Compiling Qt with Visual Studio 2010

Qt is an object oriented C++ cross-platform GUI toolkit which can be used to build applications that run natively on several platforms including Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and embedded Linux without source code changes. Qt is available under GPL v3, LGPL v2 and a commercial license.

This tutorial is intended for Windows users preferring to stick to Visual Studio 2010 as a primary development environment instead of Qt Creator. It provides step-by-step instructions for compiling Qt from source using the open-source distribution.


    • Visual Studio 2010 Professional with SP1.
    • Windows 7 Professional.
    • Qt 4.8.0 open-source distribution (or a recent Qt 4.7.x version).
    • Qt Visual Studio Add-in.
    • ActivePerl.

Setup Visual Studio 2010

1. Download and install Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1.

2. For x64 users, it is recommended to download and install this patch for Visual Studio 2010, if it is not already up-to-date.

3. Download and install the Qt Visual Studio Add-In. After installation, a new menu called Qt is added to Visual Studio 2010.

Download and install ActivePerl

ActiveState provides a Perl distribution for Windows platforms. Download and install the latest x86 version from here. Stick to x86 unless you have any special reason for using 64-bit applications.

During installation, make sure that Add Perl to the PATH environment variable and Create Perl file extension association checkboxes are selected.

Download and compile Qt

1. Download the Qt source code as a .zip file. The Qt-everywhere package version 4.8.0 is located here.

2. Unzip the previous file into a location without spaces and special characters. I will use C:\Qt\4.8.0.

3. Open a Visual Studio Command Prompt: All programs -> Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 -> Visual Studio Tools -> Visual Studio Command Prompt (2010). Stick to x86 unless you have any special reason for using 64-bit applications.

4. Get Qt configured:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC> cd C:\Qt\4.8.0
C:\Qt\4.8.0> configure -debug-and-release -opensource -shared -platform win32-msvc2010

Type y and press Enter to accept the terms of the license agreement.

You can of course specify additional options to add or remove some features depending upon your requirements. Type configure -help to get more details.

5. Compile Qt:

C:\Qt\4.8.0> nmake

The compilation takes a long time. Be patient.

Create a new Qt project

1. Open Visual Studio 2010. Go to Qt –> Qt Options and add the folder C:\Qt\4.8.0.



2. Create a new Qt project (File -> New -> Project… then select Qt4 Projects) or open an existing .pro file.

Debug and Release versions of the Qt shared libraries (QtCore4.dll, QtGui4.dll, QtCore4d.dll, QtGui4d.dll …) are located in C:\Qt\4.8.0\bin folder.  You will need to distribute the relevant ones used by the application when deploying on other systems.


7 thoughts on “Compiling Qt with Visual Studio 2010

  1. romy budhi

    Thank you, this is very helpful. Could you make or may be a reference using open CV with QT-MSCV2010?

    1. Hwang

      Thank this is very helpful. I wonder why active perl should be installed?. while reading the article, the perl does not do anything I think.

      1. briolidz Post author

        As stated in this article, you must have Perl in your PATH prior to configure otherwise you will not be able to compile Qt from source.

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