Anti-virus programs can affect VS build performance

Web Development Tools Microsoft

We have had complaints from some customers saying that their Web Project build performance with VS is very slow and it turns out that for some of the complaints the actual issue was anti-virus programs running on their machines.

So, how do anti-virus programs affect VS build?

Please take a look at the following snippet from ScottGu’s blog to understand why!

Watch out for Virus Checkers, Spy-Bots, and Search/Indexing Tools

VS hits the file-system a lot, and obviously needs to reparse any file within a project that has changed the next time it compiles.  One issue I’ve seen reported several times are cases where virus scanners, spy-bot detecters, and/or desktop search indexing tools end up monitoring a directory containing a project a little too closely, and continually change the timestamps of these files (they don’t alter the contents of the file – but they do change a last touched timestamp that VS also uses).  This then causes a pattern of: you make a change, rebuild, and then in the background the virus/search tool goes in and re-searches/re-checks the file and marks it as altered – which then causes VS to have to re-build it again.  Check for this if you are seeing build performance issues, and consider disabling the directories you are working on from being scanned by other programs.  I’ve also seen reports of certain Spybot utilities causing extreme slowness with VS debugging – so you might want to verify that you aren’t having issues with those either.

If you are running into slowness with VS builds please try to exclude your directories from being scanned by anti-virus programs and see if it helps to improve the build performance.

For other tips/ tricks with VS Web Application Project build performance take a look at this full blog entry by ScottGu.

Performance issues with VWD? Email them to

Ranjini | Web Development Tools team


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