Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1 now generally available (and 16.2 Preview 1 as well)

Mads Kristensen

Today, we are making Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1 generally available, as well as the first preview release of Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2. You can download both versions from If you already have Preview installed, you can alternatively click the notification bell from inside Visual Studio to update. We’ve highlighted some notable features below and you can also see a list of all the changes in the current release notes or the Preview release notes. 

What to expect in 16.1 today 

Let’s start with Visual Studio IntelliCode which we made generally available at //Build 2019. IntelliCode now comes installed with any workload that supports C#, C++, TypeScipt/JavaScript, or XAML. IntelliCode provides AI-enhanced IntelliSense, so as you type, the context of the code will be used to recommend the next API you might use, rather than a simple alphabetical list. If you work with multiple monitors, and multiple resolutions, with Per-Monitor-Awareness, you will find that in most cases, your IDE and tool windows will scale appropriately for crisp visuals too. Finally, Visual Studio Search will now display Most Recently Used results to help you get to projects faster. 

For .NET developers, we’ve added new .NET productivity features such as one-click code cleanup on projects and solutions, a new toggle block comment keyboard shortcut and new refactoring capability to move types to other namespaces. But that’s not all! You now have improved IntelliSense that provides completion for unimported types and improvements to the .editorconfig integration. Finally, we have a preview XAML Designer for .NET Core 3.0 WPF development. 

Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1 also has several new features specific to the Linux Development with C++ workload: native support for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)AddressSanitizer integration, the ability to separate build and debug targets, and logging for remote connections. We also introduced a bunch of improvements to our CMake support including Clang/LLVM support for CMake projects, better vcpkg integration, and enhanced customizability for importing existing caches.  

 C++ Improvements

We continuously strive to make Visual Studio faster and more efficient. When we started 1.5 years ago, the average load time was 68 seconds for 161-sized solution and the Test Explorer took over 5 minutes to load time. With the latest release this has now been cut to 5 and 24 seconds respectively as shown below:


Test Explorer UI Updates (16.2) 

One of the focus areas for version 16.2 have been enhancements to the Visual Studio Test Explorer where we have incorporated a lot of community feedbacto help you become more productive by keeping the developer inner loop as tight as possible. The update Test Explorer provides better handling of large test sets, easier filtering, more discoverable commands, tabbed playlist views, and the addition of customizable columns that let you fine tune what test information is displayed. 

 Test Explorer in Visual Studio 2019

You can now easily view the total number of failing tests at a glance and filter by outcome with the summary buttons at the top of the Test Explorer. 

Filter buttons

You can also customize what information is shown for your tests by selecting what columns are displayed! You can display the Duration column when youre interested in identifying slow performing tests or you can use the Message column for comparing resultsThis table layout mimics the Error List table in its customizability. The columns can also be filtered using the filter icon that appears when hovering over the column header. 

Adjustable and filterable columns

Additionally, you now can specify what is displayed in each tier of the test hierarchy. The default tiers are Project, Namespace, and then Class, but you can also select Outcome or Duration groupings. 

Customizable hierarchy 

Playlists can be displayed in multiple tabs and are much easier to create and discard as needed. Live Unit Testing also gets its own tab that displays all tests currently included in Live Unit Testing so you can easily keep track of Live Unit Testing results, separate from the manually run test results. Live Unit Testing, is a Visual Studio feature that automatically runs any impacted unit tests in the background and presents the results and code coverage live in the Visual Studio IDE in real time. 

Playlists and Live Unit Testing tab 

Read about all the new updates in the release notes. 

Visual Studio integration with the Azure SignalR Service (16.2) 

If you are building Web Apps or services that are deployed and hosted in Azure App Service, then you may be using the Azure SignalR Service too, to enable real-time communication to enable you to route WebSocket traffic in a more efficient and scalable way. When developing these apps in Visual Studio 2019 16.2 Preview 1, you will now have a smoother experience to create and configure Azure SignalR Service  automatically during the publish phase to Azure App Service 

Give it a try today and let us know what you think 

We encourage everyone to update to Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1 by downloading directly from and we would also invite you to try out the 16.2 Preview 1 release by downloading it online, or updating via the notification bell inside Visual Studio. You can also use the Visual Studio Installer to install the update.

We are continuously driven by your feedback, so we look forward to hearing what you have to say about our latest release. If you come across any issues, make sure to let us know by using the Report a Problem tool in Visual Studio. Additionally, you can head over to Visual Studio Developer Community to track your issues, suggest a feature, ask questions, and find answers from others. We use your feedback to continue to improve Visual Studio 2019, so thank you again on behalf of our entire team.