Debug Control

Several commands are available for controlling the debugger. They are available from both the Debug menu and several toolbars. The Atmel Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) has two major operating modes; design mode and debug mode. Design mode is when you are editing the source code project, while debug mode is when you debug your project. The IDE adapts to modes, menus, and toolbar changes.

Note: Some debug commands are available in design mode, some in debug mode.
  • In design mode, the available debug commands are those that will start the debug session, e.g. Start Debugging and Break, Start Debugging, Start without Debugging.

  • In debug mode, you will find commands like Break All, Step Out, and Reset.

Start Debugging and Break

Starts the debugger and breaks the execution on the first statement of the program.

Start Debugging

Starts the debugger and runs the program. In debug mode and stopped, it resumes execution.

Start Without Debugging

Programs the project without starting debugging. For details, see Start without Debugging.

Break All

Halts the debugger.

Stop Debugging

Stops and terminates the debug session, and returns to design mode.


Restarts the debugger and reloads the program.


Resets the program to the first statement.

Disable debugWire and Close

Available when debugging a device using the debugWire interface. The command disables the debugWire interface (enabling the use of the ISP interface) and terminates the debug session.

Step Into

Executes one instruction. When in disassembly level, one assembly level instruction is executed, otherwise, one source level instruction is executed.

Step Over

Similar to Step Into, Step Over executes one instruction. However, if the instruction contains a function call/subroutine call, the function/subroutine is executed as well. If a user breakpoint is encountered during Step Over, execution is halted.

Step Out

Continue execution until the current function has completed. If a user breakpoint is encountered during Step Over, execution is halted. If a Step Out command is issued when the program is on the top level, the program will continue executing until it reaches a breakpoint or it is stopped by the user.

Quick Watch

Adds a Quick Watch for the variable or expression under the cursor. For details, see QuickWatch and Watches.

Toggle Breakpoint

Toggle the breakpoint status for the instruction where the cursor is placed. Note that this function is available only when the source window or disassembly window is the active view.

New Breakpoint

Create a new breakpoint at the location of the cursor. For more information, see Breakpoints.

Disable All Breakpoints

This function clears all set program breakpoints, including breakpoints which have been disabled.

Clear All DataTips

Clear all marked Data Tips. For more information, see DataTips.

Export Data Tips

Save all marked Data Tips to a file in Visual Studio Shell format.

Import DataTips

Load Data Tips from a Visual Studio Shell file.

Options and Settings

Debug options and settings, see Debugger.