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Debugging .NET using Visual Studio

A list of tips & tricks which might be useful when debugging .NET applications. The documentation is divided into the followings sections:

General usage notes

Common keyboard shortcuts, configuration.

Plugins I use

List of plugins I use.

Debugger configuration tips

Which options should be enabled for the best debugging experience in VS.


How to effectively use breakpoints and tracepoints while debugging.


Instructions how to diagnose Exceptions in VS (1st and 2nd chance).

Call stack

Options available in call stack window. How to decompose the .NET stack and look for local variables and parameters.

Parallel execution

Dialogs available in VS to monitor threads in the application. Navigating between locked threads and looking for a source of the problem.

Memory and GC

Observing GC in Visual Studio. What can be read about about an object. Analyzing memory segments belonging to GC.


Some notes on Intellitrace and its usage.