Learn How To Control Default Window Layout Of Your Visual Studio

Visual Studio has two window types: tool windows (Solution Explorer, Output window, Debugger Window, Server Explorer, Error lost, etc.) and document windows (configuration files, text files, source code files, etc.). The latter can be dragged by tab while the former can be resized and dragged by title bar.

There are instances when you might fire up Visual Studio and find out your layout is distorted. Maybe the Solution Explorer is not visible, or the Properties Window is not configured the way it was originally. And you’re clueless how this happened. The solution is to restore the configuration to your default layout.

If you prefer to arrange windows in a specific way rather than the one Visual Studio is offering you, you can always set your default layout. It’s quite simple. All you have to do is arrange the windows according to your preference, click on Window menu, and select Apply Window Layout option and choose My Default.

You can also setup multiple layouts (maximum 10) for different window arrangements. Follow the instructions coming up next for every layout.

Arrange the windows in your desired way. Next, click on the Window menu, and select Save Window Layout option. You will be prompted with a Save Window Layout dialog box. Name the layout properly so it’s easy for you to recall the configuration for later use.

Once all the layouts are saved, you can switch between them with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+ (a number), or you can click on Window menu, and select Apply Window Layout option and choose the one you want with its assigned name.

Visual Studio IDE is configured to recall and restore to the layout with windows that you had opened or closed previously. So, in order to restore to your default layout, simply opening and closing windows might not help. You will have to select the default layout from Apply Window Layout option.

If you wish to go back to the original layout for your settings, go to Windows menu, and select Reset Window Layout option. When this command is executed, all the windows are moved to their default positions. You can rename, remove, or reorder the custom layouts by selecting Manage Window Layout option in the Window menu.

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