Visual Studio 2022 Preview 2 is out!

Justin Johnson

We’re excited to announce the second preview release of Visual Studio 2022! Preview 1 was the first-ever 64-bit Visual Studio, delivering improved scalability. Starting with Preview 2, we’re focusing on delivering new capabilities on the themes of personal and team productivity, modern development, and constant innovation. In this blog we’re going to highlight a few of the new capabilities of Visual Studio 2022. We’d love for you to download it, try it out, tell us what you think, and join us in shaping the next major release of Visual Studio with your feedback.

Developing for everyone

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Here on the Visual Studio team, we’re committed to that mission for developers.

Our first preview of Visual Studio 2022 included a new font that’s easier to read, Cascadia Code. In our second preview, we’re improving Visual Studio usability for everyone with updated icons that are clearer and easier to distinguish.

Side by side comparison of Visual Studio 2022 icons

While Preview 1 was available only in English, Preview 2 is fully localized. You can choose from over a dozen language packs: English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Developing modern apps

Applications and the developers who build them are critical to the success of companies across the world. And businesses are expecting even more from their applications as part of their digital transformation. Delivering on those expectations means building applications with the latest technologies. With Visual Studio 2022, we are building tools to both support your existing applications and tools to help update and create new applications with ease. Delivering success for you, your business, and your customers.

Preview 2 comes with the latest version (v143) of the C++ build tools, which are binary compatible with previous C++ toolsets shipping with Visual Studio 2019 and older. This new toolset is available with both Visual Studio and the standalone Build Tools installer. Upgrading your C++ projects to take advantage of the latest IDE and toolset improvements should be friction-free.

In addition to being the best place to develop modern Windows apps with C++, we’re adding capabilities to make Visual Studio the best place to build cross platform apps. With Preview 2, we’ve extended our cross-platform capabilities, adding new CMake integration and seamless targeting for WSL2 – with no need for manual configuration.

For .NET developers, Visual Studio 2022 will be the place for you to build Blazor and .NET MAUI applications, using C# to build the next wave of web, mobile, and desktop applications.

Personal and team productivity

As we talked about in the Visual Studio 2022 vision blog, an important area for us is delivering innovative features that revolutionize development. Starting with Preview 2, you’re going to see new productivity capabilities in Visual Studio.

As developers, much of our time building apps is spent on iterative changes and running the application to inspect those changes. This process is time-consuming and frustrating. Making the simplest change can take minutes. Preview 2 offers new Live Preview experiences for both XAML and web apps. You’ll be able to make those iterative changes to your application in the editor and see the difference in real time. No more recompile-and-run when you just want to nudge something by a pixel or two!

Live preview for XAML

The new Web Live Preview is the next generation of web designers for ASP.NET. Web Live Preview adds tools to make web design more approachable. And you can see the changes you make live in the IDE, even with data-bound controls!

Web live preview demo

On top of reducing friction in your edit/debug cycle for design elements with Live Preview, Visual Studio has new capabilities to help you more effectively debug code. Say hello to Force Run, a new debug command that runs your application to a specific point, ignoring any other breakpoint or exception. Force Run is great for getting out of loops which have breakpoints.

Innovation at your fingertips

Another crucial part of our vision for Visual Studio 2022 is unlocking your potential as a developer with truly innovative capabilities. In Preview 1, we shipped IntelliCode whole line completion. And with Preview 2, we’re updating Hot Reload, including support for C++ apps! With Hot Reload, you can edit C++ or .NET projects while your application is running. In many cases, you can apply those code changes without pausing your app. To use Hot Reload on a running application, select the “Apply code changes” button in the toolbar.

Location of the "Hot reload" button on the Visual Studio command bar .

How to help preview Visual Studio 2022

During the preview period, Visual Studio 2022 Preview 2 is free for anyone to use. We encourage you to download and use the preview just like you use Visual Studio 2019. (You can also install them side by side, if you like.) Then let us know how it’s going. We’re grateful for everything that you share with us via Developer Community, Report a problem, and surveys. Your input helps us to make Visual Studio 2022 the best developer experience for you.

Before we go

This is just the beginning—there’s still more to explore with Preview 2. Over the next few weeks, we’ll roll out new blog posts that detail many of the new capabilities of Visual Studio 2022. (If you’re eager to see a full list now, head on over to the release notes.)

32 comments

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  • Avatar
    Max Mustermueller

    I’ve tried 2022 but I noticed literally zero performance improvements on loading a large solution comparing to 2019. Also code search takes for some reason much longer especially when you search in “entire solution”. The Xaml designer still throws exceptions in certain cases (when using custom controls and many resources from resource dictionaries). Especially its broken when you open a Xaml which requires resources from a resource dictionary which you load in code. Overall it feels exactly like 2019, with all its pros and cons.

    • Avatar
      Brien King

      But they have new ICONS!!!!

      I’m sure 2022 will continue to have lots of bugs like 2019 does, but at least the icons will look pretty…

    • Avatar
      Eugene Ivanoff

      I do agree with you. I didn’t notice speedup at all. What I noticed is more bugs. For instance, trying to see project properties throws error. The only way is… to edit .csproj file. Hello, Notepad!!!!

    • Avatar
      Robert Strand

      I have a solution with 224 projects, and it loads it in seconds, you might have some csproj files with issues in them.

