I suggest you ...

Stop polluting My Documents with Visual Studio folders

Visual Studio creates a new folder in My Documents with every version. Over time, if the user requires many different versions of Visual Studio installed, this pollutes the folder. My Documents is supposed to be where I keep, well, my documents.

This even goes again Microsoft's own software design guidelines, if I remember them right.

Most of the subfolders should be moved to the existing AppData Visual Studio folder. The Projects subfolder has no reason to exist, since you might as well default the My Documents folder when creating new projects (the user can obviouly change this at the time, it's just a default location, as with any other app.)

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    Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hello supporters of this suggestion

    We are considering the possibility of a solution to this issue for a future release of Visual Studio.

    One possibility under discussion is that the default folders would not be created until they are first used, giving users the opportunity to specify their own location at that moment, and have it stored in the (existing) preferences location.

    Feedback on the thread below is welcome,


    Mark Wilson-Thomas
    Program Manager, Visual Studio IDE Team


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      • EnricEnric commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        All the developers I know store their development projects in they own "Projects" folder, each project in a subfolder withing that fodler, but never under My Documents. Therefore, my suggestion is that you ask the user where that "Projects" folder is, and store whatever you need in there, and NEVER EVER under My Documents. At the end, a development project is not a document. Your proposal of asking the user where to locate a folder the first time it is going to be used is fine too, but do not default to My Documents, because that will pollute the folder if the developer is lazy.

      • Lacy MooreLacy Moore commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Almost 6 years later and still a problem. Even moreso since OneDrive for Business can't deal with C#. We'll all be dead and gone before either problem gets resolved.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Apart from chosing the location at first use, there *must* be a possibility to Change it later on. How would I expect some Folder Settings of VS to be a problem without having experienced it before? In our place, MyDocuments is located on the Domain Controller - in a building on the other side of the road, i.e. not in a "real" but only virtual private Network. Now, we want to sync it to OneDrive, but according to other comments below, that may cause other Problems, too...
        (By the way, why does this strange Editor capitalize so many words?)

      • David LDavid L commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


        The proposed solution would be fine if VS ONLY creates the folders as each project type is needed. Currently it creates 8 subfolders, most of which are empty stubs. Some of those folder locations should also not be in the My Documents at all (Settings & Templates should be under AppData/VS/).

        Ideally Visual Studio should just have the ability on first launch to specify the "default project folder" and let the user put it where they want.

      • Blair WallBlair Wall commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why not put the VS settings folders under appdata by default.

        The reason why I want this is because I usually rig up my local documents folder to be "sync'd" to OneDrive.

      • JamesJames commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is this never going to be fixed? I do not want my 'My Documents' folder to be cluttered with rubbish as it is backed up, and I do not want rubbish programs to fill it with rubbish.

        As you can probably tell I am not particularly happy about this practice.

        I have been through and deleted\edited everything, in VS and in the registry. Still I get a folder full of rubbish I do not want. To some extent OK, by default it is not right but at least I can change it, bbut if editing the registry is no good then why? It is obviously hardcoded in the source to use %USERPROFILE%.

        And on another note, this text box just adds a scrollbar to the side, but I cannot expand it so I am stuck with 5 lines of text to view at a time. Is this done to intentionally infuriate users who are already here because they are here to complain anyway? If so, it works, I am at pretty much 90 something % anger level.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        this is why i have a seperate folder for MY documents and leave the documents folder to be trashed by MS and every other person/company that thinks this is a good folder to dump ****. autodesk is another big offender in this regard

      • ČamoČamo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        ****, it does not work! I change all paths in options dialog but it still creates Visula Studio 2015 folder in documents.

      • ČamoČamo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What the **** is it? Why the VS datas are not in ProgramData/VisualStudio folder or why it is not as option during installation? How can I change it?

      • FrisonFrison commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is also a problem since c:\users\<name>\documents\Visual Studio 2013\Projects\... consumes a LOT of characters in the 260 something path limit...

      • Your momYour mom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "As far as I can tell, applications should use "My Documents" for any documents that are intended to be explicitly managed by the user or visible to the user"

        Code is not documents. It doesn't belong in my documents.

        Regardless, the inability to rid ourselves of these folders, even after designating a different folder in the application settings, is absurd.

      • Jay R OJay R O commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How do we get our development team to use the Development share on the server?

        Old thread, but total frustration warrants a bump. I just changed in the registry the paths to point to our Development share on our server. Upon opening VWDExpress 2010, the settings were ignored, and in fact ALL the registry settings were changed back to the "My Documents" share on the server! "My Documents" is set by GPO to a server share ("My" documents for "Our" documents, wow if only Microsoft considered that their OS might be used in a business).

        "DefaultFileOpenLocation", "DefaultNewProjectLocation", etc. now mapped to Server's "My Documents" share. NO! PLEASE STOP making us browse to our Development share! Such a waste of time. *fuming at all the wasted time over something so stupid*

      • ErikErik commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        IT enforces a folder redirection gpo on user\Documents; so Microsoft make sure not to pollute this with HUGE files and ANYTHING not a document.
        OR provide a simple setting to put VS folders somewhere locally not affected by AD enforced GPOs.

      • Adam SpeightAdam Speight commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Why doesn't VS create a new Library entry in the Libraries folder in Explorer eg (My VS Projects). Then create a new Folder within the user's profile folder and link it to that. This then doesn't "pollute" the My Documents folder.

      • PhilippePhilippe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As far as I can tell, applications should use "My Documents" for any documents that are intended to be explicitly managed by the user or visible to the user while AppData should be used for data that is not directly manipulated by the user like Outlook files, application settings and such.

        I find that it works pretty well for temporary and hobby projects. And for Professional applications, I tend to use my own sub-folders of MyDocuments.

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