THE WORLD'S LARGEST WEB DEVELOPER SITE

C++ Exceptions


C++ Exceptions

When executing C++ code, different errors can occur: coding errors made by the programmer, errors due to wrong input, or other unforeseeable things.

When an error occurs, C++ will normally stop and generate an error message. The technical term for this is: C++ will throw an exception (throw an error).


C++ try and catch

Exception handling in C++ consist of three keywords: try, throw and catch:

The try statement allows you to define a block of code to be tested for errors while it is being executed.

The throw keyword throws an exception when a problem is detected, which lets us create a custom error.

The catch statement allows you to define a block of code to be executed, if an error occurs in the try block.

The try and catch keywords come in pairs:

Example

try {
  // Block of code to try
  throw exception; // Throw an exception when a problem arise
}
catch () {
  // Block of code to handle errors
}

Consider the following example:

Example

try {
  int age = 15;
  if (age > 18) {
    cout << "Access granted - you are old enough.";
  } else {
    throw (age);
  }
}
catch (int myNum) {
  cout << "Access denied - You must be at least 18 years old.\n";
  cout << "Age is: " << myNum;
}
Try it Yourself »

Example explained

We use the try block to test some code: If the age variable is less than 18, we will throw an exception, and handle it in our catch block.

In the catch block, we catch the error and do something about it. The catch statement takes a parameter: in our example we use an int variable (myNum) (because we are throwing an exception of int type in the try block (age)), to output the value of age.

If no error occurs (e.g. if age is 20 instead of 15, meaning it will be be greater than 18), the catch block is skipped:

Example

int age = 20;
Try it Yourself »

You can also use the throw keyword to output a reference number, like a custom error number/code for organizing purposes:

Example

try {
  int age = 15;
  if (age > 18) {
    cout << "Access granted - you are old enough.";
  } else {
    throw 505;
  }
}
catch (int myNum) {
  cout << "Access denied - You must be at least 18 years old.\n";
  cout << "Error number: " << myNum;
}
Try it Yourself »

Handle Any Type of Exceptions (...)

If you do not know the throw type used in the try block, you can use the "three dots" syntax (...) inside the catch block, which will handle any type of exception:

Example

try {
  int age = 15;
  if (age > 18) {
    cout << "Access granted - you are old enough.";
  } else {
    throw 505;
  }
}
catch (...) {
  cout << "Access denied - You must be at least 18 years old.\n";
}
Try it Yourself »