Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2 Generally Available and 16.3 Preview 1


Today we are making Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2 generally available, as well as Preview 1 of version 16.3. 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, but you can also see a list of all the changes in the current release notes or the Preview release notes.

What to expect in Visual Studio version 16.2

Test Explorer

Test Explorer provides better handling of large test sets, easier filtering, more discoverable commands, tabbed playlist views, and customizable columns to fine-tune test information displayed.



This image shows the expanded Test Explorer .
Improved Test Explorer


.NET Developer Productivity

Version 16.2 supports debugging JavaScript in the new Microsoft Edge Insider browser for ASP.NET and ASP.NET Core projects.  To do this, install the browser, set a breakpoint in the application’s JavaScript and start a debug session.

There are improvements in .NET developer productivity as version 16.2 brings back the Sort Usings refactoring option. Developers also have the ability to convert switch statements to switch expressions and also generate a parameter for a variable from the Quick Actions menu.

In addition, there is an enriched experience of creating and configuring Azure SignalR services when enabling real-time communication in web applications.


In the C++ space, changes include Clang/LLVM support for MSBuild projects, incremental build for Windows Subsystem for Linux, and a new C++ quick action to install missing packages in CMake projects using vcpkg.

CMake projects using vcpkg
C++ quick action to install missing packages in CMake projects using vcpkg


Changes in the throughput of the C++ linker significantly improve iteration build times for the largest of input.  This should result in an improvement to all codebases.  Internal measurements taken on the C++ team saw 2X ranges for /debug:fast and /incremental, while /debug:full typically ranged from 3X to 6X and up.  More information is available on the C++ Team Blog.

C++ Iteration Build Time Demo
Improvements to the C++ linker.



To enhance usability, users who opted to hide their toolbars in Visual Studio receive additional vertical space. Upon hiding all toolbars, the Live Share, Feedback and Badge icons are moved to the top.  The steps to restore the toolbar are View > Toolbars and select the desired toolbar.

Adding and removing toolbar selections
Increased usability of the toolbar


A list of preview features is findable under Tools > Options > Environment > Preview Features.  This page also allows users to learn about upcoming features as well as participate in surveys to provide additional perspectives on future changes.

Looking forward to 16.3 Preview 1: .NET Core 3.0 Preview and C++

.NET Core 3.0 Preview

Version 16.3 Preview 1 has added support for .NET Core 3.0 Preview.  Additional features include .NET Core project templates like Worker and gRPC for building microservices or Blazor for building client web apps using C#.

Because the ability to search in Visual Studio is a key driver for discoverability, there is an added search box in the start window for users to quickly locate recently used projects, solutions, and folders. The most recently used code containers also integrate with Visual Studio global search so they can be found there as well. This is a direct result of it being one of the highest voted feature requests.  Thanks for all of the feedback!

Improved search feature example

Finding the right project template should be easier than previous iterations.  Template search in the New Project Dialog now supports fuzzy search allowing for typos and plurals while also highlighting matching keywords and ranking results based on relevance.

Recent project search example

Visual Studio will now pick up any updates made to the templates via the .NET CLI and, as a result, the two are kept in sync. New tooling is included in support of the new templates.  Examples include publishing worker projects to container registries and managing Open API & gRPC service references.

This version of Visual Studio also includes many productivity improvements. C++ projects now have IntelliSense member lists filtered based on type qualifiers. Developers have the ability to toggle line comments with a quick command (Ctrl + K, Ctrl + /). .NET projects load more asynchronously and renaming classes in the editor can also rename the containing file. Furthermore, debugging and profiling includes better Edit and Continue support.  There is also auto-expanding of the hot path in the performance profiler and the ability to move both forwards and backward in the profiler during an investigation.

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

Everyone is encouraged to update to Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2 by downloading directly from or updating via the notification bell inside Visual Studio. An alternative option includes the Visual Studio Installer for updates. Try out the 16.3 Preview 1 release by downloading it online or updating from within the IDE from a previous Preview Channel release.

Most noteworthy, Visual Studio teams are continuously driven by feedback, so we look forward to hearing what you have to say about our latest releases. If you discover 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.


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  • Chuck Ryan

    You can keep trying to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, aka New Project Dialog, but it is not going to solve the underlying fact that it is a poorly thought out excuse for a design concept that should embarass you every time you have to promote it like this.
    And yes we expect you will continue to ignore the feedback and push ahead like you have since you first initiated the 2012 IDE Protocol, and try to pretend it never happened, but don’t worry we will be sure to remind you at every opportunity.

  • Eaton

    When’s the Visual Studio update with .NET Core WinForms designer support coming?

