"No .natvis files found" error when you run Debugging Tools For Windows (WinDbg)

Applies to: Windows SDK for Windows 10Windows Driver Kit 10


You install the Debugging Tools for Windows from the Windows 10 kits. Then, you run the dx command or click DML links that are presented by other commands (x or dv, for example). In this situation, the debugger (WinDbg) may return the following error:

No .natvis files found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Debuggers\x64\Visualizers


The debuggers that are included in the Windows 10 kits are missing a set of files (.natvis files) that describe to the debugger how a range of data types should be visualized.  


The .natvis files that should have been included with the kits debugger are slightly modified versions of the same files that are found in Visual Studio 2013. An installation of a supported edition of Visual Studio 2013 can be used to patch the NatVis content for the Windows 10 kits debugger. Make sure that you use the 2013 edition of Visual Studio and not the 2015 edition. Visual Studio 2015 includes new features in NatVis that are not yet supported in the Windows 10 Kits debuggers. To apply the patch, follow these steps
  1. Find the Visual Studio 2013 NatVis files. They are located at <VS INSTALL PATH>\Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers. The installation path is frequently C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0.
  2. Find the installation location of the kits debugger: <KITS INSTALL PATH>\10\Debuggers\[x86\x64\arm]. The installation path is frequently C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits. 
  3. For each installed version of the debugger package (x86, x64, and arm), create a directory and name it "Visualizers" from an administrative command prompt.
  4. Copy *.NatVis from the Visual Studio installation to the newly created Visualizers directory in each of the x86, x64, and arm debugger packages that are installed on your system.
  5. Restart any of the kits debuggers.
Following these steps to include the visualizers from Visual Studio 2013 in the kits debuggers offers visualization support for the following elements:
  • The standard template library (STL) of Visual Studio 2013 and earlier versions. These files do not support visualization of the version of the STL that's included in Visual Studio 2015 and later versions. If you are debugging a Visual Studio 2015–built application, you can explicitly unload STL visualization support by running .nvunload stl.natvis in the debugger (or else choose not to drop that file).
  • Other frameworks and libraries, including ATL and MFC.
  • Many data structures for modern and universal applications. Some XAML visualizations may work only on Windows 8.1 and earlier targets. If you are debugging XAML controls in Windows 10, you can explicitly unload WinRT visualization support by running .nvunload winrt.natvis in the debugger (or else choose not to copy that file).
  • Some core Win32 data structures.

More Information

A future update to the Windows 10 kits will include updated versions of the missing NatVis files that give parity with Visual Studio 2015 and that include support for the Visual Studio 2015 STL version and Windows 10 XAML visualizers.