Visual Studio Setup

Installation and containerization of the Visual Studio family of products

Documentation now live for moving or disabling the package cache

I previously wrote about moving or disabling the package cache for Visual Studio 2017, which is a feature in the latest preview of Visual Studio 2017 and will be generally available update 15.2 is released.
We have now published the documentation along with related material for administrators or developers looking to take more control of their installations,

vswhere is now installed with Visual Studio 2017

Starting in the latest preview release of Visual Studio version 15.2 (26418.1-Preview), you can now find vswhere installed in “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio\Installer” (on 32-bit operating systems before Windows 10, you should use “%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio\Installer”).
While I initially made vswhere.exe available via NuGet and Chocolatey for easy acquisition,

Cleaning up the Visual Studio 2017 package cache

With the ability to disable or move the package cache for Visual Studio 2017 and other products installed with the new installer, packages are removed for whatever instance(s) you are installing, modifying, or repairing.
If you have a lot of instances and want to clean all of them up easily from the command line –

Moving or disabling the package cache for Visual Studio 2017

In the latest preview release of Visual Studio we are introducing the ability to disable (or re-enable) the package cache, or move it to another drive. This can be done using the command line or the registry, which can be deployed on a domain using group policy.

vswhere now searches older versions of Visual Studio

One of the top requests I kept hearing for vswhere was to also search older versions of Visual Studio. You can now do that starting with the latest release.

Even if you don’t have Visual Studio 2017 or newer installed –


Configure Visual Studio across your organization with .vsconfig

Add a .vsconfig file to your solution root directory to configure Visual Studio consistently across your organization.

Older versions of Visual Studio 2017 will not install in Windows Server 2019 containers

If you try to install Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017 into a Windows Server 2019 or newer container image, such as or, the install will quickly terminate without error and without installing anything. This is due, in part,

Workaround for 0x8007007e when trying to to locate an instance of Visual Studio

We are investigating how a particular rare problem occurs that can prevent clients like VSIXInstaller.exe, vswhere.exe, and others from finding any Visual Studio instance that results in an error similar to the following:

This is the CLSID for the Visual Studio Installer query API,

Docker recipes available for Visual Studio Build Tools

Use or contribute your own Dockerfiles on GitHub to help others build similar workloads with Visual Studio Build Tools.

No container image for Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017

The size and permutations of Build Tools 2017 container images are too great to publish official images, but here's how you can create your own tailored images.

vswhere now supports -utf8 to override console code page

You can now force vswhere to output JSON using the UTF-8 encoding.

Updated documentation for Visual Studio Build Tools container

The .NET Framework may not be correctly installed into a Windows Server Core container, and managed code - like the compilers - may fail. The documentation was updated with how to work around this.

vswhere now supports -requiresAny to find instances with one or more components installed

You can now use -requiresAny with vswhere to specify that any component ID passed to -requires will satisfy the query.

Set both x86 and x64 registry views for custom setup policy

Due to a bug in older versions of Visual Studio 2017, you should set the CachePath policy in both 32- and 64-bit views of the registry.

How to install Builds Tools in a Docker container

Preview new documentation for how to install Build Tools for Visual Studio 2017 into a Docker container.