Troubleshooting Visual Studio Live Share

This article covers troubleshooting tips, workarounds, and answers for common problems and questions. You may also want to take a look at the FAQ.

Installation / tool requirements

The following are troubleshooting tips related to installing Visual Studio Live Share.

Tool Problem Resolution / Workaround
VS The extension installer cannot find a version of Visual Studio to use when trying to install the Visual Studio Live Share extension. Visual Studio Live Share requires Visual Studio 2017 version 15.6 or higher for both hosts and guests. Install the latest stable update of Visual Studio 2017 and retry.
VS Code An error appears when trying to use Visual Studio Live Share with VS Code on macOS El Capitan or below. Visual Studio Live Share's OS support is dependant on .NET Core which currently only supports macOS Sierra and up.
VS Code A "Dependencies could not be installed" error appears the while extension is finishing installation on first start or you get errors about missing or already present files. Verify you are on a good network connection. If you are, you could be running into a proxy or firewall issue. See connectivity troubleshooting.

VS Code Installing the Visual Studio Live Share extension from the marketplace installs it in the stable/insiders version of VS Code instead of the version I want. Start VS Code stable or insiders depending on your preference, click on the "extensions" tab, search for "Visual Studio Live Share" and install from there.
VS Code (Linux) The Live Share extension does not activate and no status bar items appear after installing the extension on Linux. Visual Studio Live Share depends on .NET Core 2.0 which has a number of Linux prerequisites that may not be met on certain distributions of Linux by default. See here for details on what should be installed.

Sign in

The following are troubleshooting tips for sign in problems.

Tool Problem Resolution / Workaround
VS You need to sign into Visual Studio Live Share with a different identity than you use to sign into Visual Studio. Go to Tools > Options > Live Share > User account to select an alternate account.
VS Code While a browser window pops up during sign in and the process appears to succeed on the web page, the status bar still says, "Sign in" after closing the browser. After signing in, click "Having trouble?" and follow the directions to enter a temporary user code into the tool.

We would also love to see what might be happening, so please log a bug.
All You are getting a timeout or connection error. See connectivity troubleshooting.
All When signing in using a Microsoft backed work or school email address you see a message saying, "Need admin approval". Your Azure AD tenet is setup to require “admin consent” for new applications accessing the contents of the directory. See here for more details.
VS Code (macOS) When signing in you see an error stating SecKeychainAddGenericPassword() failed. This is almost always due to a common problem with macOS where password changes are not reflected in the login keychain. Try going into "Keychain Access", locking the login keychain and then unlocking it again. This may be enough to resolve the problem, but if you are unable to unlock it with your current password, try your previous one. If that works, change the login keychain password to your current password. See here for details.
VS Code (Linux) When entering in the user code after signing in via the browser you see an error stating secret_password_store_sync() failed with error code XX. This is typically due to gnome-keyring and/or libsecret-1-0/ libsecret not being installed. You can validate gnome-keyring is properly configured by installing seahorse and then using the "Passwords and Keys" application in your desktop environment. Read more about Linux prerequisites here.
VS Code (Linux) You are prompted to enter a user code with Live Share v0.3.295 or below, but no browser appears to allow you to get one. We are working to eliminate the user code requirement on Linux. In the mean time, a browser window should appear for you to use to sign in. If not, the browser window may be hidden under VS Code. See the next tip if this is not the case.
VS Code After clicking "Sign in" (or using the "Live Share: Sign in" command), no browser window appears to allow you to enter your credentials. 1. Sign in here
2. After signing in, click "Having trouble?"
3. Follow the directions to enter a temporary user code into the tool.
All You would like to join a collaboration session but have not / do not want to receive email updates. Signing in to the Live Share extension in VS/VS Code does not opt you into receiving email updates.

Live Share requires guests to sign in as a security measure so the host has visibility to the identity of those that have joined. Up vote this feature if you'd like the option to allow anonymous users to join (e.g. users with no name / a user defined name).

Share and Join

The following are troubleshooting tips for sign in problems.

Tool Problem Resolution / Workaround
All Share/Join: You are getting a timeout or error about not being able to connect. See connectivity troubleshooting.
VS Code Join: You were not prompted / able to launch VS Code after opening the join page in a browser. Tips:
  • Be sure you've started the VS Code at least once and waited for the install to complete in the status bar.
  • If that doesn't work, try running the "Live Share: Launcher Setup" command.
  • Linux users: If prompted to enter your admin (sudo) password when running the above command, please do so.
  • Finally, see joining manually as a workaround.
If you hit this problem, we would love to see what might be happening, so please log a bug.
VS Join: You were not prompted / able to launch VS after opening the join page in a browser. See join manually.

We would also love to see your logs, so please please log a bug using Visual Studio's "Report a Problem..." feature.
All Join: You would prefer to paste the join link directly into Visual Studio / VS Code rather than clicking on the web link. See join manually.
All Join: You see a message saying, "the owner of the workspace seems to be offline," when joining via the browser. Possible workarounds:
  • Try joining manually. We have seen issues with cross-region (e.g. east and west US) joins due to service issues that do not affect manual joins.
  • Live Share may be unable to route directly to the host when running in "auto" connection mode. Try relay mode.
See connectivity troubleshooting for more possibilities
VS Code Join: You joined via the browser before signing in, were not prompted to sign in, and the join never completed. This is a known bug. Click the sign in status bar item to sign in and then join again.

Connectivity

The information below can help you troubleshoot if you're having problems related to connectivity or timeouts when signing in, sharing, or joining.

As outlined in the connectivity requirements for Live Share article, different connection modes have different requirements to function so there are a few different potential issues going on.

Tool Problem Probable Cause
All You are using a proxy and are seeing a number of connectivity problems Proxy settings can be tricky. Try setting the HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROXY environment variables globally and then restarting your tool. See proxy settings for more details. There are likely some configurations we do not yet support, so let us know if this does not work for you.
VS Code After installing the extension and starting up VS Code for the first time you get an an error when "Finishing Installation" appears in the status bar. You cannot access the internet or access to download.visualstudio.microsoft.com and/or download.microsoft.com on port 443 is blocked by your personal or corporate firewall. See here for information on why Live Share needs to download something at this point.
All You are unable to sign into Visual Studio Live Share You cannot access the internet or access to *.liveshare.vsengsaas.visualstudio.com on port 80/443 is blocked by your personal or corporate firewall. Enter https://insiders.liveshare.vsengsaas.visualstudio.com in a browser and verify you land at the Visual Studio Live Share home page.
All You are in auto mode (the default), are able to sign in, but see a timeout or connection error when either sharing or joining. Either both direct and relay modes are failing to connect or there is a bug with auto mode. If you are able to connect after switching to direct or relay mode, please raise a bug.
All You are in direct mode, are able to sign in, but see a timeout or connection error when either sharing or joining. The guest and host cannot directly connect. Try auto or relay mode to see if the problem goes away. You may need to manually allow Live Share through your personal firewall or simply use relay mode.
All You are in relay mode, are able to sign in, but are notified of a timeout or connection error when either sharing or joining. Access to *.servicebus.windows.net on port 80/443 is blocked is blocked by your personal or corporate firewall. Try direct mode.

See the connectivity requirements for Live Share article, for more information on connectivity requirements.

See also

Quickstarts

How-tos

Reference

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