Running Visual Studio can be quite demanding on your operating system. Working on large projects with lots of files can really start to make Visual Studio freeze. I find that by turning off a lot features you can speed up the response time of Visual Studio and improve your productivity.
The website .NET Top of the Day had a great list of settings to help to speed up Visual Studio, but unfortunately the website is currently unavailable so here is a copy of the settings:
- Make sure the latest service pack for Visual Studio is installed.
- Turn off animations – Go to Tools > Options > Environment and uncheck Animate environment tools.
- Disable Navigation Bar – Go to Tools > Options > Text Editor > C# or All Languages and uncheck Navigation bar.
- Turn off Track Changes – Go to Tools > Options > Text Editor and uncheck Track changes. This will reduce overhead and speeds up IDE response.
- Turn off Track Active Item – This will turn off jumping in the explorer whenever you select different files in different projects. Go to Tools > Options > Projects and Solutions and uncheck Track Active Item in Solution Explorer. This will ensure that if you are moving across files in different projects, the left pane will still be steady instead of jumping around.
- Turn off AutoToolboxPopulate – There is an option in VS 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. To disable this option, select the Tools | Options | Windows Forms Designer and then set AutoToolboxPopulate to False.
In addition to these the following changes can also help:
- Turn off HTML Validation – Go to Tools > Options > Text Editor > HTML > Validation and uncheck Show errors.
- Turn off Start Page – Go to Tools > Options > Environment > Startup and select Load last loaded solution from the At Startup dropdown. This simply makes Visual Studio load faster when opening the application.
These settings have been used for Visual Studio 2005 specifically but should still be of benefit for earlier and later versions of Visual Studio.