Answer: What is the Return Type of a Destructor Function?

For developers: Are you trying to understand the return type of a destructor function in C++? Take a look at this quick guide to figure out what the return type is and how it works.

A destructor function is a special type of member function in the C++ programming language. It is used to free up memory and perform other cleanup operations for an object that is about to be "destroyed" (or more accurately, de-allocated). The return type of a destructor function is void, meaning it does not return a value.

How to Use a Destructor Function

In C++, destructors are member functions of a class that start with the keyword ~. When an object is destroyed (i.e. when the object's scope ends or memory is deallocated), it's destructor method is automatically called. Here's an example of how a destructor looks in C++:

class MyClass {
    MyClass() {
      // Constructor code
    ~MyClass() {
      // Destructor code

In the above example, the destructor is denoted by the ~ before MyClass and the return type is void.

Benefits of Using a Destructor Function

The main benefit of using a destructor function is that it allows developers to "clean up" objects that are no longer being used. This helps to prevent memory leaks, which can cause a program to use more memory than it needs to and cause performance issues. Destructors can also be used for other tasks like closing files, freeing resources, and releasing network connections.


Q: What happens if I don't use a destructor for my objects?

A: If you don't use a destructor for your objects, the memory used by those objects will not be freed up and could result in a memory leak. This can cause a program to use more memory than necessary and could lead to performance issues.

Q: Can a destructor have parameters?

A: No, a destructor cannot have parameters.

Q: Is a destructor the same as a deleter?

A: No, a destructor is not the same as a deleter. A destructor is used to free up memory and carry out cleanup operations for an object that is about to be de-allocated. A deleter is a type of function object used in C++ for custom memory management.


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