Solved: clear console

Beginning with programming language basics, C++ is a relatively versatile and capable language, particularly popular for systems and application software, drivers, client-server applications, and embedded firmware. But, what happens when you want to tidy up your console application’s output? The command we’re focusing on here is a beneficial one to know – **clear console**. This command plays a crucial role, especially in developing sophisticated C++ applications with cleaner, uncluttered visual outputs. But how does this function work? And how can it be implemented in C++?

Understanding the need for a ‘clear’ console unifies both the perspective of a developer and a user. The console screen can be cluttered and challenging to read or navigate due to the complex and copious information that program execution often entails. With the ease of using the **clear console** command, users can enjoy a smoother, more successful, and seamless navigation experience.

Understanding the Clear Console Command

The Clear Console command in C++ is critical in managing output on the console screen. It deletes or clears any characters presented on the screen. For Windows DOS, the command used is ‘CLS’, and for Unix-based systems, the command is ‘clear’.

In C++, this process is not directly supported, and some creativity is required to achieve it. We usually employ the system function.


This code effectively clears your console window. It works for most DOS, Windows and .NET platforms.

Walk-Through of the Clear Console Code

To get a better understanding, let’s break down the code snippet provided:

The `system` function is part of the `cstdlib` library in C++. It is used to pass commands to the underlying operating system. When `system(“CLS”);` is executed, the operating system gets the command ‘CLS’, which is the DOS command to clear the console.

#include //header file required to use system function

int main(){
system(“CLS”); //clears the console window
return 0;

Please note, this solution is not portable and not encouraged for use in production code due to security reasons.

Alternative Methods to Clear Console

If you’re not keen on using the system function, there are several other useful ways to clear the console in C++, although they might not be as efficient. Some developers prefer using a looped ‘cout’ command to produce enough new lines to clear the existing console space:

for(int i = 0; i < 10; i++) cout << "nnnnnnnnnn"; [/code] This method fills the screen with enough blank lines that the previous data appears to have been cleared. While it serves the purpose, it's not the most elegant solution.

Libraries and Functions Related to Console Management

Apart from ‘system’ function from `cstdlib`, C++ utilizes other libraries for console I/O management, such as `iostream` (for clear buffer), `conio.h` (for getch function), and `stdio.h` (for getchar function).

Final Thoughts

While the need to clear the console in C++ might not be a constant necessity, understanding its functioning and alternatives can add value to your C++ programming tool belt. Always remember, the key to good programming is not just knowing a broad range of tools or functions, but understanding where and how best to use them for efficient problem-solving.

Related posts:

Leave a Comment