Increasing Visual Studio startup time by not showing slow windows and not restoring state from your last session

There’s a lot of different functionality windows and extensions in Visual Studio but many add a significant about of seconds to start up time. Thankfully its easy to check which ones are delaying startup the most via the Visual Studio Performance Manager window.  This is available from the Help menu…

VS Performance Menu

and we can see below Visual Studio gives average estimates of how many seconds each window adds to startup time. In this case we can see that certain windows such as C# Interactive and Web Publish Activity are both adding significant startup time.

Not showing all but the most frequently used windows should result in significant startup time improvements.

Viewing Visual Studio Performance Manager

Another way to increase Visual Studio startup time is to uncheck two options which cause VS to remember what you were working on in your last session.

When checked the Reopen documents on solution load option causes VS to automatically reopen documents that were open in the last session. Microsoft estimate that this can slow startup by up to 30% for certain types of projects and files.

When checked the Restore Solution Explorer project hierarchy state on solution load option causes VS to remember which projects were open and which were closed from the last session.

The settings are available in Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions -> General window.

Visual Studio restore files and project hierarchy


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