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 and profiles will be removed.

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?

With Visual Studio 2022 17.4, you’ll be able to rollback to your previously installed version.

  • For the Release channel, you can rollback to your previously installed version if it was either 17.0.10 or higher, or 17.1.7 or higher.
  • For the Preview channel, you can rollback to your previously installed version if it was 17.2 Preview 1 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!