Updating registry settings for Visual Studio 2017

Visual Studio 2017 is now released to the public and with it comes a big architectural change: no more system-local registry keys! That's right, as part of the same design that now lets you do side-by-side VS installations, there are no more keys in your registry for Visual Studio 2017.

However, particularly if you do any extensions development for Visual Studio 2017, there's still plenty of things that can only be controlled by registry keys (like image load logging ). Thanks to Alex Eyler over in the extendvs Gitter room, here is how to update registry keys for Visual Studio 2017:

  1. Open regedit (for example, from Run...)
  2. Select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE from the left bar
  3. Select File > Load Hive...
  4. Load the privateregistry.bin file from %localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_[instanceid]{RootSuffix}\privateregistry.bin. The RootSuffix for a normal VS installation will be blank. This is mostly used for the experimental instance
  5. Name the key whatever you want (e.g. "VS") when prompted
  6. From there, you should be able to view the entries just like any normal registry.
  7. Once you're finished, you need to make sure that you "Unload" the private registry, by selecting the "root" key ("VS" in this example) and selecting File > Unload Hive . If you don't do this, VS won't be able to read the privateregistry.bin file when it runs, causing major problems.

Using this method you can check all the usual keys (for example, ShellFileAssociations for file icon bindings), or add new keys (like the ImageLibrary keys for icon logging), just make sure to unload the hive after any changes.


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