C Programming Break Statement

Last modified by Microchip on 2023/11/09 09:06

The break statement in C programming language has the following two usages:

  • Causes immediate termination of a loop even if the exit condition hasn't been met.
  • Exits from a switch statement so that execution doesn't fall through to the next case clause.



break Statement

This uses a while loop as an example, but the concept is the same for any kind of loop. If you are in a loop and you encounter a break statement in the middle of your code, any other code remaining within the loop will be skipped and you will exit the loop immediately.

In this example, both statement blocks in the flow chart are a part of the loop's code. However, there is a break statement in the middle of these two blocks, so the second block of statements never gets executed and we exit the loop immediately.

1 int i = 0;
3 while (i < 10)
4 {
5    i++;
7    if (i == 5) break; //Exit from the loop when i=5.
8                        //Iteration 6-9 will not be executed.
9    printf("Loop iteration %d\n", i);
10 }

The expected output for this loop is:

Loop iteration 1
Loop iteration 2
Loop iteration 3
Loop iteration 4