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Difference between exit() and break in C/C++

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  • Difficulty Level : Hard
  • Last Updated : 11 Jun, 2022
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In this article, the topic is to understand the difference between exit() and break.

exit():

  • When a user wants to exit a program from this function is used.
  • It is a void return type function that calls all functions registered at the exit and terminates the program.
  • File buffers are flushed, streams are closed, and temporary files are deleted and hence memory is freed.

syntax: 

void exit(int status);

The parameters used are as follows:

Value Description
EXIT_SUCCESS Successful Termination
0 Successful Termination
EXIT_FAILURE Unsuccessful Termination

break():

  • This function is generally used to come out of a loop at the instant.
  • When a break statement is executed it transfers the control to the statements that follow the switch or loop.

syntax:

break;

Tabular Difference Between both the functions:

break()  exit()
It is a keyword It is a pre-defined function.
It doesn’t require any header file as it is pre-defined in stdio.h header file in C. It requires header file stdlib.h only for C, not for C++.
It terminates the loop. It terminates the program.
It is often used only within the loop and switch case statement. It is often used anywhere within the program.
It cannot be used as a variable name as it is a reserved word in the C language. It is not a reserved word so, it is often used as a variable name.
In a C program, more than one break statement can be executed. In a C program, just one exit function will be executed.

Program 1:

Below are a C program and a C++ Program demonstrating the use of break:

C++




// C++ program to demonstrate the use
// of break statement
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
 
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    // Local variable definition
    int a = 10;
 
    // While loop execution
    while (a < 20) {
 
        cout <<"value of a:"<< a<< endl;
        a++;
 
        // terminate the loop using
        // break statement
        if (a > 15) {
            break;
        }
    }
 
    cout <<"The break statement executed"
           " when the value "
           " became "<< a;
 
    return 0;
}
 
//this code is contributed by shivanisinghss2110


C




// C program to demonstrate the use
// of break statement
#include <stdio.h>
 
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    // Local variable definition
    int a = 10;
 
    // While loop execution
    while (a < 20) {
 
        printf("value of a: %d\n", a);
        a++;
 
        // terminate the loop using
        // break statement
        if (a > 15) {
            break;
        }
    }
 
    printf("The break statement executed"
           " when the value "
           " became %d\n",
           a);
 
    return 0;
}


Output

value of a:10
value of a:11
value of a:12
value of a:13
value of a:14
value of a:15
The break statement executed when the value  became 16

Explanation: In the above code, break terminates the while loop when the condition is satisfied and the code after the while loop will be executed after breaking the loop.

Program 2:

Below are C and C++ program demonstrating the use of exit(): 

C++




// C++ program to demonstrate the
// use of exit()
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
 
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    for (int i = 1; i < 5; i++) {
        if (i == 3)
            exit(0);
        cout <<"i = "<< i << "\n";
    }
 
     
 
    for (int j = 9; j > 0; j--) {
        if (j == 5)
            cout <<"j = "<< j;
    }
 
    return 0;
}
 
// This code is contributed by shivanisinghss2110


C




// C program to demonstrate the
// use of exit()
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
 
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    for (int i = 1; i < 5; i++) {
        if (i == 3)
            exit(0);
        printf("i = %d \t", i);
    }
 
    printf("\n");
 
    for (int j = 9; j > 0; j--) {
        if (j == 5)
            printf("j = %d \t", j);
    }
 
    return 0;
}


Output: 

i = 1     i = 2

 

Explanation: In the above code, after the exit function is executed, the program gets terminated and no code after that gets executed.

 


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