Cleaning out Visual Studio’s Cluttered Closet

I do a lot of tweaking in Visual Studio’s options.  A tweak here to test so esoteric feature of .NET, a tweak there based on some input from some guru, a tweak during a demo to show some debugging option, a tweak, a tweak, a tweak.

So lately I’ve had problems during my debugging demos.  The debugger just wasn’t behaving the way I expected it.  More than once during some presentation, I’ve had to say “well, it not supposed to do that, its supposed to …”, and it has been getting a little embarrassing. 

There are large number of debug options available to us (which is generally a good thing), but trying to figure out what tweak needs to be un-tweaked is near impossible because of it. Rather than go switch by switch to determine the cause, I thought it would be better to just reset them all to their defaults.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a “Reset All” button in the debugging options of Visual Studio.  So how do you do it?

You could do it from the command prompt:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe /ResetSettings

However if is even easier, and more flexible if done from within Visual Studio.  From the Visual Studio menu bar select “Tools|Import and Export Settings…”.  Use the wizard to first save your current settings (in case you forgot some special setting you really wanted, this will let you recover your settings to find out what it was), then import a previously saved set of settings, or import a set of default settings provided with Visual Studio.  Finally, you can select the specific options you want to import, so you don’t have to reset everything if you don’t want to:

 click the image below to see the wizard pages…
 Reset Visual Studio Settings Landscape