So there are some simple tricks that you can do to speed up the experience and interface in Visual Studio.
Partial Attribution : thekua.com
- Close the Toolbox tab – Even with just the tab closed, VS2005 still seems to use resources to keep it up to date. By removing it from your workspace, the project pane and other windows appear much more responsive.
- Turn Off Animated Windows – When VS2005 gets sluggish, expanding and hiding tabs can appear horrendously slow as the screen repaints. Turning this option off helped a little bit. Uncheck the box found under Tools ¦ Options ¦ Environment ¦ General ¦ Animate Environment
- Disable Startup Page – Wondered why VS2005 seemed sluggish on start up? It’s probably because it’s trying to download something from the Internet by default. Turn off the main startup page and the œlive content by unchecking the box found under Tools ¦ Options ¦ General ¦ Startup ¦ œDownload content every. I’d also change the œAt Startup option to œShow Empty Environment.
- Install Cool Commands – When you use Track Active Item in the Explorer pane, collapsing projects to run tests of various kinds can be hard. Cool Commands has some helpful things like Collapse All Projects so you don’t have to do it yourself when running tests.
- Watch out for Virus Checkers, Spy-Bots, and Search/Indexing Tools – VS hits the file-system a lot, and obviously needs to reparse any file within a project that has changed the next time it compiles. Some issues we’ve seen are cases where virus scanners, spy-bot detecters, and/or desktop search indexing tools end up monitoring a directory containing a project a little too closely, and continually change the timestamps of these files (they don’t alter the contents of the file – but they do change a last touched timestamp that VS also uses). This then causes a pattern of: you make a change, rebuild, and then in the background the virus/search tool goes in and re-searches/re-checks the file and marks it as altered – which then causes VS to have to re-build it again. Check for this if you are seeing build performance issues, and consider disabling the directories you are working on from being scanned by other programs. We’ve also seen reports of certain Spybot utilities causing extreme slowness with VS debugging – so you might want to verify that you aren’t having issues with those either.
- Turn off AutoToolboxPopulate in the Windows Forms Designer Options
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 I’ve seen a few reports from people who find that it can cause VS to end up taking a long time (almost like a hang) in some circumstances. Note that this applies both to Windows Forms and Web Projects. To disable this option, select the Tools->Options menu item, and then unselect the Windows Forms Designer/General/AutoToolboxPopulate checkbox option (for a thread on this see: http://forums.asp.net/1108115/ShowPost.aspx).
- Examine which 3rd party packages are running in Visual Studio – There are a lot of great 3rd party VS packages that you can plug into Visual Studio. These deliver big productivity wins, and offer tons of features. Occasionally we’ve seen issues where performance or stability is being affected by them though. This is often true in cases where an older version (or beta) of one of these packages is being used (always keep an eye out for when a manufacturer updates them with bug-fixes). If you are seeing issues with performance or stability, you might want to look at trying a VS configuration where you uninstall any additional packages to see if this makes a difference.