'this' pointer in C++

  • The this pointer is an implicit parameter to all member functions.

  • this pointer represents the current or invoking object of class.

  • this pointer is not accessible in static member function.

  • Friend functions do not have this pointer, because friends are not members of class.

  • Only member functions/non-static function have this pointer.

Following are the situations where ‘this’ pointer is used:

  1. When local variable’s name is same as member’s name
    using namespace std;
    /* local variable is same as 
    a member's name */
    class Test
     int x;
     void setX (int x)
    /* The 'this' pointer is used to 
      retrieve the object's x hidden
       by the local variable 'x'
        this->x = x;
     void show()
       cout<<"x = " << x << endl; 
    int main()
       Test obj;
       int x = 20;
       return 0;
    x = 20
  2. To return reference to the calling object.
    /* Reference to the calling
     object can be returned */
    Test& Test::func ()
       // Some processing
       return *this;

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