"The system cannot find the file specified" when running C++ program


I installed Visual Studio 2010. I wrote a simple code which I'm sure is correct but unfortunately, when I run the code, I get the error below.

Here is my code:

using namespace std;
int main (){ 
  cout <<"Hello StackOverFlow ;)";
  return 0;

And here is the error:

Unable to start program 'C:\Users\Soheil\Desktop\New folder\sam\Debug\sam.exe The system cannot find the file specified

Would you help me solve the issue? Should I define the project in a specific directory? I've spent a ton of hours to solve this issue and have not had any success yet.

This question is tagged with c++ visual-studio

~ Asked on 2013-05-12 20:51:58

The Best Answer is


This is a first step for somebody that is a beginner. Same thing happened to me:

Look in the Solution Explorer box to the left. Make sure that there is actually a .cpp file there. You can do the same by looking the .cpp file where the .sln file for the project is stored. If there is not one, then you will get that error.

When adding a cpp file you want to use the Add new item icon. (top left with a gold star on it, hover over it to see the name) For some reason Ctrl+N does not actually add a .cpp file to the project.

~ Answered on 2013-11-09 17:44:41


Encountered the same issue, after downloading a project, in debug mode. Searched for hours without any luck. Following resolved my problem;

Project Properties -> Linker -> Output file -> $(OutDir)$(TargetName)$(TargetExt)

It was previously pointing to a folder that MSVS wasn't running from whilst debugging mode.

EDIT: soon as I posted this I came across: unable to start "program.exe" the system cannot find the file specified vs2008 which explains the same thing.

~ Answered on 2016-03-20 05:51:17

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