Visual Studio Build Tools

One of the options when building C/C++ on Windows is to use Visual Studio Build Tools as the toolchain. There’s no need to install the full IDE in order to get the build tools. It is possible to get the setup package at:

Open the setup package and click in Continue.

Once the Visual Studio Installer is installed, it is possible to navigate to Individual components tab and select the desired toolchain and as needed, the appropriate Windows SDK.

In order to save space in disk, it is possible to navigate to Installation locations and remove the selection for “Keep download cache after the installation”, then Install.

Once installation is done, it will return to the Visual Studio Installer window. You can close the window.

The tooling doesn’t get added to the path environment variable automatically, but there’s a helper to load the proper environment variables within command prompt. Open start menu and search for Developer Command Prompt for VS 2022.

When the command prompt opens, you can test your installation by loading the compiler, via the following command:


If properly installed, it should show the header of the application with the usage definition.

In case you need to install additional packages or the full IDE you can look for the Visual Studio Installer application that also gets installed as part of this process.

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