I asked for a .vs folder and the Visual Studio team gave it to me

You probably noticed, that Visual Studio creates new files in your solution folder whether you like it or not. One of those files is the Solution User Options file with the .suo extension, which contains settings specific to the given developer machine. You can delete it, but it will quickly grow back.


You have to be careful with these per-developer or per-machine setting files, especially because you should not add them to source control. Not a coincidence that *.suo is the first item in the .gitignore file recommended for Visual Studio projects.

Unfortunately .suo is not the only file like that, you can see many of these polluting your project root when you are using different project types. It would be much cleaner if all those files would live in a single folder!

Thankfully it is already solved in Visual Studio 2015, and the IDE puts them into a separate directory which is called .vs similarly to other development environments:


The .vs is a hidden folder so you have to enable the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option in Windows Explorer if you want to peek into it (but why would you?). Currently (Visual Studio 2015 CTP6) the .suo file and the Visual Basic/C# IntelliSense database files are living in this folder and its subfolders, but in the future releases more and more files will be moved here, and hopefully this practice will be followed by add-in developers as well. If you are upgrading an existing solution, the old files will not be deleted automatically, so your settings are not lost if you open the project later with an earlier version of Visual Studio.

The best thing in this feature is that this folder was not invented by the Visual Studio developer team. It is there because I asked for it. I and 2822 other Visual Studio users on the Visual Studio UserVoice page. The IDE team looked at it, thought it through, accepted it and implemented it.

It feels so good, when developers listen to the end-users.


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9 thoughts on “I asked for a .vs folder and the Visual Studio team gave it to me

  1. Pingback: 한 주간의 마이크로소프트 소식 [3월 2주차] - Korea Evangelist - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

  2. ehuna (@ehuna)

    Very cool! For those of us using Git, do you know how to update .gitignore to ignore files in this new “.vs” folder?

    For example for one of my projects, I now have a new file in .vs\config\applicationhost.config

    I tried the solutions outlined here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8021441/gitignore-hidden-dot-directories but it did not work – I suspect the folder name that starts with a “.” is the issue.

    I’m using the ‘Microsoft Git Provider’ in VS 2015 RTM.
    For those using git, does anyone know?

  3. Pingback: IIS Express 500.19 Cannot read configuration file – because it’s looking at the wrong path! | Sudhanshu's Ode to Code

  4. Tyson

    Great! Too bad this is the wrong solution. Should be in the user directory. Tired of Dropbox syncing this file.

  5. mcalex

    > … but why would you?
    Coz you’re not a fan of kool-aid and if someone other than you is sticking files on your hard drive – as a responsible computer operator – you should investigate to find out what they are.


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