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TOCTitle ContentId PageTitle DateApproved MetaDescription
FAQ
E02F97FD-842B-4D27-B461-37DD18B2582E
Visual Studio Code Frequently Asked Questions
9/5/2018
Visual Studio Code Frequently Asked Questions

Visual Studio Code FAQ

Our docs contain a Common Questions section as needed for specific topics. We've captured items here that don't fit in the other topics.

If you don't see an answer to your question here, check our previously reported issues and our Updates notes.

What is the difference between VS Code and VS Community?

Visual Studio Code is a streamlined code editor with support for development operations like debugging, task running and version control. It aims to provide just the tools a developer needs for a quick code-build-debug cycle and leaves more complex workflows to fuller featured IDEs. For more details about the goals of VS Code, see Why VS Code.

Which OS's are supported?

VS Code runs on macOS, Linux, and Windows. See Requirements for the supported versions. You can find more platform specific details under SETUP.

Is VS Code free?

Yes, VS Code is free for private or commercial use.

Report an issue with a VS Code extension

For bugs, feature requests or to contact an extension author, you should use the links available in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace. However, if there is an issue where an extension does not follow our code of conduct, for example it includes profanity, pornography or presents a risk to the user, then we have an email alias where you can contact us to report the issue. Once the mail is received, our Marketplace team will look into an appropriate course of action, up to and including unpublishing the extension.

How do I find the VS Code version?

You can find the VS Code version information in the About dialog box.

On macOS, go to Code > About Visual Studio Code.

On Windows and Linux, go to Help > About.

The VS Code version is the first Version number listed and has the version format 'major.minor.release', for example '1.27.0'.

How do I opt out of VS Code auto-updates?

By default, VS Code is set up to auto-update for macOS and Windows users when we release new updates. If you do not want to get automatic updates, you can set the update.channel setting from default to none.

To modify the update channel, go to File > Preferences > Settings (macOS: Code > Preferences > Settings), search for update.channel and change the setting to none.

If you use the JSON editor for your settings, add the following line:

    "update.channel": "none"

You can install a previous release of VS Code by uninstalling your current version and then installing the download provided at the top of a specific release page under Updates.

Note: On Linux: If the VS Code repository was installed correctly then your system package manager should handle auto-updating in the same way as other packages on the system. See Installing VS Code on Linux.

Can I run a portable version of VS Code?

Yes, VS Code has a Portable Mode which lets you keep settings and data in the same location as your installation, for example, on a USB drive.

Licensing

Location

You can find the VS Code licenses, third party notices and Chromium Open Source credit list under your VS Code installation location resources\app folder. VS Code's ThirdPartyNotices.txt, Chromium's Credits_*.html, and VS Code's English language LICENSE.txt are available under resources\app. Localized versions of LICENSE.txt by Language ID are under resources\app\licenses.

Why does Visual Studio Code have a different license than the vscode GitHub repository?

To learn why Visual Studio Code, the product, has a different license than vscode, the open source GitHub repository, see issue #60 for a detailed explanation.

Can I run prerelease versions of VS Code?

Want an early peek at new VS Code features? You can try prerelease versions of VS Code by installing the "Insiders" build. The Insiders build installs side by side to your stable VS Code install and has isolated settings, configurations and extensions. The Insiders build is updated nightly so you'll get the latest bug fixes and feature updates from the day before.

To install the Insiders build, go to the Insiders download page.

VS Code gets unresponsive right after opening a folder

When you open a folder, VS Code will search for typical project files to offer you additional tooling (e.g. the solution picker in the status bar to open a solution). If you open a folder with lots of files, the search can take a large amount of time and CPU resources during which VS Code might be slow to respond. We plan to improve this in the future but for now you can exclude folders from the explorer via the files.exclude setting and they will not be searched for project files:

    "files.exclude": {
        "**/largeFolder": true
    }

VS Code is blank?

The Electron shell used by Visual Studio Code has trouble with some GPU (graphics processing unit) hardware acceleration. If VS Code is displaying a blank (empty) main window, you can try disabling GPU acceleration when launching VS Code by adding the Electron --disable-gpu command line switch.

code --disable-gpu

Installation appears to be corrupt [Unsupported]

VS Code does a background check to detect if the installation has been changed on disk and if so, you will see the text '[Unsupported]' in the title bar. This is done since some extensions directly modify (patch) the VS Code product in such a way that is semi-permanent (until the next update) and this can cause hard to reproduce issues. We are not trying to block VS Code patching, but we want to raise awareness that patching VS Code means you are running an unsupported version. Reinstalling VS Code will replace the modified files and silence the warning.

GDPR and VS Code

As the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect, we want to take this opportunity to reiterate that we take privacy very seriously. That's both for Microsoft as a company and specifically within the VS Code team.

