Compiling 64 Bit plugins in Visual C++ Express

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Many people, especially developers who write free plugins, or hobbyists, use only the free Visual C++ 2010 Express for their Windows builds. However, that version of C++ does not support 64 Bit builds.

There is an easy solution for this, and many people already know it. But since the questions comes up from time to time, here is how to get Visual C++ 2010 Express to build for 64 Bit, too.

How it works

Just follow the steps below:

  1. First, you need to download and install the Windows SDK for your Windows version. Here is the downlaod for the Wuindows 7.1 SDK:
  2. Now start Visual c++ Express and change your project configuration:
    1. Open the properties of your project
    2. From the configuration drop-down on top of the properties dialog, choose “All Configurations”
    3. In the top-right of the dialog, click the “Configuration Manager…” button
    4. In the configuration manager’s list, select your project
    5. In the Platform column drop-down, select “<New>” to open the “New project platform” dialog
    6. Select “x64” and close the dialog.
    7. In the Platform column drop-down, select “x64”. Then close the configuration manager.

    More information on this step can be found here:

  3. From the tree on the left side of the properties dialog, choose “Configuration Properties > General”
  4. On the right side, change “Platform Toolset” from “v100” to “Windows7.1SDK”

Issue with updating to Service Pack 1

There is a known issue where the x64 compiler is removed from Visual C++ Express when updating it to SP 1. Microsoft has released an update to fix the problem: