On Windows 7 I was using Microsoft Visual C++ as CCompilerDriver. For this, the minimal solution is to install Microsoft .Net and then Microsoft SDK-7.1. There is no need to install Microsoft Visual Studio.

Now I am trying to install Microsoft C++ compiler to work with Mathematica 11 on Windows 10. The difference with Windows 7 is that in Windows 10 Microsoft .Net is a part of OS. Another difference is that SDK-10 does not contain C compiler, as I have found after installation. And it is impossible to install SDK-7.1 as it seems to be incompatible with the pre-installed .Net.

Could anybody propose a minimal solution to install the Microsoft C compiler on Windows 10?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about Mathematica or any of the other Wolfram Research software for which questions are accepted on this site. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 6:57
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    $\begingroup$ @m_goldberg I don't agree with you here. Having a C compiler correctly installed is a prerequisite for the correct operation of Mathematica's Compile function with `CompilationTarget->"C" option. We have had many useful questions on that and stuff like CUDA. This is absolutely on-topic as far as I'm concerned. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 7:28
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    $\begingroup$ I would try this: landinghub.visualstudio.com/visual-cpp-build-tools I don't know if it works because at the time when I installed this the only solution that seemed to be available was VS Community Edition (i.e. full IDE). So that's what I have, even though I don't use the IDE part. I do agree that this isn't really Mathematica related as the main part of the question seems to be how to avoid installing a full IDE ... $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 7:37
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you, Szabolcs, for a good advice! I have installed the Standalone Microsoft Visual C++ compiler and Mathematica 11 recognizes it as ccompilerdriver. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ @m_goldberg Well, I've had problems getting past my corporate firewall to access curated data and have been asking questions about that. So, yes. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


I have installed the Standalone Microsoft Visual C++ compiler, as suggested by Szabolcs, landinghub.visualstudio.com/visual-cpp-build-tools. It is getting recognized by Mathematica 11 and working on Windows 10.

Note that you don't have to install Microsoft .NET since on Windows 10 it is a part of OS.

  • $\begingroup$ After install Encounter with a problem with Mathematica 11.1 on Windows 10. CreateExecutable::cmperr: Compile error: LINK : fatal error LNK1181: cannot open input file 'user32.lib' $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2017 at 5:14
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, this solution doesn't seem to work for me either (I have Mathematica 10.2 on Win 10 64 bit). I also followed Szabolcs solution for making Mathematica 10.2 recognize the VisualStudio Compiler in "VisualStudioCompiler.m": here. Funny enough, if I execute CCompilers[] Mathematica shows that it has found the VS compiler. But it says there "CompilerName" -> Automatic". Anyway trying to compile anything with CompilationTarget->"C" or the "hello world"-example fails. $\endgroup$
    – Quit007
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 19:39

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