SDL Wiki
(This is the documentation for SDL3, which is under heavy development and the API is changing! SDL2 is the current stable version!)


Update the screen with any rendering performed since the previous call.


int SDL_RenderPresent(SDL_Renderer *renderer);

Function Parameters

renderer the rendering context

Return Value

Returns 0 on success or a negative error code on failure; call SDL_GetError() for more information.


SDL's rendering functions operate on a backbuffer; that is, calling a rendering function such as SDL_RenderLine() does not directly put a line on the screen, but rather updates the backbuffer. As such, you compose your entire scene and present the composed backbuffer to the screen as a complete picture.

Therefore, when using SDL's rendering API, one does all drawing intended for the frame, and then calls this function once per frame to present the final drawing to the user.

The backbuffer should be considered invalidated after each present; do not assume that previous contents will exist between frames. You are strongly encouraged to call SDL_RenderClear() to initialize the backbuffer before starting each new frame's drawing, even if you plan to overwrite every pixel.

Thread Safety

You may only call this function on the main thread.


This function is available since SDL 3.0.0.

Code Examples

Please refer to the code example in SDL_RenderClear.

CategoryAPI, CategoryRender

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