Increasing productivity with Visual Studio 2005

Here are some steps to increase your productivity by improving the speed of your IDE. Here are the tips:

Startup improvements:

  • Disable "Start Page".
    Tools | Options | Environment | Startup, Change ‘At startup setting’ to ‘Show empty environment’.
    Disable splash screen.
  • Open the properties of Visual Studio 2005 shortcut. Add the parameter /nosplash to the target.
    For example: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 2005\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /nosplash
  • Close all unnecessary panels/tabs to prevent them from appearing when the IDE loads.

Then optimize your environment itself:

  • Install Visual Studio 2005 SP1
    Turn off animation.
    Tools | Options | Environment, uncheck ‘Animate environment tools’.
  • Disable Navigation Bar when you don’t use it. Otherwise, VS keeps refreshing it.
    When using ReSharper, use CTRL-F12 instead.
    Tools | Options | Text Editor | C#, uncheck ‘Navigation bar’.
  • Turn off Track Changes.
    This will reduce overhead and speeds up IDE response.
    Tools | Options | Text Editor, uncheck ‘Track changes’.
  • Turn off Track Active item.
    This will turn off jumping in the explorer whenever you select different files in different projects.
    Tools | Options | Projects and Solutions, uncheck Track ‘Active Item in Solution Explorer’.
  • Turn off AutoToolboxPopulate.
    There is an option in VS 2005 that will cause VS to automatically populate the toolbox with any controls you compile as part of your solution. This is a useful feature when developing controls since it updates them when you build, but it can cause VS to end up taking a long time in some circumstances.
    Tools | Options | Windows Forms Designer, set ‘AutoToolboxPopulate’ to False.

My Visual Studio starts this morning in less then 5 seconds… Including loading Resharper.

Update: Thank you for inspiring ‘.NET tip of the day‘ and sorry for not noticing you at the first time.

4 thoughts on “Increasing productivity with Visual Studio 2005”

  1. I didn’t want to do all of these, but some of them are quite obvious, for example to remove the splash screen, and the “empty environment screen”. Also, the animation makes great sense.

    Some of the other features might hurt productivity, and I am therefore reluctant to exploit these features.

    Cool post.

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