A configuration contains settings that define the final binary output file that you create within a project. It specifies the type of application to build, the platform on which it is to run, and the tool settings to use when building.
Debug and Release Configurations
By default, the Debug configuration sets project options to include debug symbol information and turns off optimizations. Before you can debug an application, you must build a debug configuration for the project.
The Release configuration does not include debug symbol information, and it uses any optimizations that you have chosen.
Use the Visual Studio* Configuration Manager to select:
Release or Debug configuration for the active solution.
Release or Debug configuration for any project within the active solution.
Target platform for each project.
Choose an active solution in the Solution Explorer, then select Build > Configuration Manager to make configuration changes for your project.