Custom Start Pages

The Visual Studio Start Page is a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) page that runs in a Visual Studio tool window. The Start Page tool window can run Visual Studio internal commands. When Visual Studio starts, it opens the current default Start Page. If you have installed a third-party Start Page, you can set that page as the default by using the Options dialog box.

If you have the Visual Studio SDK installed, you can create your own custom Start Pages. For more information, see Start Pages in the SDK documentation.

You can install custom Start Pages by using the Online Gallery section of Extension Manager. You can also install directly from a Web site or local intranet page by locating and opening a .vsix file that contains a custom Start Page, or by copying the Start Page files and pasting them into in the Documents\Visual Studio 2010\StartPages\ folder on your computer.

You can apply a custom Start Page by selecting it in the Options dialog box. Start pages installed by Extension Manager will appear in the Customize Start Page list as [InstalledExtension]Extension Name. Start pages dropped into the \StartPages folder will include a partial file path in the list entry, as shown in the following example.

Documents\Visual Studio 2010\StartPages\StartPage.xaml

To apply a custom Start Page

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. On the left side of the Options dialog box, expand the Environment node, and then click Startup.

  3. In the Customize Start Page list, select the Start Page you want.

    This list includes every .xaml file in your user Start Pages folder and any installed extensions of type StartPage.

  4. Click OK.

It is possible for an error in a third-party Start Page to cause Visual Studio to crash. If this happens, you can start Visual Studio in safe mode by typing the following at the Visual Studio Command prompt.

Devenv /SafeMode

This prevents the bad Start Page from loading. You can then return to the Options dialog box and reset Visual Studio to use the default Start Page.

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