C++ std::bad_alloc Exception

Naila Saad Siddiqui Oct 12, 2023
  1. Exception Handling in C++
  2. the std::bad_alloc Exception in C++
C++ std::bad_alloc Exception

This short article discusses the main cause of the std::bad_alloc() exception in C++. It also discusses the method to smoothly tackle this run-time exception using C++ exception handling.

Exception Handling in C++

All exceptions derive from the std::exception class. It’s a run-time error that can be fixed.

If we don’t deal with the exception, the program will print a message of failure and terminate. The execution control can be transferred from one part of a program to another - thanks to exceptions.

C++ uses the three keywords try,catch, and throw to deal with exceptions.

Keyword Description
throw We throw an exception using the throw keyword and define the sort of exception that may arise if there is a portion of your code that has the potential to cause a problem.
try The code segment that can create an error and has to throw an exception is contained in the try block.
catch The block called when an exception is thrown is known as the catch block. If necessary, we can stop the application programmatically and notify the user of the mistake in this block of code.

the std::bad_alloc Exception in C++

Whenever we try to create an object using a new keyword, the compiler requests the memory on the heap. If the required amount of memory is unavailable on the heap, an exception is thrown, known as the std::bad_alloc exception.

If you declare a single object using the new keyword or a dynamic array, an exception will be thrown at run-time if the required memory is unavailable.

Let’s look at the example below to handle the bad_alloc exception.

Example Code:

#include <iostream>
#include <new>

int main() {
  try {
    int* newarr = new int[2000000000];
  } catch (std::bad_alloc& all) {
    std::cerr << "bad_alloc exception occurred: " << all.what() << '\n';
  return 0;


bad_alloc exception occurred: std::bad_alloc

If we do not enclose this code in a try-catch block, this will probably crash down our program. To avoid such situations, we should always handle this exception so that the program can be terminated normally by informing the user about the error.

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