Recently I’ve been getting pretty annoyed by my Visual Studio 2008, which has been taking longer and longer to do my favorite menu item, Window > Close All Documents. Today was the last straw — I decided 20 seconds to close four C# editor windows really isn’t acceptable for a machine with four gigs of ram, and so I went to look for some fixes.

Here are some of the good ones I found that worked. Use at your own risk of course!

Disable the customer feedback component

In some scenarios Visual Studio may try to collect anonymous statistics about your code when closing a project, even if you opted out of the customer feedback program. To stop this time-consuming behaviour, find this registry key:


and rename it to something invalid:



Clear Visual Studio temp files

Deleting the contents of the following temp directories can fix a lot of performance issues with Visual Studio and web projects:

C:\Users\richardd\AppData\Local\Temp\Temporary ASP.NET Files\siteName


Clear out the project MRU list

Apparently Visual Studio sometimes accesses the files in your your recent projects list at random times, e.g. when saving a file. I have no idea why it does this, but it can have a big performance hit, especially if some are on a network share that is no longer available.

To clear your recent project list out, delete any entries from the following path in the registry:



Disable AutoRecover

In nearly four years, I have never used Visual Studio’s AutoRecover feature to recover work. These days, source control and saving regularly almost entirely eliminates the need for it.

To disable it and gain some performance (particularly with large solutions), go to Tools > Options > Environment > AutoRecover and uncheck Save AutoRecovery information. (Cheers Jake for the tip)


August 24th, 2009 | 8 Comments

So, it seems Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008 adds some support for SQL Server 2008, in that you can now connect and browse SQL Server 2008 servers in the Server Explorer. This’ll let you do cool stuff like generate code with LINQ to SQL, but there’s one important feature missing:

No SQL Server 2008 datbase project template in Visual Studio 2008 SP1

Where’s the SQL Server 2008 database project template?

If you and try to create a SQL 2000 or 2005 project, Visual Studio will ask for a local SQL Server 2005 instance:

There’s no way around this — “design-time validation” cannot be disabled, and SQL Server 2008 isn’t supported yet. In other words, unless you have SQL Server 2005 installed, you cannot open or create Visual Studio database projects at all. I was pretty dismayed to discover this — all I wanted was a place to chuck some .sql database migrations inside a solution!

However, you can download a temporary fix. Grab the VSTS 2008 Database Edition GDR August CTP. I have no idea what GDR stands for, but it’ll solve all your problems by adding new project types that don’t require a local SQL Server instance at all:

SQL Server 2008 database projects from VSTS Database Edition GDR CTP

The final release is due out this Spring.

September 29th, 2008 | 3 Comments

Microsoft have released the following service packs this morning:

Note that if you have previously installed hotfixes for Visual Studio 2008, you must run the Hotfix Cleanup Utility before installing Service Pack 1.

These service packs add full support for SQL Server 2008 (which went RTM last week) in Visual Studio 2008. The ADO.NET Entity Framework is out of beta!

August 12th, 2008 | No Comments Yet