Introducing Visual Studio Rollback!

Sayyeda Mussa

Visual Studio IDE is a feature-rich program that supports many aspects of software development. Our customers can use VS to edit, debug, and build code, and then publish an app. The IDE also provides frequent updates to add additional features, make reliability improvements, and address security vulnerabilities, and we encourage customers to adopt these updates as quickly as possible.  We strive to ensure that updates are highly compatible, but even so, sometimes our customers want the ability to restore Visual Studio to its previous state.  To address this highly requested feature, Visual Studio is introducing the Rollback feature – the ability to return to your previously installed version of Visual Studio.

What will happen?

Rolling back will return Visual Studio to the version installed prior to the last applied update, but it will keep any modifications to selected components chosen since that last update. Your common synchronized settings such as themes, fonts, key bindings, and windows layout will be restored. Local customizations such as your user settings will be restored only if you are rolling back to version 17.7 Preview 3 or higher. Your roamed settings will always be restored.

As of now, you will be able to rollback to components that come with the VS instance and shared components such as SDKs and tools that are owned and managed only by VS. Per-machine extensions, system-wide components, and tools that are not managed by Visual Studio will remain in their current versions. However, per-user extensions will be uninstalled. Please refer to section “Components that are compatible” below for more information.

What will happen to my security updates?

Security updates that are included in a release greater than the version you rolled back to will be removed which could make your device vulnerable. We recommend always updating back soon to the latest version to stay secure.

Which versions support rollback?

Starting with Visual Studio 2022 version 17.4, you’ll be able to rollback to your previously installed version if your original version was on the current channel version 17.1.7 or higher, or on the 17.0 fall 2021 LTSC channel 17.0.10 or higher

 

Components that are compatible

The following table outlines the type of components that are supported with the rollback feature. As a general rule of thumb, components that VS installs, and uses are included in the rollback attempt.

 

Image Rollback Components

 

Can I rollback if I am in a managed environment?

Due to your organizational policies and the requirement to be on the most secure version, your rollback attempt might be undone. IT administrators can control this update behavior by using a policy that disables the ability to Rollback. Please refer to Configure policies for enterprise deployments for more information.

How can I rollback?

There are two options to use this feature:

Option 1: Using the Installer UI

You should be seeing “Rollback to previous version” from the More dropdown button on a product card after an update.

Image RollbackHowTo

From there, a warning pop up will appear and you will have the option to either cancel or proceed.

Image 17 4 RollbackWarning

Option 2: Using Command Line

You can rollback the update programmatically by using the installer on the client machine and passing in the rollback command alongside the installation path instance. For more information, please visit Use command-line parameters to install Visual Studio | Microsoft Learn.

Let us know your thoughts!

We would love to get your feedback on the rollback feature, so please give it a try and let us know what you think. You can share any feedback via Developer Community to help us make Visual Studio better for you!

10 comments

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  • Max Mustermueller 4

    As user settings are removed this is less useful than it could be. It’s more like a full uninstallation – reinstallation instead of a rollback. It’s like on Windows Update, it reinstalls the whole windows deleting all your files and folders instead of just uninstall a specific update.

    Why are user settings removed? Especially because “Synchronized settings” are not. That sounds like it’s not necessary to remove user settings at all. They could be moved to a save place and restored afterwards but it hasn’t been done because… ?! More work? Idk.

    • Sayyeda MussaMicrosoft employee 0

      Hi Max Mustermueller!

      Thank you for your feedback! We’d love to hear what settings you’re concerned about losing with a rollback that aren’t synced, so we can consider including them for synchronization or specifically saving them in a rollback scenario in the future.

      Please create a feedback ticket with your thoughts and suggestions! – Open the Visual Studio Installer, and then choose “Report a problem” to create a feedback ticket Create a feedback ticket

  • Aaron La Greca 0

    Hello Sayyeda amd Dev Community,

    This would be a great tool to set environmental parameter for any given development project that requires specific settings. Project starter development personnel can be up and running in minutes instead of a whole day IDE setup and trouble shooting. Some environments are complex and do not make good sense until they are familiar with relevant systems.

    Cheers.

  • Rodolfo Motta 0

    Is this feature using a lot of additional storage?

    • Sayyeda MussaMicrosoft employee 0

      Hi Rodolfo!

      No, it does not use a lot of additional storage. We only store the meta date for the previous version.

  • Niels Pardons 4

    It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that a rollback feature, and 17.4 were released at the same time, looking at the issues with 17.4.

  • Suchith Madavu 0

    Is this available for VS for MAC ?

    • Sayyeda MussaMicrosoft employee 0

      Hi Suchith!

      No, Rollback is not available for VS for Mac.

  • Founder Fang 4

    pretend to be a feature, actually lost quality control.

  • Philip Lee 2

    I installed 17.4.0, updated to 17.4.1 then discovered an issue which requires rolling back to 17.3. Rollback only offers me 17.4.0 which is obviously no use at all.
    It would be more useful to allow us to rollback to any specific version we needed.
    Luckily I found installers for previous versions here: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/releases/2022/release-history#release-dates-and-build-numbers, although community edition isn’t included.

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