Debugging Exceptions in Python using VS Code

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of effectively debugging exceptions in Python using Visual Studio Code (VS Code). By leveraging the powerful debugging features of VS Code, you will learn how to identify and resolve errors in your Python code with ease.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Encountering errors or exceptions while writing Python code is a common occurrence. However, debugging these issues can be a daunting task without the proper tools. Visual Studio Code comes to the rescue with its robust debugger, providing a seamless way to pinpoint and fix bugs in your code efficiently.

To debug exceptions effectively in Python using VS Code, we need to make use of the built-in debugging functionalities offered by the IDE. By setting breakpoints, examining variables, and stepping through our code, we can precisely locate the root cause of an exception and apply necessary corrections.


# Import necessary modules for debugging
import pdb

# Sample function with an intentional error
def divide_numbers(a, b):
    result = a / b
    return result

# Set a breakpoint at the beginning of the script

# Call the function with problematic input values
result = divide_numbers(10, 0)

# Copyright PHD

Note: For more detailed examples and explanations on debugging exceptions in Python using VS Code, visit


In this code snippet: 1. We import pdb, which is the Python debugger module. 2. We define a sample function divide_numbers that attempts division between two numbers. 3. A breakpoint is set at the beginning of our script using pdb.set_trace() to pause execution. 4. Upon calling divide_numbers with problematic input values (dividing by zero), an exception occurs. 5. The debugger halts execution at this point, allowing us to inspect variables (a, b, result) and understand why the exception occurred.

By utilizing breakpoints and stepping through our code with VS Code’s debugger interface, we gain valuable insights into our program’s behavior during runtime.

  1. How do I run my Python script in debug mode within VS Code?

  2. To run your script in debug mode within VS Code: 1. Click on the “Run” menu option. 2. Select “Start Debugging” or press F5. 3. Your script will now run under the debugger.

  3. Can I set conditional breakpoints while debugging in VS Code?

  4. Yes, you can set conditional breakpoints based on specific conditions being met during execution.

  5. How do I inspect variable values while debugging?

  6. You can inspect variable values by hovering over them or adding them to watch expressions within VS Code’s debugger interface.

  7. Is it possible to step through my code line-by-line during debugging?

  8. Yes, you can use step-over (F10) or step-into (F11) functionality within VS code while debugging to navigate through your code sequentially.

  9. Can I modify variable values during a debugging session?

  10. Yes, you can interactively modify variable values while paused at a breakpoint within VS code for testing different scenarios.


Mastering exception handling and debugging in Python using Visual Studio Code is crucial for every developer aiming to write robust and error-free code. With this guide, you are now equipped with essential skills to tackle exceptions efficiently and elevate your coding experience.

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