Visual Studio Help Viewer freezes



This article describes an issue that causes Microsoft Visual Studio to freeze (hang). This issue occurs when you start Visual Studio Help Viewer. A workaround is provided.


After you start Visual Studio Help Viewer and try to add/modify/remove offline content, the application appears to freeze (hang). CPU use will elevate when this issue occurs. The content change you requested will still happen, but you must end the process in the Task Manager and restart help Viewer to see the change.


When Help Viewer tries to clean old data during startup, it encounters an error. When it tries to recover from the error, it freezes.


To work around this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Open "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\HelpViewerX.Y\HlpViewer_VisualStudio14_en-US.settings" in Notepad. (Replace the X.Y. placeholder with your version of Help Viewer: 2.1 or 2.2.)

  2. Change the date in the following code to some date in the future:

    <Cache LastRefreshed="12/31/2015 21:57:47" />  

    Note This date is set to the last time that the data was refreshed. Therefore, it will vary across computers.

More Information

This issue was not fixed in Visual Studio 2013. For Visual Studio 2015, a fix is scheduled for release in an update of Visual Studio 2015.

Applies To

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2013

  • Microsoft Help Viewer 2.2

  • Microsoft Help Viewer 2.1