    • David Hunter

      This raised another question. I can’t find how to downgrade to 16.1 which no longer seems to be downloadable. Given that 16.2 is unusable we need to be able to do this.

        • David Hunter

          Sorry I should have mentioned I know about that page. The problem is it doesn’t even mention the Community edition and only has links for Professional and Enterprise. For now I installed Professional from that page which fixes stuff for now and gives me 30 days. It would be good if that page had at least a comment about Community, even if just to say “tough luck no downgrades allowed” 

        • Joe Saffo


          As David Hunter mentioned in his reply, Community edition does not appear as links on the page you provided. There is a regression in 16.2.5, and I need to downgrade to 16.2.3. However, I am unable to find a link to get that version anywhere on the internet. The Visual Studio installer only lets me install 16.2.5, and there does not appear to be an option to change that.

          Please let me know how to download the Community edition installer for 16.2.3.

          Thank you.

  • Federico Navarrete

    Hi Jacqueline or someone from MS, I’d like to raise a point that Xamarin Android is having several issues in each release from VS2019.
    I’ve been testing stable versions as previews (even one from today [2019-07-25 7:15 CEST]) and many things that were working a previous release ago now are broken. I have raised several tickets in GitHub, VS Community and I’m even in contact with some MS engineers about this; also, I provided my solutions from multiple projects.
    I consider this situation should be escalated to bring stability back to Xamarin Android since in 2017 it was working properly, but now, it’s quite hard to say what is going to be broken in the next release and only minor things are fixed or we need to find partial workarounds.
    I cannot imagine this situation in regular production environments where you have CI/CD solutions like AzureDevOps on going.

    • Jon DouglasMicrosoft employee

      Hey Federico, Thank you so much for your comment. I just wanted to chime in here and let you know that we’ve addressed many of these issues for 16.3 Preview 3. Majority of the tickets you’ve created have been addressed thus far and will be included in that release. If there’s any specific issue that you haven’t seen movement on, please let us know so we can work on resolving it before the next major release.

  • Dave Bacher

    .NET Core 2.2 isn’t in the list and, if installed, has to be repaired after the upgrade to 16.2.
    IDE setting to load preview SDKs (for 3.0 in 16.2) is additionally cleared during the update, and then 3.0 has to be repaired afterwards as well before it is listed.  Haven’t installed the preview IDE yet due to download size / time.  Looks like GitHub credentials may also have to be regenerated after the update.

  • Hitesh Davey

    Ever since the VS2019 released officially; every developer who tried it had complained about NEW PROJECT dialog but MS VS team is just ignoring all complaints on new dialog and on another hand, they say “we are listing every complaint, feedback & suggestion to improve VS”.
    This new dialog box is just useless and pathic by design compare to classic VS2017 dialog! Can’t you simply understand this?

    • Evgeny Vrublevsky

      It seems that somebody from management just rejects to admit that they spent a lot of time and money on a useless thing.

    • GSoft Consulting

      At this point in the game, it makes sense to listen to what users need to successfully accomplish their task. It is about the time that MS starts to listen to users.  

  • Neven Lalic

    For those complaning about New Project Dialog. Just how many projects are you making daily?. It’s like complaning about gas cap on a car to a manufacturer.

    • Chuck Ryan

      Yes, but some of us have read their posts on the design of the New Project Dialog and did not miss the fact that they want this design to be a new standard throughout VS. So does that make it impactful enough to let them know it is not something we feel works?

    • Chuck Ryan

      Ok, since something was aparently a problem with my first response, let’s try it this way. @Pratik Nadagouda posted an article called “Redesigning the New Project Dialog” on this blog and in the final paragraph is the following sentence “This is the first iteration of a new design paradigm we’re trying to adopt for Visual Studio.” This is why we are not sitting back quietly and just accepting these changes, it is only the beginning.

  • Keith Nicholas

    Can you please hire a keyboard junky and every time before you release new features, make sure your keyboard junky can effectively drive the UI via the keyboard.  For whatever reason the start window the recent items are not the currently select item so you can’t arrow to the appropriate project.   
    Its great now the screen without toolbars properly works, but now I have to do a silly dance because, for some silly reason, you can’t set the Debug Target on .net core project anywhere except in the Standard toolbar.  

    Can you guys stop working on things like liveshare and just get a bunch of Ux designers to go through the UI from the persepctive of a mouser and keyboard junky and make sure everything is nicely designed?  Don’t tell people to “raise an issue and see if enough people vote for it before we even consider looking at it”.   No, just design your core product nicely without having everyone ask you to do it. So many things are insanely bad for over a decade.  Or open source visual studio so we can fix it for you.    
    If I seem bitter it’s because I have been complaining about the same issues for over a decade and everytime I do I get lots of upvotes or me toos for the same issues….