What is CPP file?

CPP files are created by development environment for general-purpose programming language C++.

Contents of CPP files

Files with CPP extension contain source code written in C++. The syntax allows programmers to write programs in higher-level language. CPP files can contain such elements as:

  • variable declarations,
  • function declarations and invocations,
  • references to other system resources (output files, libraries, etc.),
  • comments for better code legibility (omitted in the compilation process).

Is CPP file a program?

CPP files contain program source code written in C++, but in order to runs such applications source code must but compiled using programs dedicated for this task. Compiler is a program that takes the source code written in C++ and translates it into operations understood by the computer (that is, machine code). Only compiled CPP code can be called a program.

Can I open a CPP file?

In the process of compiling CPP files executable binaries are generated, which are not in human-readable format. CPP files are nothing more than plan text files and can be edited using any text editor. Editing such files requires knowledge of C ++ syntax to avoid errors that may cause the compiler to prevent compilation of the code or the program may run incorrectly. Therefor editing CPP is best done using dedicated tools that offer many helpful features, such as:

  • automated line numbering,
  • syntax highlighting,
  • custom selection,
  • hints,
  • syntax error notifications (missing closing brackets, semicolons, etc.).

Programs which support CPP file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 4 operating systems that support CPP files. CPP files can be encountered on all system platforms, including mobile, yet there is no guarantee each will properly support such files.

Updated: 11/03/2023

How to open file with CPP extension?

Problems with accessing CPP may be due to various reasons. Fortunately, most common problems with CPP files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Get the Microsoft Visual Studio

Install software to open CPP file Problems with opening and working with CPP files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with CPP files being present on your machine. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Microsoft Visual Studio or different compatible program, such as EditPlus, Eclipse IDE, Code::Blocks. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Microsoft Visual Studio website and download the installer.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Visual Studio to the latest version

Update software that support file extension CPPIf the problems with opening CPP files still occur even after installing Microsoft Visual Studio, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Microsoft Visual Studio is available. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. If you have an older version of Microsoft Visual Studio installed, it may not support CPP format. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Microsoft Visual Studio.

Step 3. Assign Microsoft Visual Studio to CPP files

If you have the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage CPP on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with CPP file on Windows

Change the default application in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the CPP file
  • Select Choose another app → More apps
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where Microsoft Visual Studio is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open CPP files and clicking OK.
Associate software with CPP file on Mac

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the CPP file and select Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with CPP extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the CPP for errors

You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper CPP file. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

Check CPP file for viruses
1. The CPP may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

If the CPP is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the CPP file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Ensure the file with CPP extension is complete and error-free

If you obtained the problematic CPP file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. When downloading the file with CPP extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

3. Verify whether your account has administrative rights

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Microsoft Visual Studio

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support CPP files. Close all running programs and try opening the CPP file.

5. Check if you have the latest updates to the operating system and drivers

Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with C++ Source Code Format file. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with CPP files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the CPP file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on CPP file.

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