  • Rod Macdonald
    Rod Macdonald

    Can I please ask if Web Live Preview is just for .NET Framework (WebForms) and if Hot Reload is for .NET Core (Blazor/Razor) i.e. are they 2 separate tools or are they merging into one, and are these/is this in VS2022 P2? Thank you. [edit: the video suggests there are actually x3 tools including one for XAML]

    • Avatar
      Sayed-Ibrahim-HashimiMicrosoft employee

      Web Live Preview is currently limited to .NET Framework projects. Later we hope to bring Web Live Preview to ASP.NET Core projects, but there is still other work that needs to be done before that. For ASP.NET Core there is Hot Reload, these are different components with some similarities. Web Live Preview is more than just a live previewer, you can also use it to design your web application with a drag and drop experience. I will be publishing a blog post here tomorrow on Web Live Preview and the new Web Forms Designer (powered by Web Live Preview).

      • Rod Macdonald
        Rod Macdonald

        Sounds really good, Sayed. I would love it for the WebForms designer and Core HotReload to be on a par with the WPF designer – CSS stuff like FlexBox and Grid can be really difficult! Just found your blog so looking forward to a good read – cheers!

  • Avatar
    Jan KrassniggMicrosoft employee

    Very cool! The C++ hot reloading sounds like it could be really useful. Does it work for any C++ code, or only for certain types of projects? Does it work with individual DLLs ? E.g. if I have an application running, that has a certain DLL loaded, can I hot reload just that DLL ? And what types of changes are allowed? I’d assume only code logic within functions, but not class layout modifications, right?

    • Avatar
      Marian LuparuMicrosoft employee

      Great to hear! Please give it a try and let us know how it works for you, including what code change limitations you’d like us to revisit.

      C++ Hot Reload uses the C++ Edit & Continue tech, so the same capabilities and limitations transfer to Hot Reload as well. To answer you specific questions:
      – it works with any codebase compiled with the MSVC toolset, as long as you have /ZI compiler switch on.
      – it works on both EXEs and DLLs and it will not cause a full DLL reload. When EnC is on, code changes are injected by the debugger dynamically
      – for a more complete list of code changes allowed and not supported, see this reference documentation: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/debugger/supported-code-changes-cpp?view=vs-2019

      We will have a more detailed blogpost on this soon, so stay tuned 😉

  • Avatar
    Mark Harmer

    I don’t see the C++ v143 tools listed in the “Individual components” of the Installer for VS 2022 Preview 2. There are only 3 listed for “v143”: clang-cl and UWP support for ARM64/ARM64EC.

    • Avatar
      Marian LuparuMicrosoft employee

      Mark, it looks like a bug in the VS Installer. Thanks for letting us know.

      If you install the default C++ Desktop workload in Preview 2, the new v143 toolset will be available in the “Platform Toolset” property in the C++ Project Properties for any C++ project. I’ll follow-up internally to fix the string in the Installer to say “v143” instead of “v142”.

  • Avatar
    Super Coco

    Nothing about to restore the famous disaster chaos mess of the “New Project Dialog” and the “Start Window”. Please restore the old “New Project” dialog and the old “Start Page”.

    Nobody understands how Microsoft has destroyed these two elements that all users liked and that nobody had complained about. No one had demanded a “New Project” dialog or a new “Start Window”. The only reason would be to justify the version change to 2019.

    Things like this completely destroy a good product.

    • Avatar
      hitesh davey

      I completely agree with you. For the New project dialog; VS team has reinvented a wheel by changing the shape from “Circle” to “Square”. Not sure how they approved the design concept in the first place and forcing the VS users to use it! A new dialog screen is such a waste of time, money, resource, and efforts put in.

  • Avatar
    Jason Baginski

    Fun fact, for this whole “hot reload” business. I manage quite a few classic asp.net sites. Since they are still “Web Site” projects rather than “Web App” projects, I can use file explorer to drop new aspx and resource files as I please. I “debug” in release mode. As soon as I hit save, I just navigate to another part of the page or hit refresh and my changes are there. There might be a second of delay. It’s only when I need to actively need to trace something that I recompile for debug mode(very infrequent, maybe four times a month). It’s 1,000% the reason I never “upgraded” these projects to “Web app” and why everything feels so backwards when we’ve been working on new projects using the newer technologies. I’m actively looking forward to being able to migrate my work flow over to doing what I do now, but with being able to trace at the same time with hot reload and eventually get these aging projects up to snuff with the latest tech.

    • Avatar
      Sayed-Ibrahim-HashimiMicrosoft employee

      For asp.net .net framework Website projects, you can use Web Live Preview. The difference between your current workflow, and Web Live Preview, is that you don’t need to save the files for updates to be applied. I’m going to be publishing a post on this blog tomorrow with more details about Web Live Preview.

  • Avatar
    André Ziegler

    “Our first preview of Visual Studio 2022 included a new font that’s easier to read, Cascadia Code. In our second preview, we’re improving Visual Studio usability for everyone with updated icons that are clearer and easier to distinguish.”

    this is a lie. Font is blurry as hell and the icons make it much more difficult to see that they are for.

  • Avatar
    Huo Yaoyuan

    Hello, I’m observing more hangs and lags while browsing System.Private.CoreLib after updating to preview 2. Please investigate potential performance issue.