Chris Roberts

Visual Studio with Roaming Profiles

• Posted in Programming

I have been having a problem with Visual Studio constantly reconfiguring itself on startup. Quite often, when launching the environment, I get this message...

"Microsoft Visual Studio is configuring the environment for first time use. This might take a few minutes."

True to its word, the message hangs around for a while before letting me get on with my work.

My company's network is configured to use roaming profiles. This means that whenever someone logs in, a number of folders are all redirected to a location on a server. The obvious benefit of this is that we can login from any machine in the office and still get to our files easily.

The downside is that some applications, Visual Studio included, will also end up storing machine specific information in a shared location. Every time you run the environment from a different computer, it detects something isn't quite the way it left it and decides to start from scratch.

But - thankfully - there is a way to avoid this...

  1. Launch Visual Studio and select Tools > Options from the menu.
  2. Tick the 'Show all settings' checkbox at the bottom of the dialog box.
  3. Navigate to the 'Import and Export Settings' section under 'Environment'.
  4. In the box entitled 'Automatically save my settings to this file', enter a path on the local machine, not a path which will get mapped to a shared location.

Now I can start Visual Studio from any of my machines without having to wait for a few minutes first!