Install C/GCC Compiler for Windows

Filed Under: C Programming

The first step in learning any programming language is to have the required software installed in the system. In this tutorial, we will learn how to install C/GCC compiler in Windows.

Source Code Editors

Although, you may choose any basic text editor such as notepad for writing and editing source code of C, we recommend choosing one of the editors below.

  1. Notepad++ (Only for Windows)
  2. Microsoft Visual Studio Code (For Windows and Linux)
  3. ATOM (For Windows and Linux)
  4. IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) such as Eclipse or Netbeans may be used but if you are a beginner in C programming, prefer using text editors mentioned above.

Install C/GCC Compiler for Windows

  • One of the preferred way to install C/GCC compiler is to use CodeBlocks. Just install it, launch it and start coding to keep things simple. In other words, CodeBlocks is a free C/C++ IDE that comes with the built-in compiler.
  • Download codeblocks from for your respective Operating System.
  • Windows users should choose download file which has “mingw” in its name, for example, codeblocks-17.12mingw-setup.exe.
  • During installation, select Type of Install as “Minimal: Important plugins, important lexers” and make sure “MinGW Compiler Suite” is Checked. This will make sure that GCC compiler is also installed with the IDE.
  • Codeblocks Install

    Codeblocks Install

    Code Blocks Hello World

    Code Blocks Hello World

Setting up PATH Variable for Windows

Once Codeblocks is installed, GCC compiler also gets installed with it. However, if we want to execute C programs from command prompt, we have to add its bin directory to the PATH variable.

  1. Go to installation Directory and copy the path of bin folder, e.g. “C:\Program Files (x86)\CodeBlocks\MinGW\bin
  2. Go to “Control Panel\System and Security\System”, Click “Advance System Settings” and then “Environment Variables”.
  3. Computer Properties

    Computer Properties

  4. Find the Variable Name “Path” in User or System (if you are administrator) Variables and click on Edit.
    • If you see a small popup, In “Variable value” box, go to end of text, put a semicolon “;” and paste the path of bin folder i.e. “C:\Program Files (x86)\CodeBlocks\MinGW\bin”
    • If you see a big popup (usually in windows 10) with the list of Path variables, click on “New” and paste the “bin” folder path.
  5. Press OK on all opened popup windows.
  6. Open cmd and write “gcc” in it, press enter/return key.
    • If you see “gcc: fatal error: no input files compilation terminated.”, it means that GCC is successfully installed and you can exit the cmd.
    • In case you get the message “‘gcc’ is not recognized as an internal or external command”, follow steps correctly for installation and configuration of Path variable.

That’s all for installing C/GCC compiler in Windows. We are ready now to explore coding features of C Programming.

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