Seeing the console's output in Visual Studio 2010?


I am writing a simple C# program with some outputs (Console.WriteLine("...");). The problem is, each time I run it, I cannot see the program's output in the output window.

The "program output" tag is already checked, and I already redirected all outputs to the intermediate window but to no avail.

How do I enable seeing the program's output?

I don't think the problem lies with my code. I tried running a simple program that just outputs a string and readline "ala hello world" and I am still unable to see any output. The problem is either with me looking for the output in the wrong location or Visual Studio acting out.

The debug.write method also doesn't work.

Using debug.Write, it all works, though it didn't before. Either something bugged out with me before I restarted or I just need to take a break, either way it's all good now. Thanks all for the helpful comments =)

8/21/2013 7:21:47 AM

Accepted Answer

You can use the System.Diagnostics.Debug.Write or System.Runtime.InteropServices method to write messages to the Output Window.

2/8/2016 8:07:35 AM

Here are a couple of things to check:

  1. For console.Write/WriteLine, your app must be a console application. (right-click the project in Solution Explorer, choose Properties, and look at the "Output Type" combo in the Application Tab -- should be "Console Application" (note, if you really need a windows application or a class library, don't change this to Console App just to get the Console.WriteLine).

  2. You could use System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine to write to the output window (to show the output window in VS, got to View | Output) Note that these writes will only occur in a build where the DEBUG conditional is defined (by default, debug builds define this, and release builds do not)

  3. You could use System.Diagnostics.Trace.Writeline if you want to be able to write to configurable "listeners" in non-debug builds. (by default, this writes to the Output Window in Visual Studio, just like Debug.Writeline)


Add a Console.Read(); at the end of your program. It'll keep the application from closing, and you can see its output that way.

This is a console application I just dug up that stops after processing but before exiting:

class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
        DummyObjectList dol = new DummyObjectList(2);
        dol.Add(new DummyObject("test1", (Decimal)25.36));
        dol.Add(new DummyObject("test2", (Decimal)0.698));
        XmlSerializer dolxs = new XmlSerializer(typeof(DummyObjectList));
        dolxs.Serialize(Console.Out, dol);


        List<DummyObject> dolist = new List<DummyObject>(2);
        dolist.Add(new DummyObject("test1", (Decimal)25.36));
        dolist.Add(new DummyObject("test2", (Decimal)0.698));
        XmlSerializer dolistxs = new XmlSerializer(typeof(List<DummyObject>));
        dolistxs.Serialize(Console.Out, dolist);
        Console.Read(); //  <--- Right here

Alternatively, you can simply add a breakpoint on the last line.


Press Ctrl + F5 to run the program instead of F5.


System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine() will work, but you have to be looking in the right place for the output. In Visual Studio 2010, on the menu bar, click Debug -> Windows -> Output. Now, at the bottom of the screen docked next to your error list, there should be an output tab. Click it and double check it's showing output from the debug stream on the dropdown list.

P.S.: I think the output window shows on a fresh install, but I can't remember. If it doesn't, or if you closed it by accident, follow these instructions.


To keep open your windows console and to not use other output methods rather than the standard output stream cout go to Name-of-your-project -> Properties -> Linker -> System.

Once there, select the SubSytem Tab and mark Console (/SUBSYSTEM:CONSOLE). Once you have done this, whenever you want to compile use Ctrl + F5 (Start without debugging) and your console will keep opened. :)


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