Does Visual Studio .Net startup, load, or open slowly for you?

I've started seeing google queries where people seem to be having issues with Visual Studio loading slowly. There are a few things that could be causing this and some things you can do to help. 

  • I've talked a lot previously about various issues with virus scanners in the past.  You might try turning it off temporarily to see if that is indeed your problem. Also read my post for more information. 
  • Startup settings: If you have VS.Net 2002 simply ensuring neither the start page or the dynamic help window are opened by default will shave several seconds off of the load time.  In VS .Net 2003 we fixed these problems for you.  But if you defined a custom start page in either version that causes IE to load you will incur the wrath of loading IE before VS will become usable though. 
  • Network Issues: Yes, some people have posted that disconnecting the machine with VS from the network will speed up launch time.  No, we are not secretly uploading your source code to Microsoft servers. This is a bug with the MRU functionality and files access over the network.  You could go into the registry and clean out the VS MRU locations that are stored here:

    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\FileMRUList
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\ProjectMRUList

Or you could download the VSTweak Powertoy I created that will let manage these lists yourself like Alex Chang did.  It lets you change a bunch of other stuff as well, but strangely enough this seems to have been the most requested functionality when I was writing it. 


Comments (11)
  1. Simon says:

    Is there a way to make it load solutions faster?

    It seems to like slowly loading every single file you had open previously if you don’t think to close them all down when you exit.

    It would be okay if it just showed the tabs but only loaded the last one you were on, but it seems insistant on loading the contents of every tab. I also find myself ignoring the tabs as you can’t make them multi-line.

  2. Chris J. Breisch says:

    Hey, I see that the latest version has been in beta for almost a year. Is it ever going to become an "official" release? 🙂

  3. Michael Cook says:

    I had a good 45s-60s load time for that I got down to about 5 seconds by clearing out my MRU lists. On my laptop, however VS.NET loads instantly even though it’s a slower machine.

    I have a corporate virus scanner running, which I can’t shut down, which may explain the slight slowness. For a while I was pulling my hair out, but I can live with 5s instead of a minute.

  4. jledgard says:

    Chris: There was an alpha at PDC last year and there has since been one tech preview. There will soon (teched) be another tech preview. A beta will not come until later this year. The name is VS 2005 if that gives you any clue as to when it will be an "official" release. 🙂 That’s as much as I know.

  5. jledgard says:

    Micheal: Given the power of your laptop 3-5s sounds par for the course when it comes to VS 2003 once you have fixed the other issues. That’s about what I get on my tablet.

  6. josh ledgard says:

    Simon: This is a known issue that, unfortunatly, is not being addressed in VS 2003 becuase of the changes it would require. We are looking at speeding this up dramatically in teh VS 2005 release since we are changing a bunch of stuff anyway.

  7. Orlando says:

    Hello. I have visual studio 2003 running on windows 2000 professional. Recently, I upgraded my laptop with Windows XP. All the services packs and updates were added. After I upgraded my OS, the Visual Studio IDE takes almost 2 minutes to load. It just started to happen after the upgrade. I ran the option to repair Visual Studio but it still having the same problem.

    What else should I check? MSDN site does not has any information similar to this yet.


  8. William says:

    I had the problem where VS.NET 2003 would take about 4 minutes to launch. The trick is to take a look at your application event log. There should be an error specifically related to this. It has to do with a timeout/account setting. Once I saw the error I googled it and found the solution right away. Not saying this will fix all problems but it did for me.

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