Difference Wiki

Getch vs. Getche: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 6, 2024
getch() is a function in C that reads a single character from the keyboard without echoing it, while getche() reads a character and echoes it back to the console.

Key Differences

Getch(), a standard library function in C, reads a character from the keyboard but does not display it on the screen. In contrast, getche() functions similarly but echoes the character back to the console, making it visible to the user.
Getch() is commonly used in situations where password inputs are required, as it doesn't reveal the character typed. getche(), however, is useful for immediate feedback scenarios, like confirming key presses in real-time.
Getch() does not buffer the input, which means it reacts immediately to key presses without waiting for the Enter key. getche(), while also reacting immediately, provides visual feedback, which can be useful for interactive programs.
Getch() enhances security in sensitive inputs by preventing character display. getche() is less secure for sensitive inputs but more user-friendly for non-critical inputs where immediate feedback is necessary.
Getch() is part of the conio.h library in C, a non-standard but widely used library. getche() is also a part of this library, sharing similar utility but differing in character echo functionality.

Comparison Chart

Echoes Character

Does not echo the character
Echoes the character to the console

Use Case

Suitable for password inputs
Useful for immediate feedback

Input Buffering

No buffering, reacts immediately
No buffering, reacts immediately


More secure for sensitive inputs
Less secure, character is visible

User Feedback

No visual feedback to user
Provides visual feedback to user

Getch and Getche Definitions


Getch() operates without waiting for the Enter key.
While((ch = getch()) != EOF) // Process each character


Getche() provides visual feedback for user interaction.
EchoChar = getche(); // Shows character as it's typed


Getch() reads a character from the keyboard without echoing.
Char ch = getch(); // Reads a character silently


Getche() reads a character from the keyboard and echoes it.
Char ch = getche(); // Reads and displays character


Getch() is ideal for secure and silent input collection.
Password[i++] = getch(); // Collects password silently


Getche() is suitable for inputs where immediate feedback is desired.
If(getche() == 'y') confirm(); // Confirms on 'y'


Getch() is used for inputs where character display is not required.
If(getch() == 'q') exit(0); // Exits on pressing 'q'


Getche() also reacts instantly without the Enter key.
While((ch = getche()) != '\r') // Reacts to each key press


Getch() is a non-standard but commonly used C function.
#include // Library for getch()


Getche() is part of the conio.h library in C.
#include // Library for getche()


What is getche() used for?

Reads a character and displays it on the console.

What does getch() do in C programming?

Reads a character silently from the keyboard.

Is getch() visible to the user?

No, it doesn't echo the character.

Does getche() echo the character typed?

Yes, it echoes the character back.

Can getch() be used for password inputs?

Yes, it's ideal for secure inputs.

Is getche() good for interactive programs?

Yes, especially for immediate feedback.

Do getch() and getche() require the Enter key?

No, they react to each key press immediately.

Which library includes getch() and getche()?

The conio.h library in C.

How does getch() handle input buffering?

It does not buffer; it responds instantly.

Which function is more secure, getch() or getche()?

getch() is more secure for sensitive data.

What is a common use case for getch()?

Silent collection of user inputs.

Is getche() suitable for password inputs?

No, as it displays the character.

Are getch() and getche() standard C functions?

No, they are part of the non-standard conio.h library.

Is getch() a good choice for command inputs?

Yes, for commands that don't require visible feedback.

Can getche() be used for command-line tools?

Yes, for tools where immediate key response is needed.

Do getch() and getche() work in all C environments?

They work in environments that support conio.h.

Can getch() be used for real-time user interaction?

Yes, but without visual feedback.

Does getche() buffer inputs?

No, it reacts to each keystroke as it happens.

Where is getche() commonly used?

In scenarios where user feedback is helpful.

Are there alternatives to getch() and getche() in standard C?

Yes, functions like getchar() but with different behaviors.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons