Find Unused Files

The process of finding and removing unused files in a C++ project is an important part of ensuring that the codebase is clean and optimized. By removing unused header files, developers can reduce the overall size of the project, which can improve build times and reduce memory usage. This is particularly important in larger projects, where the number of header files can be quite large and the impact of unused files can be significant. However, finding unused files is not always a straightforward process. In some cases, a header file may not be included directly in the code but may be included indirectly through another header file. This can make it difficult to determine whether a file is truly unused or not. Fortunately, there are tools available to help with this process, such as the Includator’s find unused includes the feature. These tools can scan the projects including dependencies and identify header files that are not used by the code. By using these tools, developers can quickly and easily identify and remove unused files, which can help to improve the quality and performance of their C++ projects.

Consider the following project structure:

  • project:
    • main.cpp
    • X.h
    • Y.h
    • Z.h
#include "X.h" 
#include "Y.h" 
int main() {
  X x;
  Y y;
  return 0;

Finding unused includes in the context of this project means proposing the deletion of file Z.h.