Help us investigate a new Welcome Experience in Visual Studio 17.6 Preview 2

Grace Taylor

A central theme across Visual Studio releases is ‘get to code’ quickly. Over the years, we’ve tried many approaches to accelerate start up, project selection or creation, and restoration of previous state. In Visual Studio 2019 we created the modal ‘start window’ experience that optimized for getting to the primary action most developers take when starting the shell. Since that release, there’s been mixed feedback. Much of the critical feedback revolved around the modality interruption when switching between solutions. That has led us to reconsider other options for “get to code.”

With your feedback in mind, we started experimenting with a new Welcome Experience. We’re only just starting our initial investigations in this area, and we know there’s a lot of work we need to do here to ensure a great experience. Read on for more information on what we’re thinking and download Visual Studio 17.6 Preview 2 today to give it a try and share your feedback:

Once you update to Visual Studio 17.6 Preview 2, you’ll get a sneak peek at some of our first attempts at improving the experience on launch of Visual Studio, informed by the previous start page versions, while leveraging the performance and UX improvements that were made for the start window. You’ll encounter an in-IDE Welcome tab instead of the modal Start Window, allowing you to jump right into the shell.

The Welcome page presents all the options you’re used to accessing from the Start Window as a tabbed document window in the IDE itself. These include:

  • Your most recently used project list
  • A search box for recent projects
  • Quick links for creating a new project, opening an existing project, opening a folder, and cloning a repository

You’ll also find a new tile linking to the “What’s New” page, which shows information on some of the new features shipped in Visual Studio. If you’d like to free up some space on the Welcome tab, you can close the What’s New tile. This is a first step toward bringing additional customization to the page. Be sure to let us know what else would be useful to you for customizing your Welcome experience.

Image VS Welcome 03 2023 Revised
Visual Studio Welcome


Let us know what you think!

Give the new Welcome page a try and let us know how it works for you. Let us know if there are any tiles or customizations you’d like added, or whether there’s anything we can improve about the already existing experience. We’ve created an item in Developer Community to serve as a hub for discussing the early work around this experience. Please join in the conversation there!

If you’re interested in seeing Developer News in the Welcome page, please upvote this item. If you have any other feedback, please feel free to share in Developer Community!

Edit May 30 2023:

Thanks everyone for your feedback! We’ve iterated based on your input and we’ve adjusted the design as well as the Most Recently Used (MRU) capability. Take a look at this blog post for more details.

Welcome Experience in Visual Studio revised based on your feedback
Welcome Experience in Visual Studio revised based on your feedback