When roaming the MSDN forums for unanswered questions for me to answer, I come across a lot of questions about any of the following:

  • Intellisense acting weird
  • Intellisense not showing up at all
  • Menu items that are all garbled up
  • Missing buttons on toolbars
  • Complete toolbars missing
  • Keyboard shortcuts acting weird
  • Keyboard shortcuts not working at all

In most cases, resetting the Visual Studio settings to the default settings using devenv /resetsettings solves any problems that are in that list. But I can imagine you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up Visual Studio exactly the way you want it again (and again, and…). There’s a solution to that: define your own settings file to restore settings from.

To create a file with your settings, first install Visual Studio (if you hadn’t done so already) and adjust all settings to accomodate your needs. Next, select ‘Tools’ and ‘Import and export settings’. This pops up an import export wizard, where you can choose the ‘Export selected environment settings’ option to create your own settings file. On the next screen, select the settings you want to be able to reset later on. After pressing next, enter a filename to store the settings in and click finish. That’s it!
Restoring your settings is as easy as exporting is: open up the wizard, choose if you want to backup the current settings, select the settingsfile you want to import, select the settings to restore and click finish.

Besides using the import export wizard, you can also use the /resetsettings command line switch to reset to a specific set of settings in a file by specifying that file like so:
Devenv.exe /ResetSettings “C:My FilesMySettings.vssettings”

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