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

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