Options Page, Environment Node Properties


This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, use the version selector at the top left. We recommend upgrading to Visual Studio 2019. Download it here

This document describes the pages (or properties collections) that are associated with the Environment category, DTE.Properties("Environment", <Property Page>), of the Options dialog box. The title of each subsection is the call that is used to access the Properties collection, and the table in each subsection lists the properties in the collection.


DTE.Properties("Environment", "General")

Property Item Name Value Description
ShowStatusBar Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the status bar is visible.
WindowMenuContainsNItems Get/Set (Short) Determines how document windows are contained at the bottom of the Windows menu.
MRUListContainsNItems Get/Set (Short) Determines how many files display in the "Most Recently Used" submenu.
Animations Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the integrated development environment (IDE) uses animation in the status bar.
AnimationSpeed Get/Set (Short)
AutoAdjustExperience Get/Set (Boolean) Automatically adjusts the visual experience depending on the client performance.
RichClientExperienceOptions Get/Set (Enum) Enables rich client visual experience with values in vsRichClientExperienceOptions.
CloseButtonActiveTabOnly Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the Close button is shown only on the active tab.
AutohidePinActiveTabOnly Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the Auto Hide button affects only the active tab.

Add-in/Macros Security

DTE.Properties("Environment", "AddinMacrosSecurity")

Property Item Name Value Description
MacrosEnabled Get/Set (Boolean) Allows macros to run.
AddinsEnabled Get/Set (Boolean) Allows add-ins to load.
LoadAddinsFromTheWeb Get/Set (Boolean) Allows add-ins to load from a URL on the Web.


DTE.Properties("Environment", "Documents")

Property Item Name Value Description
ReuseSavedActiveDocWindow Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether opening a new file reuses the current document window if the current document is saved. false means always open a new document window for each document opened.
DetectFileChangesOutsideIDE Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the environment automatically reloads files opened in the IDE when the operating system notifies the IDE that the files have been modified on disk.
AutoloadExternalChanges Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether detected external modifications to open documents automatically reload the modified file if the open document is not modified. If the open document is modified and this property is true, then the IDE prompts as if this property were false.
InitializeOpenFileFromCurrentDocument Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the OpenFile command seeds the directory and file name from the last active document, or from the last place you opened a file.
MiscFilesProjectSavesLastNItems Get/Set (Short) Determines how many files the Miscellaneous Files project records. As a result, you can see what you most recently had open as a miscellaneous file on disk when you next use the IDE.
ShowMiscFilesProject Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the Miscellaneous Files project is shown.
CheckForConsisentLineEndings Get/Set (Boolean) Checks for consistent line endings on file load.
SaveDocsAsUnicodeWhenDataLoss Get/Set (Boolean) Saves documents as Unicode when data cannot be saved in codepage.
DontShowGlobalUndoChangeLossDialog Get/Set (Boolean) Displays a warning when global undo will modify other edited files.
AllowEditingReadOnlyFiles Get/Set (Boolean) Allows editing of read-only files, but give a warning when there is an attempt to save them.
DocumentDockPreference Get/Set (Enum) vsDocumentDockPreferenceOptions. Position in the tab well in which to insert opened document.

Extension Manager

DTE.Properties("Environment", "ExtensionManager")

Property Item Name Value Description
EnableAdminExtensions Get/Set (Boolean) Loads per-user extensions when Visual Studio is run under Administrator credentials. Visual Studio must be restarted after this value is changed.
EnableOnline Get/Set (Boolean) Enables access to extensions on the Visual Studio Gallery.
AutomaticallyCheckForUpdates Get/Set (Boolean) Automatically checks for updates to installed extensions.

Find and Replace

DTE.Properties("Environment", "FindAndReplace")

Property Item Name Value Description
ShowWarningMessages Get/Set (Boolean) Displays warning messages.
InitializeFromEditor Get/Set (Boolean) Automatically populates the Find What box with text from the editor.
ShowMessageBoxes Get/Set (Boolean) Displays informational messages.
HideWindowsAfterMatchFromQuickFindReplace Get/Set (Boolean) Hides the Find and Replace window after a match is located by using Quick Find or Quick Replace.

