How to Adjust Visual Studio 2010 Visual Experience Settings


    By default, Visual Studio 2010 automatically adjusts the Visual Studio visual experience to maximize performance and responsiveness across client configurations. For example, the use of gradients and animations in the Visual Studio IDE is reduced when running Visual Studio over Remote Desktop or in a virtual machine environment. By default Visual Studio 2010 also makes use of hardware graphics acceleration when it is available on the client. For most customers, these Visual Studio default settings will provide the best user experience, however there can be situations, for example due to bugs in a graphics hardware driver, where manual adjustments will result in an improved experience. This article describes how to make these adjustments in Visual Studio.

    Examples of symptoms that may be resovled through manual adjustments include:

    • The Visual Studio main window does render correctly or completely.
    • A Visual Studio window contains blurry or distorted text and icons.
More Information

    The Visual Studio visual experience settings are available from Tools>>Options, on the Environment>General page:

    The status text beneath the settings checkboxes describes the current visual experience configuration; this text is only updated after changes have been applied.

    To override Visual Studio automatic settings:

  •  Uncheck the "Automatically adjust visual experience based on client performance" checkbox
  •  Check or uncheck the "Enable rich client visual experience" checkbox to ensure rich visuals are always on or off respectively. When checked, rich visuals will be used independent of machine environment, for example when running locally on a rich client and over remote desktop.
  •  Check or uncheck the "Use hardware graphics acceleration if available" checkbox to force or block use of hardware graphics acceleration when it is available.
  • Forcing hardware graphics acceleration off can resolve WPF rendering issues that are due to driver issues, but before doing so, customers should ensure that they have the latest graphics drivers installed. Outdated drivers are a common source of WPF rendering issues (see KB 963021 for additional details).

    By default Visual Studio will not use hardware graphics acceleration and not provide a rich client visual experience when running in Virtual Machine environments and on servers with HyperV enabled. Customer that choose to override these settings should consider reverting back to the default settings (check the "Automatically adjust visual experience based on client performance" checkbox) if they experience rendering or performance issues.


    For more information about troubleshooting graphics issues, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    963021 Guidelines for troubleshooting graphic issues in WPF applications

Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2023207 - Last Review: 05/06/2010 21:29:00 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate

  • KB2023207