“Secrets finally revealed: The ultimate guide to debugging external DLLs like a pro in Visual Studio 2017!”

Debugging External DLLs in Visual Studio 2017

Do you find yourself encountering issues with DLLs while working on software development projects in Visual Studio 2017? If so, you’re not alone. Debugging external DLLs is an essential task for developers, as it can save precious time and help you identify and fix issues quickly.

What is a DLL?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of debugging external DLLs, it’s important to understand what a Dynamic Link Library, or DLL, is. DLLs contain reusable code that can be shared across multiple applications, making it easier for developers to distribute their code. When a program requires a certain function or class that’s defined in a DLL, it loads the DLL file into memory and uses the code from the DLL.

Debugging External DLLs

Debugging external DLLs can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to begin. However, by following these simple steps, you can easily debug any issues you may encounter:

Step 1: Load the DLL into Visual Studio

The first step to debugging an external DLL is to load it into Visual Studio. You can do this by going to the Debug menu and clicking on “Attach to Process”. In the “Attach to Process” dialog box, choose the process that uses the DLL you want to debug and click on “Attach”.

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Step 2: Set Breakpoints

You can set breakpoints in the code to pause the execution of the code at specific points, allowing you to examine the values of variables, objects, and other data. Simply click on the line of code where you want to pause the execution of the code and press F9.

Step 3: Debug the DLL

Now that you’ve set breakpoints, the next step is to debug the DLL. Start the process that uses the DLL and wait for the breakpoint to be hit. When the breakpoint is triggered, the code execution will pause, and you can examine the data used in the code.

Step 4: Use the Debugging Tools

Visual Studio offers debugging tools such as the Call Stack window, Locals window, and Watch window, which can help you troubleshoot issues in the code.

Step 5: Continue Debugging

Once you’ve identified the issues in the DLL, continue debugging by making the necessary changes and then recompiling the DLL. Open the source code in Visual Studio, fix the issues, and then rebuild the DLL.


Debugging external DLLs is an important aspect of software development in Visual Studio 2017. By using the debugging tools provided by Visual Studio and following these simple steps, you can easily identify and fix any issues that may arise in the code. This will ensure that your code runs smoothly and functions correctly.

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