Did you know… Visual Studio automatically saves all your current settings every time you close VS? – #246


On the Tools – Options – Environment – Import / Export Settings (yes, the Tools – Import / Export Dialog has its own Tools Options page), you’ll find the option where to store you current settings.  Note that you don’t get to opt out of this.  Prior to 2005, setting categories were saved in separate files in %appdata%, like a file for all your toolbox customizations, your window layouts, your keyboard shortcut bindings, your command bar changes, and so forth.  Starting in 2005, those settings are now stored in a centralized file, the .vssettings file.

Tools Options Environment Import Export Settings

Every time VS shuts down, we write out to this file location to keep your current settings current.

If you ever make a change that you need to quickly back out of, you can always go to Tools – Import / Export Settings – Import and choose the CurrentSettings.vssettings file located under the My Settings node/folder.  This maps directly to the file under Tools – Options – Environment – Import / Export Settings

My Settings folder in Import Settings

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Comments (4)

  1. Joe D says:

    This has burned me at least once. I made some environment settings changes while working on a solution, but there was some long-forgotten solution open in another instance of VS2005.

    When it came time to close down for the day, I closed the VS instances in the wrong order, so my carefully crafted settings were clobbered.

  2. GregM says:

    Does this version write its settings to the registry immediately after you make them?  I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve lost some setting, or more likely many settings, because Visual Studio crashed before I shut it down.

  3. Kevin Dente says:

    I’m with Joe D. The fact that this doesn’t happen until the IDE closes drives me crazy.