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Debugging Support for 64-bit Edit and Continue in Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013 and .NET Framework 4.5.1 Preview introduce a new feature that has been requested by community for long time – 'edit and continue' (aka. edit and go) when debugging 64bit applications. Support for 64bit applications is finally here! Let’s see how it works.

What is edit and continue?

For those who don’t know Visual Studio lingo very well, here is the illustration of a problematic result when trying to modify running code on the debugger:

Changes to 64-bit applications are not allowed

Edit and go was previously supported only on 32bit platforms.

Edit and go with Visual Studio 2013

Let’s run the simple code shown here:

static void Main(string[] args)
    Console.WriteLine("Red cat");
    Console.WriteLine("Press any key to continue ...");

and let’s put a breakpoint here:

Visual Studio 2013: Set breakpoint int the beginning of program

Now let’s run the code and when the breakpoint is hit then let’s modify the text that will be written to the console:

Visual Studio 2013: Modify code while debugging

Now let’s click Continue and see what happens. Well… no errors and here is the result on my screen:

Visual Studio 2013: Modified string written to console

I’m happy about this update because all my development virtual machines use 64bit Windows and now I can debug applications better.

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