Visual Studio Logging

Versions:  2008,2010
Published:  11/11/2010
Code:  vstipEnv0048


There's no doubt Visual Studio is an awesome piece of software but there will be times when you need to find out why there is a problem loading it.  Did you know that it comes with a logging switch?  While the documentation ( is lacking, the comment by Paul Harrington on the VS team helps a great deal. 


Essentially, the syntax is as follows:

devenv.exe /log [filename]


The [filename] is optional and if not specified will call the log ActivityLog.xml by default.  The path is to the file is:



Give it a try.  Go to the Visual Studio Command Prompt and enter the command:




You can then navigate to the file location:




When you open the log file in Notepad this is an example of what you will see:




Fortunately, there is an XML stylesheet (XSL) comes with the XML data so if you view it in your browser you will see a much cleaner view:


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