C library function - realloc()



The C library function void *realloc(void *ptr, size_t size) attempts to resize the memory block pointed to by ptr that was previously allocated with a call to malloc or calloc.


Following is the declaration for realloc() function.

void *realloc(void *ptr, size_t size)


  • ptr -- This is the pointer to a memory block previously allocated with malloc, calloc or realloc to be reallocated.If this is NULL, a new block is allocated and a pointer to it is returned by the function.

  • size -- This is the new size for the memory block, in bytes.If it is 0 and ptr points to an existing block of memory, the memory block pointed by ptr is deallocated and a NULL pointer is returned.

Return Value

This function returns a pointer to the newly allocated memory, or NULL if the request fails.


The following example shows the usage of realloc() function.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main()
   char *str;

   /* Initial memory allocation */
   str = (char *) malloc(15);
   strcpy(str, "tutorialspoint");
   printf("String = %s,  Address = %u\n", str, str);

   /* Reallocating memory */
   str = (char *) realloc(str, 25);
   strcat(str, ".com");
   printf("String = %s,  Address = %u\n", str, str);


Let us compile and run the above program, this will produce the following result:

String = tutorialspoint, Address = 355090448
String = tutorialspoint.com, Address = 355090448