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A breakpoint, in the context of C#, is an intentional stop marked in the code of an application where execution pauses for debugging. This allows the programmer to inspect the internal state of the application at that point.
A breakpoint helps to speed up the debugging process in a large program by allowing the execution to continue up to a desired point before debugging begins. This is more efficient than stepping through the code on a line-by-line basis.
Conditions associated with a breakpoint represent an expression that determines whether the breakpoint is to be hit or skipped. When filters that specify process or thread are attached to the breakpoint, it is easier to debug parallel applications spread across multiple processors.
Whenever a breakpoint is hit, the application and the debugger are said to be in "break" mode, during which the following actions can be executed:
The key features of breakpoints include:
The .NET framework provides an option to insert a breakpoint programmatically by calling the System.Diagnostics.Debugger.Break method, which causes the application to break when run under the debugger. However, it is suggested that this be used in "Debug" mode only (by using compiler directive, #if DEBUG).
A breakpoint should not be set on system components that form part of a program with mixed-mode, native and managed code because it can break the common language runtime and cause the debugger to stop responding. Also, breakpoints on lines of source code after line number 64,000 will not be hit.