Harness the Power of the Redesigned Start Page

In Visual Studio 2017 RC, we brought you a faster installation, better performance, and new productivity features. One of these productivity features is a redesigned Start Page that prioritizes the actions that help you get to code and start working faster.

Most Recently Used (MRU) List

We’ve heard from you that the MRU is the most valuable part of the Start Page so we thought it was time to give it the prominence it deserves. To help you quickly find what you’re looking for, each MRU item now displays an icon denoting it as a project, solution or folder, a file path for local items, and a remote URL for remote items not yet on disk. With the addition of open folder functionality, we’ve added support for recently opened folders. The new MRU also brings you grouping by date, a longer history and a pinned group that lives at the top of the MRU to give you easy access to your most important items.

To help you be more productive across multiple machines, we’ve also added a roaming element to the MRU. If you clone a repository hosted on a service, such as Visual Studio Team Services or GitHub, Visual Studio will now roam this item to any Visual Studio instance that is associated with the same personalization account. You can then select the roamed item from the MRU to clone it down and continue your work in that code base.

MRU with pinned remote repository, folder and projects

Create New Project

Whether you’re new to Visual Studio or a seasoned user, chances are you’ll want to create a new project at some point. In our research, we found that the “New Project…” command was one of the most used features of the Start Page but after talking with many of you, we discovered you often created the same few projects for experimentation. To help speed up this process, the Start Page now allows you to search for the specific project type you’d like to create. With this change, we eliminated the need to click around the New Project dialog to find what you’re looking for. As well, the Start Page will remember what you’ve recently created and allows you to create your project directly from the Start Page. This will bypass the steps of finding and selecting this template in the New Project dialog. If you sign into Visual Studio, this list will also roam with you across your devices.

Recent Project Templates

Search for web project templates

Open

Whether your code lives locally, on an on premise TFS server, hosted in VSTS or shared on GitHub, we wanted to simplify finding, downloading and opening that project.

We’ve added the ability to Open Folder, as well as preserving the Open Project/Solution command, to enable you to open a code base with or without a solution file from within VS.

For code on TFS or hosted in VSTS, you have support out of the box. You can clone a repository simply by clicking on the Visual Studio Team Services item underneath the “Checkout from” header. This area is also third-party extensible. GitHub is one service provider that has already taken advantage of this extension point. For those of you who install the updated GitHub extension, you’ll notice GitHub will appear with VSTS. We’re working to onboard more service providers so that you can easily connect to your code, regardless of the service you use to host your projects.

Open from VSTS, GitHub or from local disk

Developer News

We’ve worked on making sure the news stays fresh and relevant with fewer gaps between posts. While some users read Start Page news to start their day, we heard it wasn’t for everyone. To let you reclaim space and focus on your code, you can now collapse the news section. Don’t worry about missing the latest post; a little badge will appear whenever something new comes in to keep you up to date on all our latest news.

Collapsed Developer News with Alert Badge

Show Start Page

From early feedback, we’ve heard some confusion over where the command to show the Start Page moved. We envision the Start Page will become a starting point for your experience and so we’ve moved this command into the File menu for quicker access.

Thank you

With our latest Start Page, we aim to make your experience more productive, more functional and more personalized, drawing value from quick access to key actions, ability to roam important elements like repositories and project templates, and a new design that allows you to focus on getting to your code.

Download Visual Studio 2017 RC today and share your feedback. For problems, let us know via the Report a Problem option in the upper right corner, either from the installer or the Visual Studio IDE itself. Track your feedback on the developer community portal. For suggestions, let us know through UserVoice.

Allison Buchholtz-Au, Program Manager, Visual Studio Platform

Allison is a Program Manager on the Visual Studio Platform team, focusing on streamlining source control workflows and supporting both our first and third party source control providers.