Step 2: Run your picture viewer app

When you create a Windows Forms App project, you actually build a program that runs. In this tutorial, your picture viewer app doesn't do much yet—although it will. For now, it displays an empty window that shows Form1 in the title bar.

Here's how to run your app.

  1. Choose one of the following methods:

    • Choose the F5 key.

    • On the menu bar, choose Debug > Start Debugging.

    • On the toolbar, choose the Start Debugging button, which appears as follows:

      Start Debugging toolbar button
      Start Debugging toolbar button

  2. Visual Studio runs your app, and a window called Form1 appears. The following screenshot shows the app you just built. The app is running, and you'll soon add to it.

    Windows Forms app running
    Windows Forms App, running

  3. Go back to the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), and then look at the new toolbar. Additional buttons appear on the toolbar when you run an application. These buttons let you do things like stop and start your app, and help you track down any errors (bugs) it may have. For this example, we're using it to start and stop the app.

    Debugging toolbar
    Debugging toolbar

  4. Use one of the following methods to stop your app:

    • On the toolbar, choose the Stop Debugging button.

    • On the menu bar, choose Debug > Stop Debugging.

    • Use your keyboard and press Shift+F5.

    • Choose the X button in the upper corner of the Form1 window.


    When you run your app from inside the IDE, it's called debugging because you typically do so to locate and fix bugs (errors) in the application. Although this app is small and doesn't do much yet, it's still a real program. You follow the same procedure to run and debug other programs. To learn more about debugging, see First look at the debugger.

Next steps

See also