In order to create Visual Studio extensions (VSIX), one needs to download the Visual Studio SDKs (freely available) from the Microsoft’s website. Those of you doing the VSIX work are probably already aware of the Visual Studio’s “experimental” instance.
This experimental instance of Visual studio runs just like an isolated instance, having its own registry values, settings, extensions, etc. This allows testing of extensions without affecting the development environment of Visual Studio at all.
Sometimes the “experimental” instance gets corrupted, may be due to installations of some extensions, some registry values getting corrupted, or for any other reason, whatsoever. Or may be, we just want to test the extension with some custom settings and then revert back to the original clean settings.
The Visual Studio 2010, 2012 and 2013 come with a tool to reset the settings which is available from the start menu, named, “Reset the Visual Studio xxxx Experimental instance”. That does not, however, give the pristine environment that was available the first time before even testing the first extension.
To get a super clean instance, follow these steps. These are for Visual Studio 2012, but same can be followed for VS2010 and VS2013 also.
- Close all running instances of Visual Studio.
- Delete the entire folder %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0Exp60.
- Go to Run, type regedit and press Enter.
- Delete the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0Exp60.
- Delete the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0Exp60_Config.
- Run the command “Reset the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Experimental instance” from your start menu.