Visual Studio Tip: Close the Windows You Want

When you have too many Editor windows open, you can pick which Windows you don't need any more and close them all with a single click.

Eventually, I have so many tabs open across the top of my Visual Studio editor window that I recognize I have to close most -- but not all -- of my Windows. Unfortunately, when I right-click on the tabs I get two choices that don't do what I want: I can close all the windows, or close every window but the one I clicked on. I often pick that last choice (Close All But This) even though I really want to keep a few more Windows open.

You can pick and choose among your open editor Windows by going to Visual Studio's Window menu and selecting the Windows menu choice (it's right at the bottom of the menu). This brings up a dialog box that lists all the open Windows. If you hold down the Control key, you can select which Windows you want to close and then close them all by clicking the dialog box's Close Windows button.

This isn't a perfect solution -- I usually want to close more windows than I want to leave open, so I wish I could select the Windows to leave open rather than select the Windows I want to close. The windows are also listed in the dialog box in alphabetical order -- I'd prefer they list reflect the tab order (I often group together tabs for windows that I use together). But it's closer to what I want than Close All But This.

About the Author

Peter Vogel is a system architect and principal in PH&V Information Services. PH&V provides full-stack consulting from UX design through object modeling to database design. Peter tweets about his VSM columns with the hashtag #vogelarticles. His blog posts on user experience design can be found at

comments powered by Disqus


  • Top 3 Blazor Extensions for Visual Studio Code

    Some developers prefer to create applications with Microsoft's open-source Blazor tooling from within the open-source, cross-platform Visual Studio Code editor. Here are the top tools in the VS Code Marketplace for those folk, as measured by the number of installations.

  • How to Invert a Machine Learning Matrix Using C#

    VSM Senior Technical Editor Dr. James McCaffrey, of Microsoft Research, explains why inverting a matrix -- one of the more common tasks in data science and machine learning -- is difficult and presents code that you can use as-is, or as a starting point for custom matrix inversion scenarios.

  • Microsoft Engineer: 'It's Time to Move OData to .NET 5'

    Microsoft engineer Sam Xu says "it’s time to move OData to .NET 5" and in a new blog post he shows how to do just that.

  • Microsoft Goes Virtual with Developer Education in Face of COVID-19

    Like many organizations that host developer educational events, Microsoft has gone virtual amid shelter-in-place directives and a surge in remote work stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Microsoft Enhances Low-Code Power Apps

    Microsoft's nod to the low-code movement, Power Apps, has been enhanced with a bevy of new features, including mixed reality, canvas/model support in a new mobile app, UX improvements and more.

.NET Insight

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Upcoming Events