How do I REALLY reset the Visual Studio window layout?


I had a plugin installed in Visual Studio 2008, and it created some extra dockable windows. I have uninstalled it, and I can't get rid of the windows it created - I close them, but they always come back. They're just empty windows now, since the plugin is no longer present, but nothing I've tried gets rid of them. I've tried:

  • Window -> Reset Window Layout
  • Deleting the .suo files in my project directories
  • Deleting the Visual Studio 9.0 folder in my Application Settings directory

Any ideas?

This question is tagged with visual-studio

~ Asked on 2008-08-25 20:53:21

11 Answers


Have you tried this? In Visual Studio go to Tools > Import and Export Settings > Reset all settings

Be sure you back up your settings before you do this. I made the mistake of trying this to fix an issue and didn't realize it would undo all my appearance settings and toolbars as well. Took a lot of time to get back to the way I like things.

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:55:13


Try devenv.exe /resetuserdata. I think it's more aggressive than the Tools > Import and Export options suggested.

Also check Tools > Add In Manager and make sure there aren't any orphans there.

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 21:22:31


How about running the following from command line,

Devenv.exe /ResetSettings

You could also save those settings in to a file, like so,

Devenv.exe /ResetSettings "C:\My Files\MySettings.vssettings"

The /ResetSettings switch, Restores Visual Studio default settings. Optionally resets the settings to the specified .vssettings file.

MSDN link

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 21:28:17


I had similar problem except that it happened without installing any plugin. I begin to get this dialog about source control every time I open the project + tons of windows popping up and floating which I had to close one by one.

enter image description here

Windows -> Rest Windows Layout, fixed it for me without any problems. It does bring the default setting which I don't mind at all :)

~ Answered on 2011-10-10 14:37:03


If you have an old backup copy of CurrentSettings.vssettings, you can try restoring it.

I had a completely corrupted Visual Studio layout. When I tried to enter debug, I was told that VS had become unstable. When I restarted, my window layout would then be totally screwed. I tried restoring the VS current user settings in the registry from a backup, but that didn't help. However, restoring CurrentSettings.vssettings seems to have cured it.

There seems to be a bunch of binary stuff in there and I can imagine it gets irretrievably corrupted sometimes.

~ Answered on 2012-11-28 14:56:16


Note: if you have vs2010 and vs2008 and you want to reset the 2008, you will need to specify in command line the whole path. like this:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /resetsettings

If you don't specify the path (like devenv.exe /resetsettings), it will reset the latest version of Visual studio installed on your computer.

~ Answered on 2010-07-27 15:24:40


I close them, but they always come back

When you say "they always come back" do you mean "next time you restart Visual Studio" or "immediately"?

One quirk of Visual Studio (at least VS2005) is that settings aren't saved until you exit. That means that if VS crashes at all while you are using it, any layout changes you made will be lost. The way around this is to always gracefully exit when you have set up everything like you want it to be.

Not sure if this will help your particular situation though.

~ Answered on 2009-01-16 06:27:38


I tried most of the suggestions, and none of them worked. I didn't get a chance to try /resetuserdata. Finally I reinstalled the plugin and uninstalled it again, and the windows went away.

~ Answered on 2008-08-29 11:00:33


If you've ever backed up your settings (Tools -> Import and Export Settings), you can restore the settings file to get back to a prior state. This is the only thing that I've found to work.

~ Answered on 2008-08-25 20:55:45


If you want to reset your development environment of your visual studio, then you can use Import and Export setting wizard. see this for all steps:

~ Answered on 2011-12-17 17:45:36


If you want to reset the window layout. Then


~ Answered on 2019-06-17 12:31:07

Most Viewed Questions: