Product Lifecycle and Servicing
Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2012 - 2018
These products follow the Microsoft Product Lifecycle Policy of 10 years (5 years of Mainstream Support and 5 years of Extended Support), starting with the date the major product version is released to the world (RTW). For example, Visual Studio 2017 was released in 2017; its support lifecycle will end in 2027.
Servicing for these products is performed through "updates" (or "versions") which are packages of new features and cumulative fixes for existing features in the product.
For these product versions, we support the RTW version for a period of time as detailed below, and the latest update or version until the lifecycle completes.
Support for Updates
Once you install an update or version over the RTW product, you must then continue to upgrade to the latest update to remain in a supported state until the lifecycle completes.
Example 1: If you have Visual Studio 2017 version 15.1, when 15.2 is released, you must move to 15.2 to continue being supported.
Example 2: If you have Visual Studio 2015 Update 2, when Update 3 is released, you must move to Update 3 to continue being supported.
How to get Updates
Service Pack Policy
During the support lifecycle, Microsoft will designate one of the updates or versions of that product as the "Service Pack".
For Team Foundation Server 2018, the service pack has not yet been designated.
For Visual Studio 2017, the service pack is version 15.9. For Team Foundation Server 2017, the service pack is Update 3.
For Visual Studio 2015, the designated Service Pack is Update 3 with the latest release of KB3165756. For Team Foundation Server 2015, there were two designated Service Packs - Update 3 and Update 4. Please see the Team Foundation Server product entry on the Lifecycle Policy site for dates.
For Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013, the designated Service Pack is Update 5.
For Visual Studio 2012, the designated Service Pack is Update 5. For Team Foundation Server 2012, the designated Service Pack is Update 4.
When Microsoft designates an Update as a Service Pack, the Support Lifecycle Database will reflect the appropriate dates for support.
Support for RTW
For customers who are still on the RTW version, the Service Pack date is an important milestone. Support for RTW is discontinued one year after an update or version is designated as the "Service Pack", per the Microsoft Support Service Pack Lifecycle Policy. Customers still on the RTW version should upgrade to the latest available Update before the end of that one year to continue to be in a supported state.
For Visual Studio 2017, customers who remain on the RTW version 15.0.x will continue to be supported until January 2020.
For Visual Studio 2015 and Team Foundation Server 2015, RTW is no longer supported.
For Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013, RTW is no longer supported.
For Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012, RTW is no longer supported.
Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable
The Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable follows the product lifecycle for the version of Visual Studio in which it first ships.
Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable is also distributed in other Microsoft products, including SQL Server and Windows Server. In this instance, we continue to support the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable beyond the underlying Visual Studio product lifecycle for security fixes only, and only in the context of the Microsoft product(s) that depend upon it. We do not support the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for any third party applications beyond the underlying Visual Studio lifecycle. For support, please contact the support team for the parent product.
There may be third party products, such as security scanners, that flag the redistributable as expired. If the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable is installed by a Microsoft product that is still in support, then the redistributable is in support per the Microsoft component policy for that product.
Visual C++ Toolset
Starting with Visual Studio 2017, the Visual C++ Toolset, including the Visual C++ compiler, follows the product lifecycle for the version of Visual Studio in which it first ships even if it ships in a subsequent version of Visual Studio. For example, the "VC++ 2017 v141 tools" follow the support lifecycle of Visual Studio 2017. For Visual Studio 2015 and earlier, the Visual C++ toolset is supported according to the lifecycle of the version of Visual Studio in which it shipped.
Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server 2008 – 2010
The lifecycle for these products follows the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy of 10 years (5 years Mainstream Support and 5 years Extended Support), starting with the date RTW is released. These products are now in Extended Support and are only eligible for security fixes. For more information, please see the Microsoft support lifecycle policy or search the Support Lifecycle Database for relevant dates.
Components not covered by Visual Studio servicing
Visual Studio includes a collection of compilers, languages, runtimes, environments, and other resources or tools that enable development for many platforms. As a convenience to Visual Studio customers, the components in the list below may be installed with Visual Studio are subject to their own license and support & lifecycles policies. Please note this list does not represent the entire list of Visual Studio components which are governed by their own policy but aims to highlight the most used.
For those components that are installed by Visual Studio and do not have an explicit lifecycle policy in the lifecycle database, the supported version is the latest version that is currently available for download:
|.NET||ASP.NET Web Stack||.NET Core|
|Windows||Windows Server||Online Services|
|Microsoft Azure||Application Insights||Xamarin|
|Cordova Tools for Visual Studio||Python Tools for Visual Studio||R Tools for Visual Studio|
|Unity Tools for Visual Studio||Clang/C2 Toolset||Git for Windows|
|SignalR||Web Optimization Framework||WebGrease|
|Visual Studio Emulator for Android||JSON Web Token Handler for the Microsoft .Net Framework||Windows SDK|
In addition to components, Visual Studio also uses several projects and project item templates. The support for these templates is governed by the component that provides those templates. For example, if you use a Python template, then support for the template will follow the Python Tools for Visual Studio support policy.