C Programming Tutorial for Beginners

How to Download & Install C Programming Software on Windows 10? Step-by-Step Guide


In our previous write-ups, you got a better understanding of what is C language, its features, as well as history. Now, if you want to use this language, then you might wonder how to install C programming software on Windows 10, or how to download C programming applications for PC.

For beginners, Windows 10 is a great platform to start with. In this write-up, we will explore the best compilers and software to use for C programming on Windows 10, and show you how to download and install Turbo C and Microsoft Visual Studio. 

This post will give you the tools you need to start coding in C on Windows 10. So buckle up, grab your laptop, and get ready to dive into the step-by-step process!

How to Install C Language?

When it comes to C installation, you must know that it is a programming language, and you don't actually install C itself. 

Instead, you install a software development environment that allows you to write, compile, and run C programs. There are several options for doing this, depending on your operating system and personal preferences. 

Here are some of the most popular options:

  • GCC (GNU Compiler Collection)

GCC is a free, open-source compiler collection that includes a C compiler. On Windows, you can install GCC through the MinGW (Minimalist GNU for Windows) project. On macOS and Linux, GCC is often included as part of the operating system's standard package repository.

  • Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is a commercial integrated development environment (IDE) that includes a C compiler. Visual Studio is available for Windows only.

  • Code::Blocks

Code::Blocks is a free, open-source IDE that includes a C compiler. It's available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Once you install a C compiler and development environment, you can write your C program in a text editor and then compile and run it from the command line or within the IDE. 

The process of writing, compiling, and running C programs can vary depending on the development environment you're using, so you may need to refer to the documentation for the specific tool you've chosen.

Best C Programming Apps or Software for Windows 10 PC

Here are some of the best C programming software for Windows 10:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio

An integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft, it supports a variety of programming languages, including C, C++, and C++/CLI.

  • Code::Blocks

A free, open-source, and cross-platform IDE for C, C++, and Fortran.

  • Dev-C++

A free, open-source IDE for C and C++ programming.

  • Turbo C++

An older but still widely used IDE for C and C++ programming, it was initially released in 1990.

  • Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling)

A free, open-source, and multi-language IDE that provides a C/C++ development environment.

  • Clion

A commercial IDE for C and C++ programming developed by JetBrains.

  • Turbo C

It is one of the oldest IDE and C language compilers, which was most popular in the 1980s and early 1990s. 

Please note that the best C programming applications for Windows will depend on your specific needs and preferences, such as whether you want free or paid software, an IDE or a text editor, etc.

Introduction to Microsoft Visual Studio and Its Features

Microsoft Visual Studio is a powerful integrated development environment (IDE) that can be used for C programming, among other programming languages. 

 Microsoft Visual Studio

Some of the key features of Microsoft Visual Studio for C programming on Windows 10 include:

  • Code Editor

Visual Studio provides a code editor that supports syntax highlighting, code formatting, and code navigation. The code editor also supports code snippets, which can help you quickly insert common code patterns into your program.

  • Integrated Debugger

Visual Studio provides a fully integrated debugger that allows you to step through your code, set breakpoints, inspect variables, and diagnose problems. The debugger supports both native and managed code.

  • IntelliSense

Visual Studio provides IntelliSense, which is an intelligent code completion feature that can help you write code more efficiently. IntelliSense displays a list of possible code completions as you type, and it can also provide information about the parameters and return values of functions.

  • Code Refactoring 

Visual Studio provides code refactoring tools that can help you restructure your code and improve its quality. Code refactoring tools include renaming, extracting methods, and inlining.

  • Graphical User Interface Designer

Visual Studio provides a graphical user interface designer that allows you to design user interfaces for your applications. The designer supports a variety of UI technologies, including Windows Forms, WPF, and UWP.

  • Source Control Integration

Visual Studio provides integration with popular source control systems, such as Git and Team Foundation Server. This allows you to manage your code, collaborate with other developers, and track changes to your code over time.

  • Code Analysis

Visual Studio provides code analysis tools that can help you find and fix potential issues in your code. Code analysis tools include code metrics, code clone analysis, and code coverage.

  • Profiling and Performance Tools

Visual Studio provides profiling and performance tools that can help you identify and resolve performance bottlenecks in your code. Profiling and performance tools include CPU profiling, memory profiling, and performance analysis.

  • Customizable Environment

Visual Studio provides a highly customizable environment that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. You can install extensions, change the color scheme, and customize keyboard shortcuts to make the environment more comfortable and efficient for you.

Overall, Microsoft Visual Studio provides a comprehensive set of features for C programming, and it is a great choice for developing high-quality and professional applications.

How to Download & Install Microsoft Visual Studio on Windows 10 for C Programming?

Here are the steps on how to install Microsoft Visual Studio for C programming:

1. Go to the Visual Studio website

Open your web browser and go to the Visual Studio official website at https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/.

2. Download Visual Studio

Click on the "Download" button on the website and select the version of Visual Studio that you want to install. There are several editions of Visual Studio available, including a free version (Community 2022).

3. Run the setup file

Once the download is complete, run the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to install Visual Studio.

4. Choose the components

During the installation process, you will be prompted to choose which components you want to install. Make sure to select the "Desktop development with C++" option to install the C++ compiler and development tools.

5. Complete the installation

Follow the rest of the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

6. Launch Visual Studio

Once the installation is complete, launch Visual Studio and start a new project. To create a C program, select "File" > "New" > "Project" > "Win32 Console Application" and then give your project a name.

