Visual Studio 2019 Release Candidate (RC) now available

John M

Today we’re sharing a Visual Studio 2019 Release Candidate (RC) – one of the final steps before general availability on April 2 at the virtual launch event. You can download the RC at As always, check out the release notes for the RC for all the details.

Explaining the Release Candidate

With this release, we’re introducing two product “channels”: the release channel and the preview channel. Starting today, Visual Studio 2019 RC is available in the release channel ( and Visual Studio 2019 Preview 4 is available in the preview channel ( Both versions can be installed and used side-by-side and, right now, both channels contain the same bits.

Starting April 2, the release channel (RC) build can be upgraded to our generally available (GA) release, which will be ready for production use. The preview channel will continue to offer an early look at upcoming features, just as you’ve become accustomed to in Visual Studio 2017.

With today’s releases, we encourage you to install either Visual Studio 2019 RC side-by-side with your existing Preview installation, or start using the RC if you haven’t checked out the Preview releases. Visual Studio 2019 RC, as was the case with RCs of previous versions of Visual Studio, is a supported release and comes with a go-live license, but keep in mind that we’re still finalizing things and some workloads remain in preview until April 2. As mentioned, the RC can be upgraded to (GA) on April 2.

To help explain the two channels between now and GA (and beyond), we’ve put together this chart: Visual Studio 2019 product channels

Visual Studio 2019 Editions

On the download or preview page on, you’ll find that you can now choose to download the Community, Professional, or Enterprise edition for either channel. Up until now, only the Enterprise edition was available in the Visual Studio 2019 preview channel. If you have an Enterprise license and would like to keep using Visual Studio 2019 Preview, you can simply update to Preview 4 in the Visual Studio Installer. For everyone else, you will have to switch to the edition you’re licensed for, either in the preview (Preview 4) or release (RC) channels. We recommend that you first install your licensed edition, and then uninstall the current Visual Studio 2019 Preview if installed.

Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise have different features. For example, Enterprise has IntelliTrace, Live Unit Testing, Embedded Assemblies for mobile apps, Real Time Architecture Validation, and others – features we continue to hone. A couple of items I’ll call out that are a bit newer in Visual Studio 2019 Enterprise:

  • The Snapshot Debugger, which enables you to debug production applications in Azure with minimal disruption, adds support for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS).
  • In a future release of Visual Studio Enterprise 2019 will add a preview of Time Travel Debugging (TTD) integrated with the Snapshot Debugger. TTD enables you to record a process and then accurately reconstruct and replay the execution path. You can rewind and replay each line of code however many times you want, helping you isolate and identify problems.

For Visual Studio Community 2019, we’re making the References, Application Insights (Requests and Exceptions), and Test (Test Status and Tested By) CodeLens capabilities available, which were only available in Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise previously. This means that any Visual Studio 2019 user can can now get specific insights and information about the code, right within the code editor.

Reaching the home stretch together

We’re incredibly grateful to all the users who have been trying out Visual Studio 2019 since the first preview and have been giving us feedback every step of the way. While our generally available release on April 2 only marks the beginning of Visual Studio 2019 releases, we still encourage everyone to install Visual Studio 2019 RC and help us ship the best of Visual Studio to date. Let us know of any issues you run into by using the Report a Problem tool in Visual Studio or head over to the Visual Studio Developer Community to track your issue or suggest a feature.

I hope you all tune in online on April 2 for the virtual launch of Visual Studio 2019, which will be a fun celebration together with you, the community. You can also attend one of the many local launch events happening between April 2 and June 30. I hope you continue to share your feedback in future releases, so Visual Studio continues to be your development environment of choice. Thank you!


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  • Dean Jackson

    Is the new start window mandatory, or can it be turned off?
    I’m thankful there are some SSDT fixes in 2019, but it’s strange that the SSDT team doesn’t engage with the community at all, when Microsoft is all about engaging with the developer community.  Why don’t they interact at all…like have an active blog that tells what’s going on?
    Since the classic blue theme is still liked by many, will you make it available as a choice when using the Color Theme Editor…the optional themes can be downloaded here:

    • Petr Onderka

      You can turn the Start Window off in Tools → Options → Evironment → Startup.

  • J. Daniel Smith

    Any chance of relaxing the Community license slightly so that enterprise developers can use Visual Studio instead of VSCode+WSL+GCC?

  • King David Consulting LLC

    I downloaded and installed Visual Studio 2019 RC version and had to enable the preview sdks usage by Tools–>Options –> Projects and Solutions –>.NET Core –> check Use preview of the .NET Core SDK. I guess the assumption was it would be enabled by default.

  • Felipe Pessoto

    I’m a big fan of TTD and looking forward to see it in Visual Studio.

  • 书架 朱

    Can Visual Studio 2017 be upgraded directly to Visual Studio 2019 RC?

  • Lynd Trang

    How about the Visual Studio 2017, can we upgraded to 2019 or need to uninstall it after install VS2019 ?

    • Ravi UppaluruMicrosoft employee

      Hi Lynd,
          VS 2017 and VS 2019 can exist Side by Side (SxS) and you do not have to uninstall VS 2017 to install VS 2019. You can upgrade solutions/projects from VS 2017 to VS 2019. VS version itself can not be upgraded from 2017 to 2019. 

  • Kexy Biscuit

    So what’s the feature difference between Community and Professional edition now?

    • Rajen Kishna Microsoft employee

      Hi, the main difference between the two has always been the EULA and being able to use Community only when certain conditions are met (as detailed in the Visual Studio Community license terms) Visual Studio Professional 2019 will have the TFVC/Git and Code History CodeLens capabilities available, which are not available in Visual Studio Community 2019. Furthermore, Visual Studio Professional 2019 can be acquired as the Visual Studio Professional Subscription, which comes with a bunch of benefits like monthly Azure credits, access to Microsoft software for dev/test usage, training and support, and partner offers.

  • Rand Random

    Annoying scrolling behaviour here on this webpage, when enlarging the posted image. Here a video showing the issue: The issue happens with Edge.   Another issue, when I hit the submit button for this post the scrolling wen to the very top of the webpage. To Reproduce: 1. click on image 2. move mouse outside the image (to the bottom) 3. click to close the image 4. move the mouse = it will scroll to the end of the webpage   Another issue, when I hit the submit button for this comment the webpage scrolled to the very top. One more, while writing/editing this comment I used line breaks to format the message, after refreshing the page those line breaks are gone, is that as designed? In my opinion a WYSIWYG would be better, and not this. And once more, the font and line spaces changes when you press edit and cancel or save. So, yeah.. 

    • Nicole BruckMicrosoft employee

      Hi Rand, thank you for the screen recording and reporting these. I apologize for the unexpected behaviors and promise that we’re looking into it straightaway. If you see any other issues or have suggestions for where we can improve, please continue to share feedback.

  • Mike Diack

    Request for more information:Can the Visual Studio 2019 Preview / RC release notes, give details of what’s changed between Preview 3 and Preview 4 (aka RC) please?At the moment, there’s no detail at all as to what has changed since Preview 3?Just saying that Preview 4 is a “cumulative update” is hopeless.