Visual Studio Product Lifecycle and Servicing
Visual Studio 2019 follows the Microsoft Product Lifecycle Policy of 10 years. The first 5 years of Mainstream Support provide feature updates, platform updates, security updates, and functionality fixes. The second 5 years of Extended support provide security updates. For more information, see the Microsoft support lifecycle policy or search the Support Lifecycle Database.
Visual Studio is serviced through both minor version updates that includes significant new features, and through servicing updates that provide targeted cumulative bug fixes for existing features in the product. The minor and servicing levels are denoted by the second and third digit respectively in the version number. For example, using the version 16.1.5 , “.1” denotes the minor version update, and “.5” denotes the servicing update. Security fixes ship in both minor and servicing updates. For more information about our updates, see the Visual Studio Release Rhythm.
For the best and most secure product experience, we strongly encourage and recommend that all customers to always use the latest release of Visual Studio.
See also the Servicing Policy for Visual Studio for Mac.
How to get updates
Visual Studio will notify you that an update is available by popping a notification flag in the title bar of the IDE. This will install the latest recommended release. You can also download the latest recommended release from VisualStudio.com and you can find the older versions of Visual Studio on My.VisualStudio.com.
Support Options for Enterprise and Professional Customers
We realize that sometimes large organizations can't adopt our product updates as quickly as we recommend. So, as a benefit to our Enterprise and Professional customers using Visual Studio 2019, we are increasing the availability of supported and older products. We will now declare multiple minor version updates as supported “servicing baselines”. Customers can install the latest release of a servicing baseline to remain secure and in support. We will also make all servicing releases available in case of need to restore to a prior configuration. These additional acquisition points will provide administrators and larger development teams more flexibility and control in how and when they advance their organization to the latest updates.
Enterprise and Professional customers who choose to remain on a particular older supported servicing baseline should be aware that support for that servicing baseline will continue for only one year after the release of the next servicing baseline. This is described further below and in the Microsoft Support Service Pack Lifecycle Policy. When Microsoft designates a minor release as a Visual Studio 2019 servicing baseline, the Support Lifecycle Database will reflect the appropriate dates for support. Customers on an older servicing baseline must upgrade to a more current servicing baseline before the end of that one year to remain in a supported and secure state.
Customers who choose to remain on a particular servicing baseline can find the latest release of that baseline on My.VisualStudio.com. Configuration and acquisition guidance can be found in the Visual Studio Administrator Guide.
For Visual Studio 2019, the minor version 16.0 is the first declared servicing baseline. This baseline will be supported for one year after the next Visual Studio 2019 minor version baseline is declared.
The Visual Studio Community edition is only supported on the recommended latest release of the latest minor version of Visual Studio, which is denoted in the blue line in the graphic below.
The following table shows example update scenarios for Visual Studio 2019.
If you have this version of
Visual Studio 2019 installed...
And this version(s) of
Visual Studio 2019 just released...
Then your update options to
remain in a supported state are...
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.0||Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.2||Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.2|
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.2||
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.4
and Visual Studio version 16.1.0
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.4
or Visual Studio version 16.1.0
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.6||
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.8
and Visual Studio version 16.1.3
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.8
or Visual Studio version 16.1.3
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1.3||
Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0.10
and Visual Studio version 16.1.5
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1.5|
Support for older versions of Visual Studio
Visual Studio 2017 and earlier are also supported for 10 years. The following table summarizes the current support state for Visual Studio products.
|Visual Studio version||Lifecycle Stage||Supported Baseline|
|Visual Studio 2017||Mainstream||
version 15.9 (through April 2027)
version 15.0 (through Jan 2020)
|Visual Studio 2015||Mainstream||Update 3 including KB3165756 (through October 2025)|
|Visual Studio 2013||Extended||Update 5 (through April 2024)|
|Visual Studio 2012||Extended||Update 5 (through January 2023)|
|Visual Studio 2010||Extended||Service Pack 1 (through July 2020)|
Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable
The Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable follows the product lifecycle for the version of Visual Studio in which it first ships.
There are a few specific instances where 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 and timeframe of the Microsoft product(s) that depend on it. One such instance is when the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable is distributed in other Microsoft products, such as SQL Server, Windows Server, or Microsoft Office. Another such instance is when the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable is used in conjunction with supported versions of Visual Studio Tools for Office or Visual Basic for Applications. We do not support the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for any third party applications beyond the underlying Visual Studio lifecycle or what is specifically mentioned above. For support, 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.
MSVC (C++) Toolset
Starting with Visual Studio 2017, the MSVC Toolset, including the 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 "MSVC v141 - VS 2017 C++ x64/x86 build tools (v14.16)" follows the support lifecycle of Visual Studio 2017 and the "MSVC v142 - VS 2019 C++ x64/x86 build tools (v14.20)" follows the support lifecycle of Visual Studio 2019. 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.
Components not covered by Visual Studio servicing
Visual Studio and Visual Studio for Mac include 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 and are subject to their own license and support & lifecycle 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 Forms|
|Cordova Tools for Visual Studio||CMake||Android SDK|
|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|
|Cocos Creator||Unreal Engine||Python|
In addition to components, Visual Studio also uses several project 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 support policy for Python Tools for Visual Studio.
We value your feedback. As always, let us know of any issues you run into by using the Report a Problem tool in Visual Studio. You can also head over to Visual Studio Developer Community to track your issues, make suggestions, ask questions, and find answers from others. We use your feedback to continue to improve Visual Studio, so thank you again on behalf of our entire team.