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Visual Studio Tip: Cleaning Up the Template Lists

Do you get tired of scrolling through the New Project Item lists to get to the item templates that you need, while skipping the ones that you'll never use? The same is probably true, though to a lesser extent, with the New Project dialog.

Why not slim those lists down to the half-dozen items you actually use that will, as a result, be right there when you need them? This probably goes against the grain of most developers' attitude towards new technology, but let's face it: you (and your organization) have probably figured out which templates you are and aren't going to use in Visual Studio.

The templates in the New Project and New Item dialogs are zip files kept in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio versionNumber\Common7\IDE\ItemOrProjectTemplates\language folder (this does vary from one installation to another. Just keep looking -- they're in there somewhere). Before you delete the templates you don't want, copy the folder to someplace safe so that you can get back the templates you've deleted if you ever need them (and drop a text file in the folder to remind yourself where you put the original templates). Then clean house.

When you're done, make sure Visual Studio isn't running and, from the Visual Studio Command prompt, have Visual Studio rebuild its lists with this command:

devnv.com /installvstemplates

NEVER INTERRUPT THIS COMMMAND. Wait patiently for it to finish. When you start Visual Studio next you'll have all (and only) the templates you use.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 08/23/2012 at 1:16 PM


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Reader Comments:

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 Allen Kemp Oklahoma City

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I have been trying to get rid of these unwanted templates forever now they are gone!!!

Sat, Aug 25, 2012 Joe Kunk Okemos MI USA

And for those templates you decide to keep, consider customizing them to have the defaults you need. See how in my article "Develop Faster with Customized Visual Studio Templates" at http://visualstudiomagazine.com/articles/2012/08/20/visual-studio-custom-templates.aspx. It applies to both C# and Visual Basic developers, and both Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2011.

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