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What are the Best Integrated Development Environments for C++ Programming in 2020?

You might be a beginner, learning, or advancing your C++ coding skills! After all, it is good to start building your programming knowledge right from C or C++ other than directly switching to an advanced one! It can help you write robust codes with the basics like Oops that has immense significance in other languages.

By the way, how are you practicing it?

Are you still using the old school style to write the complete programming code on a text file or editor and use a C++ compiler to check and execute it?

If yes, you need to change your habit since we live in a smart era, so why not do most of our work in an intelligent way possible? Yes, it is possible with the help of an Integrated Development Environment!

You might have already used any one or more of the IDEs that can be used to make your dev C++ mac, linux or windows programming very much easier! Are you confused about using the efficient among different IDEs for C++ coding that are available today, then you are at the correct place?


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5 Amazing Free IDEs you should try

The following are the top five options to enhance your fun while developing your codes in C++. Not limited to this, there are many reasons behind why you should choose them over other IDEs. It is to increase your efficiency while programming using dev C++ mac, or any other platforms. So let us check them one by one;

1) Eclipse

It is preferred to write the codes in C and C++ and Ruby, PERL, Python, Java, and more. The eclipse C++ IDE is developed with Java's help and is a mix of many plug-ins that together form an Eclipse platform. However, it had been designed to add more plug-ins whenever required.


  • You can use this IDE to write code in any programming language if its plug-in is already present in it.
  • It can be used to make integrated development environments.
  • One can take its help to develop different kinds of tools like rich client applications.
  • Make sure you have CDT or C/C++ Development Tools plug-in to make Eclipse understand your C++ coding.


  • The eclipse C++ IDE is licensed under EPL, or Eclipse Public License. Not only can anyone download and install it quickly, but it can also be available to modification and distribution purposes.
  • You can use it in OS X, Linux, and Windows platforms.
  • Easy cross-platform development (for Linux and Windows)

Why use it for C++ Coding?

There are different reasons behind why it is worth for you to learn Eclipse IDE for C++ Coding. Here are some:

  • Static Code Analysis
  • Automatic Build
  • Refactoring
  • Call Graphs
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Indexing of Function
  • Faster browsing of the Source Code

2) Visual Studio Code

One can edit-built-debug source code with powerful developing tools like IntelliSense code completion. A developer can customize its features and setup third-party extensions on it. You can install extensions, set preferences, use keyboard shortcuts, change themes, and many more!


  • Developers can create and use the extensions due to the public extensibility model.
  • The platform has excellent tools useful to work on web technologies like JSON, Less, SCSS, CSS, HTML, and JSX/React.
  • It supports Mac, Android, Linux, and Windows platforms.


  • Smart editing features for programming languages.
  • A vast list of extensions available.
  • Allows bulk renaming, finds references to a symbol, and navigate by definition.
  • Supports more than 65 free debuggers.
  • You can build a game through Unity configuration using C#.
  • Minimap preview and folding regions to make the editing effective.
  • You can easily organize files as per project or folder for installed languages.
  • Can be easily configured with language, snippets, and themes support.
  • Built-in Git integration.

Why use it for C++ Coding?

  • Lightweight and fast code editor.
  • You can make portable C++ codes.
  • Easy to Integrate non-Microsoft built programs
  • Developer inner loop for productivity enhancements.

3) DEV C++

It is a feature-loaded graphical IDE that helps you create console-based and Windows C++ apps using the MinGW compiler system. One can also use it with any other compiler based on GCC, such as Cygwin. It is currently distributed under General Public License or GNU so that one can modify and distribute the IDE freely.


  • It can develop different kinds of applications like DLLs, Static Libraries, Console, and Windows.


  • Devpak IDE extensions.
  • GDB debugging.
  • Editable shortcuts.
  • Code completion.
  • External tools.
  • AStyle code formatting.
  • GPROF profiling.
  • Code insight.
  • Syntax highlighting.

Why use it for C++ Coding?

  • Inbuilt search and replace facilities.
  • Custom project templates.
  • CVS support for managing the source code.
  • More readable source code with custom syntax highlighting
  • Localization feature to support multiple languages.
  • Support for Debug variable Browser and Class Browser.
  • Tool and Project manager functions.
  • Add-on libraries and Print support
  • You can use GDB for integrated debugging

4) Code Blocks

It is another open-source IDE highly preferred for C, Fortran, and C++. You can change its look, feel, and operation using its extensible yet modifiable plug-in architecture. It is developed using C++ with essential fundamental tools like wxWidgets. The features and capabilities are categorized under modules and use compilers like GCC, Clang, and Visual C++.


  • It can be used to develop many advanced levels of applications.
  • The platform supports Mac, Linux, and Windows.


  • One can leverage it with other debugging options. It includes disassembly, CPU register, thread switching, memory dump, call stack, and breakpoints.
  • IntelliSense feature.
  • It has a particular option to write the Console program.
  • Inter-project ultra-fast dependencies generations.
  • Many helpful features and plug-ins to prompt assembly language and FORTRAN.

Why use it for C++ Coding?

  • A big list of pre-defined project templates.
  • Build queues.
  • Full breakpoint support.
  • Multi-compilers
  • Multi-target project.

5) Atom

It is easy to configure a desktop app that is built with the help of web technologies. The atom C++ IDE is based on the Electron framework and is written in Less and CoffeeScript. It is entirely customizable in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML and is a hackable text editor of the 21st century.


  • Community driven and Adaptable plug-in based development.
  • It is an open-source text editor to be used in Windows, Linux, and macOS.


  • Enables cross-platform apps for desktop with the help of Node.js and Chromium.
  • Smart auto-completion feature
  • Bulk manipulation of text using the multi-cursor plug-in.
  • Rich user-interface.
  • Color and Hits while coding in atom C++ IDE for the convenience of the programmer.

Why use it for C++ Coding?

  • Download and use the additional packages as per your need.
  • FTP and Git Integration.
  • Preview code in real-time.
  • You can use multiple windows to edit the code.
  • Short-hand coding.


Now you know some highly effective IDEs for dev C++ mac, win, or unix coding. So it is up to you which will entice you more as per the features and benefits they are offering.

It is not a worse idea to learn and have knowledge about more than one IDEs as well. After all, we all have many options and preferences for being an advanced Coder (C++)!