Getting Started with the Compiler for Windows* Targets

Published:10/06/2014   Last Updated:10/06/2014

The Intel® C++ Compiler 15.0 is a tool for developing C and C++ applications for Intel® 64 and IA-32 architectures-based devices that run on Windows* target operating systems.

The Intel® C++ Compiler is based on the Intel® C++ Compiler XE 15.0. See the Release Notes for differences.

You must have a version of Microsoft Visual Studio* installed to use the compiler.

Start using the compiler from the command line or from within Visual Studio*. Microsoft Visual Studio* support is available on Intel® 64 and IA-32 architectures.

If you need help getting started with this product, go to the Software Developer Support site where you can browse the knowledge base, ask user community experts, and get additional help from Intel.

Start from Microsoft Visual Studio*

The Compiler integrates into the following versions of Visual Studio:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio* 2012

  • Microsoft Visual Studio* 2013

If you need a brief introduction to using Visual Studio, see the Getting Started section of the User and Reference Guide for the Intel® C++ Compiler.

To use the Intel® C++ Compiler:

  1. Launch Visual Studio.

  2. Open an existing project or solution.

  3. Select Project > Intel Compiler > Use Intel C++ or right click on the Project name or Solution name, select Intel Compiler > Use Intel C++.

    • Click OK in the Confirmation dialog box. This configures the solution to use the Intel® C++ Compiler.

    • Select Build > Rebuild Solution.

The results of the compilation display in the Output window.

Setting Intel® C++ Compiler Options

  • Choose Project > Properties. The Property Pages for your solution open.

  • Locate C/C++ in the left pane and expand the heading.

  • Step through the available properties to select your configuration.

Switch to use the Visual C++ Compiler

If you are using the Intel® C++ Compiler, you can switch to the Visual C++ Compiler by doing the following:

  • Open the program's solution or project file

  • Select Project > Intel Compiler > Use Visual C++.

This action updates the solution or project to use the Microsoft Visual Studio C++ compiler. Rebuild the updated projects to ensure all source files are compiled with the new compiler.

Start from the Command Line

Follow these steps to invoke the Intel® C++ Compiler from the command line:

  1. Open a command prompt.

  2. Run the following command:

    "<install_dir>\icc_windows 2015.x.y.nnn\bin\compilervars.bat"

The Intel compiler tag appears, followed by a prompt:

Intel(R) C++ Compiler 15.0 for Windows

Use the command icl /help to display all available compiler options.

Find the Documentation

You can find documentation and samples using the information in this list:

Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804