How to determine whether a VS 2008 product is installed on a computer

I previously posted a list of registry values that can be used to detect Visual Studio 2005 editions.  I've started getting asked more often about how to detect Visual Studio 2008, so I decided to create a separate post with an equivalent list of registry values for the VS 2008 product family too.

Here is a list of the registry keys/values that can be used to detect each of the editions of Visual Studio 2008.  In each case below, ProductDir is a REG_SZ value that contains the install root (which by default will be c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0).

  • Visual Basic 2008 Express - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VBExpress\9.0\Setup\VS\ProductDir
  • Visual C++ 2008 Express - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VCExpress\9.0\Setup\VS\ProductDir
  • Visual C# 2008 Express - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VCSExpress\9.0\Setup\VS\ProductDir
  • Visual WebDev 2008 Express - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\VWDExpress\9.0\Setup\VS\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio 2008 Standard - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\Std\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio 2008 Professional - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\Pro\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 Architecture Edition - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\VSTA\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Edition - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\VSTT\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 Development Edition - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\VSTD\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\VSTS\ProductDir
  • Visual Studio 2008 Shell - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\Setup\VS\IDE\ProductDir

If you do not care which edition is installed, you can use the following registry value to detect whether or not any edition of Visual Studio 2008 is installed:


9.0 is a REG_SZ value that specifies a fully qualified path to the Visual Studio 2008 root installation directory.  By default, this value will be set to c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0, but will be different if the user has installed Visual Studio 2008 to a non-default path.