Developer Community guidelines

The Developer Community tracks issues and feature suggestions for Visual Studio.

Submitting problems and suggestions

The Visual Studio Developer Community tracks issues and feature suggestions for Visual Studio.

Before submitting an issue

Search for your issue on Visual Studio Developer Community to ensure it doesn't already exist. If you find your issue already exists, make relevant comments and cast your vote.

If your issue is a question, ask the community on Stack Overflow using the tag visual-studio. We have customer support staff monitoring that tag and will help answer the questions.

If you can't find an existing issue that describes your bug or feature, submit an issue using the guidelines below.

Writing a good bug report or feature suggestion

  • File only one problem or feature request per issue.

    • Combining multiple problems or feature requests into a single issue makes it harder for us to diagnose, and harder for other users to vote for your issue.
    • Don't add your issue as a comment to an existing issue unless it's for the identical input. Many issues look similar but have different causes, which makes it harder for us to diagnose your issue.
  • The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for us to reproduce and fix your issue.

  • Include the following steps with each issue.

    • Reproducible steps (1... 2... 3...) and what you expected versus what you experienced.
    • Images, animations, or a link to a video. Images and animations illustrate repro-steps but don't replace them.
    • As appropriate, a code snippet that demonstrates the issue or a link to a code repository we can easily pull down onto our machine to recreate the issue.
  • Remember to do the following steps:

    • Search to see if there exists a duplicate. If so, vote up the existing issue, providing additional comments or clarifications as needed.
    • Recreate the issue after disabling all extensions. If you find the issue is caused by an extension you've installed, file an issue on the extension respectively.
    • Simplify your code around the issue so we can better isolate the problem.

Even with issues that include rich details, we may be unable to reproduce the issue and may ask for more information!

Managing problem reports

Triaging an issue is a multi-step process that is collaboratively done within the feature team. Triaging usually takes one week but may take longer. The goal of triaging is providing you with a clear understanding of what will happen to your issue. For example, after triage you know if we plan to fix your issue or wait for more community feedback.

After you report a problem, states indicate where your submissions are in their lifecycle. As Visual Studio product teams review your feedback, they set it with an appropriate state. Track the progress of your problem reports by referencing the Problem states and FAQ.

Prioritizing which issues to fix

We can't fix all the issue reported. Some are too expensive to fix, some might regress other feature areas, and some may have too low an impact. We understand this may be disappointing if you've taken the time to send us an issue report. We've all been there, whether in this project or others we've contributed to. If an issue was closed and you feel the reason we gave isn't satisfying, then you can clarify your use-case and request the issue to be re-activated for another pass. At this point, we may ask you for further information.

Missing important information

When an issue is missing important information, we assign the Needs More Info state. We comment on the issue with the specific information we need, and you'll receive an email notification. If we don't receive the information within seven days, then we send you a reminder. After that, we close the ticket after 14 days of inactivity.

Other product

Sometimes when reporting an issue, it turns out to be caused by another product and not Visual Studio. It could be another related application or an extension.

When that happens, we'll close the issue and ask you to open it with the other product. Here are some common places to file those issues:

Additional information

Managing feature suggestions

Feature suggestions, are a means of communication between us and the members of the developer community. Technically, we could keep all feature requests open forever. But keeping the issues open would reduce community visibility into the actual status of a feature. So, we close feature requests we won't address and assign features we might address to the Under Review label.

If you suggested a feature, you might be disappointed that we don't plan to address your request. We understand that. All of us have been there - in this project or others we've contributed to. So, rest assured, we love all your input. Don't take personal offense when we close or assign the Under Review label to your suggestion. If you feel your feature suggestion deserves to stay open, then clarify your use case and contact us or gather more up-votes.

In our decision-making process, we look at the following characteristics about the feature suggestion:

  • Does it match our general product direction?
  • Can we afford to build and maintain it?
  • Does it align with our overall roadmap strategy?
  • Does it have community support, as indicated by votes and comments?
  • Do we love it, even with low community support?

When we can't answer "yes" to any of these questions, we'll close it. But often the suggestion will stay open as Under Review to gather more community feedback.

If a suggestion doesn’t match our overall product direction, we will close it as Out of Scope. For example, we may have similar investments in other members of the Visual Studio family of products. Or the feature suggested might only be relevant to a few people, making an extension better suited to provide it.

Track the progress of your feature suggestion by referencing the Suggestion states and FAQ.

Discussion etiquette

To keep the conversation clear and transparent, limit discussion to English and keep things relevant to the issue. Be considerate to others and always try to be courteous and professional.

For more information, see the Microsoft Community Code of Conduct.

Any violations to the discussion etiquette can lead to removal of the comment and eventually banning the user.

Data privacy

Comments and replies are publicly visible, but any attached files are privately shared with Microsoft only. This visibility is beneficial because it allows the entire community to see the issues and solutions found by other users. If you're concerned about the privacy of your data or identity, you have options. Read more about Developer Community data privacy.

Next steps

Head on over to the Visual Studio Developer Community to report problems, suggest features, or browse through the existing tickets. Enjoy!