Difference Between Pointer and Reference

Computer ProgrammingProgrammingMiscellaneous

In this post, we will understand the difference between pointer and reference.


  • It can be initialized to any value.

  • It can be initialized any time after its declaration.

  • It can be assigned to point to a NULL value.

  • It can be dereferenced using the ‘*’ operator.

  • It can be changed to point to a different variable of the same type only.


int val = 5;
int *p = &val;


  • It has to be initialized when it is declared.

  • It can’t be a NULL value.

  • It can be used by a name.

  • Once it has been initialized to a variable, it can’t be changed to refer to a variable object.


int val = 52;
int &ref = val;
Updated on 24-Mar-2021 13:37:00