VS Code does collect telemetry data which we use to help understand how to improve the product. For example, it helps debug issues such as slow start-up times and prioritize features. While we appreciate this insight, we also know that not everyone wants to send this data, so we continue to offer the ability to disable telemetry as outlined here.

In preparation for GDPR, we have made several updates to VS Code, these include:

  • Making it easier to opt out of telemetry collection by placing a notification in product for all existing and new users.
  • Reviewing and classifying the telemetry that we send (which is documented in our OSS codebase).
  • Ensuring that we have valid data retention policies in place for any data we do collect, for example crash dumps.

In short, we have worked hard to do the right thing, for all users, as these practices apply to all geographies, not just Europe.

One question we expect people to ask is to see the data we collect. However, we don't have a reliable way to do this as VS Code does not have is a 'sign-in' experience that would uniquely identify a user. We do send information which helps us approximate a single user for diagnostic purposes (this is based on a hash of the network adapter NIC) but this is not guaranteed to be unique. For example, VM's often rotate NIC ID's or allocate from a pool. This technique is sufficient to help us when working through problems, but it is not reliable enough for us to 'provide your data'.

In conclusion, we expect our approach to evolve as we learn more about GDPR and the expectations of our users. We greatly appreciate the data users do send to us, as it is very valuable, VS Code is a better product for everyone because it. And again, if you are worried about privacy, we offer the ability to disable sending telemetry as described here.

You can find more information about how the Visual Studio family approaches GDPR at Visual Studio Family Data Subject Requests for the GDPR.

How to disable telemetry reporting

VS Code collects usage data and sends it to Microsoft to help improve our products and services. Read our privacy statement to learn more.

If you don't wish to send usage data to Microsoft, you can set the telemetry.enableTelemetry setting to false.

From File > Preferences > Settings (macOS: Code > Preferences > Settings), search for telemetry.enableTelemetry and uncheck the setting. This will silence all telemetry events from the VS Code shell going forward until you enable the setting again.

If you use the JSON editor for your settings, add the following line:

    "telemetry.enableTelemetry": false

You can inspect telemetry events in the Output panel by setting the log level to Trace using Developer: Set Log Level from the Command Palette.

Important Notice: VS Code gives you the option to install Microsoft and third party extensions. These extensions may be collecting their own usage data and are not controlled by the telemetry.enableTelemetry setting. Consult the specific extension's documentation to learn about its telemetry reporting.

How to disable crash reporting

VS Code collects data about any crashes that occur and sends it to Microsoft to help improve our products and services. Read our privacy statement to learn more.

If you don't wish to send crash data to Microsoft, you can set the telemetry.enableCrashReporter setting to false.

From File > Preferences > Settings (macOS: Code > Preferences > Settings), search for telemetry.enableCrashReporter and uncheck the setting.

If you use the JSON editor for your settings, add the following line:

    "telemetry.enableCrashReporter": false

Important Notice: This option requires a restart of VS Code to take effect.

Managing online services

Beyond crash reporting and telemetry, VS Code uses online services for various other purposes such as downloading product updates, finding, installing and updating extensions, or providing Natural Language Search within Settings. You can choose to turn on/off features that use these services.

From File > Preferences > Settings (macOS: Code > Preferences > Settings), and search for @tag:usesOnlineServices. This will display all settings that control the usage of online services and you can individually switch them on or off.

Do you send all my information to a recommendation service?

VS Code provides extension recommendations based on your file types, your workspace, and your environment. File type recommendations are either precomputed or dynamic. Workspace and environment recommendations are always precomputed.

If you want to know why an extension is being recommended, open the extension's detail page. You can find the recommendation reason in the page header.

Dynamic recommendations

When you open a file type for which VS Code does not have any precomputed recommendation, it asks the extension Marketplace for extensions that declare that they support this file type. If the query returns extensions you don't have installed, VS Code tells you about it.

Precomputed recommendations

VS Code collects telemetry about which extensions are being activated for what file types and what workspaces/folders. We identify folders by computing a hash of each of the folder's Git remotes.

We use this information to precompute anonymous recommendations. Precomputed recommendations are instructions that spell out under which conditions an extension should be recommended. For example, when we see an interesting co-relation between two extensions A and B, one instruction might be: Recommend extension B if the user has installed extension A but not B.

Some precomputed recommendations are shipped as part of the product while additional precomputed recommendations are fetched at runtime from an online Microsoft service. VS Code independently evaluates and executes precomputed recommendations without sending any user information to any online service.

Technical Support

You can ask questions and search for answers on Stack Overflow and enter issues and feature requests directly in our GitHub repository.

If you'd like to contact a professional support engineer, you can open a ticket with the Microsoft assisted support team.