Turbo c++ is discontinued

Caution: This post can be understood only if you have learnt C programming in your academics or programming in any other ways.

Long back I have been taught C programming with Turbo C.

Why use Turbo C ++?

In the case of using Turbo C++ for teaching. The following advantages are found:

  • Very fast compile-run cycles: This means you can run lots of examples in a very short time. With “professional” IDEs like Visual C++, you have to sit there for minutes for each compile cycle.
  • IDE GUI is so small that you can actually find the menu entries you need.
  • The goal of a C++ introduction is to teach the language, and not the APIs of libraries, operating systems, Windowing systems. So Borland C++ is way less distracting than Visual C++ in this respect. You can fully focus on C++, and for the little IO you need to do, printf/scanf is fully sufficient.

Compile->run and compile->run->debug cycle. The editor is nice and the IDE is so simple that you can understand all options within a day.

Now CodePlex hosts the Turbo C++ or C for Windows 7,8,8.1,10 (32/64bit).  You can Tap/Click Here to download TurboC++

The Issues:

Most teachers use DOSBox Turbo C ++ environment on Windows 7, 8 and 10. This is because Turbo C++ is an MS-DOS era software which dates back to 1990. Most of Engineering Colleges have enlightened themselves to use GCC compiler on Ubuntu and other Linux variants. But in most of Bachelor Degree colleges for courses as BCA, BSc, BSc (CS) still use antique Turbo C++.

Turbo C++ is a really old, and an ancient compiler. Besides, there are lots of problems with Turbo C++ (I’m kinda sure TC3 is being used).

  • It’s 16 bit (32-bit version of the compiler is also available)
  • The maximum amount of memory that a program can use is 2^16 = 64 KB, which is very small as compared to modern day programs!
  • The programs are more like console based — ie, I doubt if you can make really great programs using it.
  • Debugging is not as efficient as they are in other IDEs
  • It does not conform to the standards that are laid down
  • You can never learn the concepts like exceptions, templates (which are now at the heart of C++ ) and like with TurboC++
  • The compiler does not support modern casts, only C-Style casts.
  • No STL
  • And I doubt if it goes well with 3rd party libraries! eg database or graphics libraries.
  • The compiler has bugs and does not issue proper diagnostic messages for erroneous programs.


I never understood why a great number of institutions in the subcontinent still insist on using Turbo C++ for teaching. It’s not like they paid for it, all of them are running warez copies anyway.

The solution could be to point them to Dev-C++. Although it’s not under active development anymore, the latest version still comes with a relatively up-to-date compiler (MingW/GCC 3.4.2) for learning purpose.

IMO, it’s the most suitable replacement for the following reasons:

  • Simplicity of Turbo C++ (very short compile->run and compile->run->debug cycle). You don’t have to create project for 1 file simple programs.
  • Small package (8.9 MB with compiler)
  • It’s free

The Solution:

Use Dev-C++ or CodeBlocks or Visual Studio.

I also learned C++ in Turbo C++ and faced following problems when I went into the real world:

1) turbo c++ is certainly not used anywhere at work so, you feel lost at first trying to use c++ in eclipse/visual studio, etc. setting up the dev environment, itself causes a lot of trouble.

2) Turbo c++ has DOS as its runtime environment, and you end up learning near/far pointers and DOS memory model for tc++ programs which is of no use outside of Institute.

3) DOS runtime environment will cause segmentation/memory access violation errors far less than in win32/linux environment and you may mess up your pointer concepts without these errors in the learning phase.

4) Also, it has no support for template based libraries, etc. learning these concepts at work from scratch can be a bit of trouble at work place.

Graphics Library Support:

If you are worried to run C graphics in Dev C ++ or CodeBlocks. You need to perform few tweaks. Kindly follow this link: https://www.cs.colorado.edu/~main/bgi/dev-c++/

There are hundreds of tutorials available on YouTube how to use the same.

Pravin Hanchinal

Pravin Hanchinal is a Professional Speaker, Educator, Edupreneur, Entrepreneur,Big Data,IoT and Cloud Evangelist.Trained around 7500+ people which include teachers, students, industry on recent technologies. Though passionate about being a technical coach, educator but his hunger for learning never stops. Long way ahead, yet to accomplish a lot for this proud son of a agriculturist. He is available for conducting workshop for students, faculty, industry and general audiences. In Nutshell: Sapiosexual, Edupreneur, FOSS, Cloud and Big Data Evangelist

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