How to: Manage the Toolbox Window

The Toolbox window behaves much like other windows in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). For example, you can:

  • Drag the Toolbox.

  • Dock the Toolbox at the edge of a parent frame.

  • Pin a docked Toolbox open, or set it to hide itself.

For more information on using controls within the Toolbox, see How to: Manipulate Toolbox Tabs.


The options available in dialog boxes, and the names and locations of menu commands you see, might differ from what is described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To view or change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Working with Settings.

Here are some common ways to manipulate the Toolbox window:

Toolbox Procedures

To open the Toolbox

  • On the View menu, select Toolbox.

For the following procedures, make sure that the Toolbox has focus.

To conceal the Toolbox

  • On the Window menu, select Hide.

    To reopen the Toolbox, select Toolbox from the View menu.

To make the Toolbox close automatically

  • On the Window menu, select Auto Hide.

To make the Toolbox remain open

  • On the Window menu, clear Auto Hide.

To move the Toolbox to a different location

  1. On the Window menu, clear Auto Hide, and then select Floating.

  2. Drag the Toolbox to the desired location.

To dock the Toolbox

  1. Open the Toolbox.

  2. On the Window menu, clear Auto Hide, then select Dockable.

  3. When docking arrows appear, select the arrow that points toward the edge of the parent frame where you want to attach the Toolbox.

To display the Toolbox as a tabbed editing window

  1. Open the Toolbox.

  2. On the Window menu, clear Auto Hide, then select Tabbed Document.

    To restore the Toolbox from a tabbed document state to a docked window state, right-click on the window tab and select Dockable from its shortcut menu.

To restore all default tabs to the Toolbox, with their default icons

  • Right-click on the Toolbox and choose Reset Toolbox from its shortcut menu.

    — or —

  • On the Tools menu, click Choose Toolbox Items, and select the Reset button.


    After running this command, you will need to recreate any custom tabs, and add icons for the desired items to them.

See Also


How to: Manipulate Toolbox Tabs



Choose Toolbox Items Dialog Box (Visual Studio)