C++ Program to find the factorial of a number using recursion

February 9, 2023, Learn eTutorial

This C++ program is an example to find the factorial using recursion.

What is meant by the factorial of a number?

The factorial of a number is defined as the product of all integers from 1 to that number. We cant able to find factorial for negative numbers and for zero is one.  An exclamation mark indicates the factorial of a number '!'. For example, 5! = 1*2 *3*4*5 = 120.

n! =  1 * 2 * 3 * 4 *……..* n.

Recursion in C++

Recursion is the process in which a function will call itself continuously until some conditions are met. To prevent infinite recursion, the if...else statement (or similar approach) can be used 

To know more about recursion in C++ please visit our tutorial on recursion.

How to Calculate the Factorial of a Number Using Recursion in C++?

For finding the factorial, we ask the user to enter a positive integer and read the number to the variable. Define a recursive function factorial ( ) to find the factorial of the number. Pass the entered number to the factorial function.

int factorial(int n) 

In this function, the number n is multiplied by the factorial of ( n – 1 ). For this, the number (n – 1) is passed again to the factorial () function, until the value reaches 1.  Finally, print the result as factorial.

C++ Recursion


Step 1: Call the header file iostream.

Step 2: Use the namespace std.

Step 3: Define a function factorial ( );
             n * factorial ( n – 1)  until n > 1;
             return the value  
             else return 1;

Step 4: Open the integer type main function; int main().

Step 5: Declare integer variables; n;

Step 6: Print a message to enter a positive integer not greater than 12.

Step 7: Read the value into the variable n;

Step 8: Call the function factorial(n);

Step 9: Exit;

C++ Source Code

using namespace std;

int factorial(int n);

int main() {

  int n;

  cout << "Enter a positive integer less than 12: ";
  cin >> n;

  cout << "Factorial of " << n << " = " << factorial(n);

  return 0;

int factorial(int n) {
  if(n > 1)
    return n * factorial(n - 1);
    return 1;


Enter a positive integer less than 12: 6
Factorial of 6 = 720