7. Write and run your code

You can now write and run your C programs within Visual Studio. The IDE provides a variety of tools and features to help you write, debug, and test your code, including a code editor, integrated debugger, and a graphical user interface designer.

Note: The installation process and the exact steps may vary depending on the version of Visual Studio you are using, but the general idea remains the same.

If you are a beginner, then you must go through our comprehensive C language tutorial

Introduction to Turbo C and Its Features

Since there are several software and applications for C programming language, here, we will cover Microsoft Visual Studio and Turbo C. 

Introduction to Turbo C

Turbo C is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and compiler for the C programming language. It was developed by Borland and was widely used in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

Some of its features include:

  • Simple and intuitive interface 

Turbo C has a simple and user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for beginner programmers to learn and use.

  • Integrated compiler and debugger

Turbo C includes both a compiler and a debugger, which allows you to compile and test your code in one application.

  • Support for C libraries

Turbo C includes a number of libraries for various functions, such as input/output, string handling, and mathematical functions.

  • Turbo Assembler

Turbo C includes a Turbo Assembler, which is an integrated assembler that allows you to write assembly language programs.

  • Full-screen editor

Turbo C provides a full-screen editor, making writing and editing large programs easier.

Note: It's worth mentioning that Turbo C is outdated software and has not been actively maintained or updated in many years. Therefore, it may not be compatible with modern operating systems and is not recommended for use in new projects.

How to Download and Install Turbo C on Windows 10?

As mentioned above, Turbo C has got outdated and might not be compatible with your OS. 

However, if you still want to download Turbo C for Windows 10, you can do so by using an emulator such as DOSBox. 

Here's how to install Turbo C on Windows 10 using DOSBox:

1. Download DOSBox

First, you need to download the DOSBox emulator, which can be found on the official website.

install Turbo C on Windows 10 using DOSBox

2. Install DOSBox

After downloading DOSBox, run the setup file to install it on your Windows 10 machine.

3. Download Turbo C

You can download Turbo C from various websites that provide old software, but you should be careful when downloading and installing software from untrusted sources.

4. Configure DOSBox

Start DOSBox and type the following command in the DOSBox prompt:

mount c c:\dos

This will mount the C drive as a virtual drive in DOSBox.

5. Install Turbo C 

Copy the Turbo C files to the virtual drive (C:) in DOSBox, and then run the Turbo C setup program.

6. Launch Turbo C

Once the installation is complete, you can launch Turbo C by typing "tc" in the DOSBox prompt.

So this was a step-by-step process of how to download Turbo C on Windows 10 using DOSBox. 

Important Things to Know While Using C Compiler or C Programming Software

Here are some important things to know when using a C compiler on Windows 10:

  • Syntax

C is a strict language and requires precise syntax. Make sure you understand the syntax of the language, including keywords, operators, and control structures.

  • Data Types

C supports several built-in data types, such as integers, floats, and characters, and it is important to choose the correct data type for your variables.

  • Functions

Functions are an essential part of C programming and allow you to write modular and reusable code. Make sure you understand how to declare, call, and use functions.

  • Pointers

Pointers are a unique feature of the C language, and they allow you to manipulate memory directly. Make sure you understand how pointers work and how to use them safely.

  • Dynamic Memory Allocation

C provides several functions for dynamically allocating memory, such as malloc() and calloc(). Make sure you understand how to use these functions and how to avoid memory leaks.

  • Error handling

C does not have built-in error-handling features, so it is important to understand how to write robust and error-free code. This includes checking the return values of functions and handling unexpected conditions.

  • Debugging

Debugging is an important part of the software development process, and it can help you find and fix bugs in your code. Make sure you understand how to use the debugger provided by your compiler.

  • Standard Library

C has a rich standard library that provides a wide range of functions for input/output, string handling, and more. Make sure you are familiar with the functions in the standard library and how to use them.

By keeping these things in mind, you will be well on your way to writing high-quality and effective C programs.

How to Run C Programs in Windows 10?

Compiling and running C programs involves a few steps, which can vary depending on the compiler you're using. 

Here's a general outline of the process:

  • Writing the code

The first step is to write the C program. You can use any text editor to write your code, but using an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) like Turbo C or Microsoft Visual Studio can make the process easier and more efficient.

  • Saving the code 

Save your code with a .c file extension, such as "hello.c".

  • Compiling the code

The next step is to compile the code. To do this, you'll need to open a command prompt or terminal window and navigate to the folder where you saved your C program. Then, type the following command to compile the code:

gcc -o hello hello.c

Note: The "gcc" command is the GNU Compiler Collection, which is a free and open-source compiler for C. The "-o hello" option specifies the name of the executable file that will be created, and "hello.c" is the name of your C program.

  • Running the program

If the compilation process is successful, you can run the program by typing the following command in the command prompt or terminal window:

  • Output

The program will run and produce its output, which will be displayed in the command prompt or terminal window.

By following these steps, you can successfully compile and run a C program on Windows 10. 

How to Run C Programs Online?

There are several platforms that help you run C programs online.

For example, you can use the free C Compiler online by Tutorials Freak. It is a great way to get started without having to install any software or applications on your PC. Moreover, you can use this compiler in a convenient manner if you want to quickly test a piece of code or share your work with others.

Happy coding!

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