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Protect Yourself: Export Visual Studio Settings

In many of these tips, I've suggested ways that you might want to change Visual Studio's default configuration. That's not always a good thing. For example, I've known some developers who, because of some problem, had to re-install Visual Studio and lost all their customizations. I sometimes find myself at a client's site, working on a computer that isn't mine and looking foolish because some customization I depend on is gone ... or I used to, at any rate.

The solution to both problems is some preventative maintenance: Export your Visual Studio settings to a vssettings file. You can then restore those settings in the event of a disaster or moving to a new machine.

To export a file, from the Tools menu, select "Export selected environment settings" and then click the Next button. On the next page, by default, all settings are selected and that's the option I use (I'm concerned that if start picking and choosing settings, I'll leave one of my customizations behind). On this page, therefore, all I need to do is click the Next button.

The third and final page allows me to choose where I'll save the resulting vssettings file. I save it to one of my cloud drives so that I won't lose the file if something happens to my computer.

When I need to set up a new instance of Visual Studio, I import the file and get back my own, personalized version of my favorite development environment. When I'm working at a client's site, I first export the settings on the computer I'm using. I then import my vssettings file from my cloud drive (or a USB on one occasion when I wasn't allowed Internet access).

Posted by Peter Vogel on 03/21/2019 at 1:12 PM


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