members of the primary template, unique_ptr<T>
void reset( pointer ptr = pointer() ) noexcept;
(1) (constexpr since C++23)
members of the specialization unique_ptr<T[]>
template< class U > 
void reset( U ptr ) noexcept;
(2) (constexpr since C++23)
void reset( std::nullptr_t = nullptr ) noexcept;
(3) (constexpr since C++23)

Replaces the managed object.

1) Given current_ptr, the pointer that was managed by *this, performs the following actions, in this order:
  1. Saves a copy of the current pointer old_ptr = current_ptr
  2. Overwrites the current pointer with the argument current_ptr = ptr
  3. If the old pointer was non-empty, deletes the previously managed object if(old_ptr) get_deleter()(old_ptr).
2) Behaves the same as the reset member of the primary template, except that it will only participate in overload resolution if either
  1. U is the same type as pointer, or
  2. pointer is the same type as element_type* and U is a pointer type V* such that V(*)[] is convertible to element_type(*)[].
3) Equivalent to reset(pointer())


ptr - pointer to a new object to manage

Return value



To replace the managed object while supplying a new deleter as well, move assignment operator may be used.

A test for self-reset, i.e. whether ptr points to an object already managed by *this, is not performed, except where provided as a compiler extension or as a debugging assert. Note that code such as p.reset(p.release()) does not involve self-reset, only code like p.reset(p.get()) does.


#include <iostream>
#include <memory>
struct Foo { // object to manage
    Foo() { std::cout << "Foo...\n"; }
    ~Foo() { std::cout << "~Foo...\n"; }
struct D { // deleter
    void operator() (Foo* p) {
        std::cout << "Calling delete for Foo object... \n";
        delete p;
int main()
    std::cout << "Creating new Foo...\n";
    std::unique_ptr<Foo, D> up(new Foo(), D());  // up owns the Foo pointer (deleter D)
    std::cout << "Replace owned Foo with a new Foo...\n";
    up.reset(new Foo());  // calls deleter for the old one
    std::cout << "Release and delete the owned Foo...\n";


Creating new Foo...
Replace owned Foo with a new Foo...
Calling delete for Foo object...
Release and delete the owned Foo...
Calling delete for Foo object...

Defect reports

The following behavior-changing defect reports were applied retroactively to previously published C++ standards.

DR Applied to Behavior as published Correct behavior
LWG 2118 C++11 unique_ptr<T[]>::reset rejected qualification conversions accepts

See also

returns a pointer to the managed object and releases the ownership
(public member function)

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