Quick Actions

Quick Actions let you easily refactor, generate, or otherwise modify code with a single action. Quick Actions are available for C#, C++, and Visual Basic code files. Some actions are specific to a language, and others apply to all languages.

Quick Actions can be used to:


This topic applies to Visual Studio on Windows. For Visual Studio for Mac, see Refactoring (Visual Studio for Mac).

Quick Actions can be applied by using the light bulb light bulb icon or screwdriver screwdriver icon icons, or by pressing Ctrl+. when your cursor is on a line of code for which an action is available. You'll see an error light bulb error light bulb icon if there is a red squiggle indicating an error, and Visual Studio has a fix available for that error.

For any language, third parties can provide custom diagnostics and suggestions, for example as part of an SDK, and Visual Studio light bulbs light up based on those rules.


The icon that appears when a Quick Action is available gives an indication of the type of fix or refactoring that's available. The screwdriver screwdriver icon icon indicates just that there are actions available to change the code, but you shouldn't necessarily use them. The yellow light bulb light bulb icon icon indicates there are actions available that you should do to improve your code. The error light bulb error light bulb icon icon indicates there's an action available that fixes an error in your code.

To see a light bulb or screwdriver

  • If a fix is available, light bulbs spontaneously appear when you hover the mouse at the location of an error.

    Light bulb with mouse hovering

  • Light bulbs and screwdrivers appear in the left margin of the editor when you move the caret into a line of code for which a Quick Action is available.

  • Press Ctrl+. anywhere on a line to see a list of available Quick Actions and refactorings.

To see potential fixes

Select either the down arrow next to the light bulb or the Show potential fixes link to display a list of Quick Actions that are available.

Light bulb expanded

See also