I suggest you ...

Stop polluting My Documents with Visual Studio folders

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


We’ve begun work on this and are considering changing the default location for new projects to C:\\USERPROFILE\Source\repos. Would this be a reasonable change to address the problem of “clutter” in the Documents folder? This is currently the default for cloned repositories, so all projects would be in a singular default location.

As well, you still retain the option to change the default if you’d like.

Allison Buchholtz-Au
Program Manager – VS IDE


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  • 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

  • Čamo 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.

  • Čamo 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?

  • Frison 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 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 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*

  • Erik 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 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.

  • Philippe 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.

  • cpmcgrath commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This frustrates me so much. Visual Studio definitely isn't the only offender, but thanks to developers doing this My Documents has become useless. Most people will either not use My Documents, or create a folder inside My Documents called - Documents.

  • Odoardo M. Calamai commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The most part of errors of Visual Studio and Windows (by XP to Up) is the use of temporary storage into the User space, during the downloads, the unpacking and the installation of the applications, without the housekiping (cleaning the space used and no more useful).
    the worst is that the "temporary storage area" is transformed to repository, where the application goes to retrieve assembly, module etc.., instead of go to App Data\App-name.
    The assemblies, modules and parts of usefull code, mixed with clobbered data,
    waste largest storage area, sometime gratest that the relate applications.
    Searching for \Temp directory and file, we can discovery that too much "temporary" files are instead fixed dated files.

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