Import and Export Settings

DTE.Properties("Environment", "Import and Export Settings")

Property Item Name Value Description
TrackTeamSettings Get/Set (Boolean) Uses the settings in the file specified by TeamSettingsFile.
TeamSettingsFile Get/Set (String) Name of file that has team settings.
AutoSaveFile Get/Set (String) Name of file where user settings are automatically saved.

International Settings

DTE.Properties("Environment", "International")

Property Item Name Value Description
Language Get/Set (String) LCID value for the current language for Visual Studio.


DTE.Properties("Environment", "Keyboard")

Property Item Name Value Description
Scheme Get/Set (String) Returns a string that contains a built-in scheme, a string containing the full path of the .vsk file that is loaded, or "(Default)" if no .vsk file is loaded.

Projects and Solution

DTE.Properties("Environment", "ProjectsAndSolution")

Property Item Name Value Description
OnRunOrPreview Get/Set (String) Determines whether the IDE saves everything before previewing or running a built project.
ProjectsLocation Get/Set (String) Determines the default directory where the Add Project dialog box saves new projects.
ShowOutputWindowBeforeBuild Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether starting a build displays the Output window.
ShowTaskListAfterBuild Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether an unsuccessful build operation displays the Task List when the build is done.
TrackFileSelectionInExplorer Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the current item is tracked in Solution Explorer.
AlwaysShowSolutionNode Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether the solution node is displayed.
OnlySaveStartupProjectsAndDependencies Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether save operations are limited to startup projects and their dependent files.
ShowAdvancedBuildConfigurations Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether advanced build configurations are displayed.
ConcurrentBuilds Get/Set (String) Determines the maximum number of parallel project builds that can occur.
SaveNewProjects Get/Set (Boolean) Determines whether new projects are automatically saved after being created.
PromptForRenameSymbol Get/Set (Boolean) Specifies whether to prompt for symbolic renaming when files are renamed.
OnRunWhenErrors Get/Set (Enum) Specifies the behavior on Run when a build completed with errors.
OnRunWhenOutOfDate Get/Set (Enum) Specifies the behavior on Run when a project is out of date.
ProjectTemplatesLocation Get/Set (String) Directory that contains user project templates.
ProjectItemTemplatesLocation Get/Set (String) Directory that contains user item templates.
DefaultBehaviorForStartupProjects Get/Set (String)
MSBuildOutputVerbosity Get/Set (String) Specifies the level of verbosity for Build output.


DTE.Properties("Environment", "Startup")

Property Item Name Value Description
OnStartUp Get/Set (Enum) Action to take at startup, from vsStartUp, with values 0 through 5:

- 0: Open Home Page
- 1: Load last loaded solution
- 2: Show Open Project dialog box
- 3: Show New Project dialog box
- 4: Show empty environment
- 5: Show Start Page
StartPageRSSUrl Get/Set (String) URL for the RSS feed that is used at startup.
StartPageRefreshDownloadedContent Get/Set (Boolean) Refreshes the Start Page after every passage of the interval specified in StartPageRefreshInterval.
StartPageRefreshInterval Get/Set (Short) Interval in minutes to refresh the Start Page.


DTE.Properties("Environment", "TaskList")

Property Item Name Value Description
ConfirmTaskDeletion Get/Set (Boolean) Specifies whether a confirmation box displays when deleting tasks from the Task List.
WarnOnAddingHiddenItem Get/Set (Boolean) Specifies whether you are warned when adding a user task that will not be shown.
DontShowFilePaths Get/Set (Boolean) Specifies whether to show full file paths in the Task List.
CommentTokens SafeArray Returns a SafeArray of comment token values. Each has the fields, Name (string) and Priority (vsTaskPriority, High, Medium, or Low).

Web Browser

DTE.Properties("Environment", "WebBrowser")

Property Item Name Value Description
HomePage Get/Set (String) Represents the home page URL.
SearchPage Get/Set (String) Represents the search page URL.
ViewSourceIn Get/Set (Enum) vsBrowserViewSource (Source, Design, External).
ViewSourceExternalProgram Get/Set (String) The path of the external source viewer.

See Also

Controlling Options Settings
Determining the Names of Property Items on Options Pages
Options Page, Fonts and Colors Node Properties
Options Page, Text Editor Node Properties
Environment Options Dialog Box