How to install and configure Visual Studio 2022 on Windows 10
Visual Studio 2022 includes a text editor, profiler, interface for GUI applications, IntelliSense, and code completion. Programmers use this tool to develop a wide variety of desktop and mobile applications, websites and web services, and other computer programs. Moreover, it aims to be accessible to software developers with different levels of experience.
If that sounds interesting to you, setting it up on Windows can be tricky. As such, read on to learn how to install this IDE on Windows 10 while avoiding common pitfalls.
Why should you install Visual Studio 2022?
Visual Studio is a powerful IDE that supports multiple programming languages. Additionally, it integrates database and cloud computing tools including Azure, SQL, and SQLite. Visual Studio 2022 promises several upgrades over the 2019 version, including better performance and reduced memory demand.
Other reasons to install Visual Studio are:
- Improved code completion.
- Better accessibility.
- A Hot Reload button for more productive development.
- C++20 support and build tools.
- More powerful debugger.
- A free community edition.
The Visual Studio 2022 Installation Guide
If you’re ready to get started, here’s how to get started with Visual Studio 2022 on Windows 10.
1. Download the installer
Microsoft provides an installer on the Visual Studio website to install the latest versions of their IDE. Go to the Visual Studio webpage and select the version you want to download. The installer is the same no matter which version you choose.
2. Upgrade and run the installer
After downloading the installer, navigate to the download location on your computer and open the executable. Make sure you have a stable internet connection as the installer can perform a quick upgrade.
Once the installer is upgraded, it will launch the download menu. The menu shows the currently installed versions of Visual Studio and the versions available for download.
3. Select the version of Visual Studio you want to install
The installer provides several versions of Visual Studio for download. As such, you can download Enterprise, Professional, and Community editions of Visual Studio 2017, 2019, and 2022. We’ll focus on the 2022 version in this article. However, the process is largely similar for all versions.
Click on the Install on the section of your choice Visual Studio 2022 Edition and wait for the installer to load the installation menu. You can also import or export configuration for components and workloads using After button. However, we will ignore this button and make a new selection of components for ourselves.
4. Add components to the base installation
Visual Studio is a general purpose IDE that supports over 36 programming languages. Also, it provides several APIs, SDKs and frameworks from Microsoft.
As a result, the full installation may become bloated and unnecessarily take up space on your computer’s storage. To avoid this, the installer lets you choose which features you want to add to the main editor.
Visual Studio provides hundreds of individual components to install. However, their selection can quickly become cumbersome and tedious. Fortunately, the installer bundles these components into workloads with clear names and descriptions. Some of the more notable workloads include:
- .NET desktop development: For developing C#, F# and Visual Basic applications. It includes a graphical interface for creating Windows Forms applications and the .NET profiler.
- Game development with Unity: For C# programming on the Unity game engine. It includes the Unity Hub installer.
- Azure Development: Installs all necessary components for the Azure cloud service.
- Desktop development with C++: To create powerful cross-platform desktop applications with the C++ programming language. It includes MSVC v143 build tools and C++ profiling tools.
- Developing Visual Studio Extensions: Provides all the tools needed to create add-ons, plug-ins and extensions for the Visual Studio 2022 IDE.
In addition to components, you can also add language packs such as Spanish, Chinese, or Turkish. Finally, you can select where to install Visual Studio 2022. We recommend leaving it as default unless you want to install it on a separate storage device.
5. Install selected components
After selecting the desired components, click the Install button in the lower right corner of the menu. You can also see the storage space required by the installation in this section.
Additionally, you can select one of two installation configurations. Install while downloading is recommended for fast Internet connections. Alternatively, you should opt for Download everything, then install if you have a slower internet connection.
Visual Studio 2022 post-installation setup
Installing Visual Studio 2022 can take several minutes to an hour, depending on your internet connection. After installation, you can open the IDE by searching for it in your Windows search bar.
Once opened, you can customize the layout and appearance of the editor to your liking. Navigate to the See at the top of the editor to discover the different windows available to you.
One of the most important windows is View > Solution Explorer, which displays your files and project hierarchy. Most programmers prefer to dock this window on the left side of the editor.
Another important window is View > Output which displays the results of your build. You can dock this window in the lower part of the editor.
Additionally, you can change the editor theme by accessing Tools > Theme and choosing your favorite theme. You can also change the font type and size by going to Tools > Options > Environment > Fonts and Colors and adjust the settings to your liking.
Best Visual Studio Extensions for Beginners
Your Visual Studio experience isn’t complete without several extensions to make your programming easier. These extensions add various features to the IDE, including code analysis, IntelliSense, and aesthetic themes.
You can install extensions in Visual Studio by accessing the Extensions > Manage Extensions tab and browse them in the search bar. Some of the best Visual Studio 2022 extensions you can get as a beginner programmer include:
- Resharper: This code analysis and refactoring extension to JetBrains dramatically improves the productivity of C# and C++ programmers. It also performs code generation, formatting and cleanup.
- Visual Studio Spell Checker: This extension checks the spelling of words in comments, string literals, variable names, and plain text. It provides helpful corrections to misspelled words without getting in the way of the programmer.
- Trailing whitespace viewer: This extension highlights trailing whitespace in your code and removes it with a simple keyboard shortcut.
- Visual Assist: Unreal Engine programmers appreciate this extension for refactoring, code analysis, and IntelliSense. It improves the functionality of Visual Studio, making the IDE even better for programmers.
- Code Maid: This free extension simplifies code files for all languages supported by Visual Studio. It cleans up unused white space, organizes imports, and rearranges file layout to match static analysis tools.
Programming in Visual Studio
Finally, you’ve installed Visual Studio on your Windows computer and can’t wait to test it out. Creating a Windows Form application is one of the best beginner projects you can try on Visual Studio.
Luckily for you, Visual Studio 2022 provides all the tools you need for this project. This project also provides a great opportunity to learn C# programming.
If you think a full-fledged IDE is too much for your needs, you can try text editors for Windows users. A popular option is Visual Studio Code, which is a lightweight yet powerful editor. It can also connect to Visual Studio tools to build and debug features.