Python in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.8

Dan Taylor

We have released the 15.8 update to Visual Studio 2017. You will see a notification in Visual Studio within the next few days, or you can download the new installer from

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the new features we have added for Python developers: IntelliSense with type shed definitions, faster debugging, and support for Python 3.7. For a list of all changes in this release, check out the Visual Studio release notes.

Faster debugging, on by default

We first released a preview of our ptvsd 4.0 debug engine in the 15.7 release of Visual Studio, in the 15.8 release this is now the default, offering faster and more reliable debugging for all users.

If you encounter issues with the new debug engine, you can revert back to the previous debug engine by selecting Use legacy debugger from Tools > Options > Python > Debugging.

Richer IntelliSense

We are continuing to make improvements to IntelliSense for Python in Visual Studio 2017. In this release you will notice completions that are faster, more reliable, and have better understanding of the surrounding code, and tooltips with more focused and useful information. Go To Definition and Find All References are better at taking you to the module a value was imported from, and Python packages that include type annotations will provide richer completions. These changes were made as part of our ongoing effort to make our Python analysis from Visual Studio available as an independent Microsoft Python Language Server.

As an example, below shows improved tooltips with richer information when hovering over the os module in 15.8 compared to 15.7:

We have also added initial support for using typeshed definitions to provide more completions for places where our static analysis is unable to infer complete information. We are still working through some known issues with this though, so results may be limited and expect to see better support for typeshed in future releases.

Support for Python 3.7

We have updated our Visual Studio so that all of our features work with Python 3.7, which was recently released. Most functionality of Visual Studio works with Python 3.7 in the 15.7 release, and in the 15.8 release we made specific fixes so that debug attach, profiling, and mixed-mode (cross-language) debugging features work with Python 3.7.

Give Feedback

Be sure to download the latest version of Visual Studio and try out the above improvements. If you encounter any issues, please use the Report a Problem tool to let us know (this can be found under Help, Send Feedback) or continue to use our GitHub page. Follow our Python blog to make sure you hear about our updates first, and thank you for using Visual Studio!


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