Configuring and building an application

For simplicity, this guide will refer to both samples and applications as “applications”.

After you have created an application, you need to build it in order to be able to program it. Just as for creating the application, you can build the application using either the nRF Connect for VS Code extension or the command line.

For instructions about building with the nRF Connect for VS Code extension, see How to build an application in the extension documentation.

By default, the extension runs both stages of the CMake build (configuration phase and building phase). If you want to only set up the build configuration without building it, make sure the Build after generating configuration is not selected.

If you want to build with custom options or scripts, read about Binding custom tasks to actions in the extension documentation.


Some samples in the nRF Connect SDK are currently not designed to work out-of-tree. You may need to manually configure your sample to work correctly in the nRF Connect for VS Code extension.

For more information about files generated as output of the build process, see Output build files (image files).


On Windows, because of the Windows path length limitations, the build can fail with errors related to permissions or missing files if some paths in the build are too long. To avoid this issue, shorten the build folder name, for example, from build_nrf5340dk_nrf5340_cpuapp_ns to build, or shorten the path to the build folder in some other way.