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Installing Visual Studio 2015


Updated: August 26, 2016

This page includes detailed information to help you with installing Visual Studio, our integrated suite of productivity tools for developers. We've also included links to get you quickly to information about features, editions, system requirements, downloads, and more.

(To view installation information about previous versions of Visual Studio, click the "Other Versions" link at the top of this page. And, to view installation information about the next version of Visual Studio, see our Installing Visual Studio '15' Preview 4 page.)

Before we dig in to the details, here's a list of our most frequently requested links.

Learn more about features

Features: To learn more about new or updated features in Visual Studio 2015, see the release notes for RTM, Update 1, Update 2, and Update 3.

Find out what's in each SKU

SKUs: To find out what's available in each edition of Visual Studio 2015, see our Compare Visual Studio Offerings page.

View system requirements

System Requirements: To view the system requirements for each edition of Visual Studio 2015, see the Visual Studio 2015 Compatibility page.

Download Visual Studio

Downloads: To install Visual Studio, you can download the web installer from the Visual Studio Downloads page, or you can download a product executable file from the My.VisualStudio.com page (subscription required), or use the installation media from the boxed product.

Locate your Product Key

Product Keys: To locate your product key, see the How to: Locate the Visual Studio Product Key topic.

Find out about licensing

Licensing: To find out about licensing options for both individuals or enterprise customers, see the Visual Studio and MSDN Licensing white paper.

When you install Visual Studio 2015, you can include or exclude components that you'd use on a daily basis. This means that a Default installation will often be smaller and install faster than a Custom installation. It also means that many components that were installed by default in previous versions now are considered Custom components that you must explicitly select in this version.

Visual Studio 2015 Setup Dialog

Custom components include Visual C++, Visual F#, SQL Server Data Tools, Cross-platform mobile tools and SDKs, and third-party SDKs and extensions. You can install any of the custom components at a later time if you don't select them during the initial setup.


A Custom installation automatically includes the components that are in a Default installation.

The complete list of Custom components is as follows:

Feature Sets



Visual Studio 2015 Update 3

Programming Languages

Visual C++

Visual F#

Python Tools for Visual Studio

Windows and Web Development

ClickOnce Publishing Tools


Microsoft Office Developer Tools

Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools

Microsoft Web Developer Tools

PowerShell Tools for Visual Studio [3rd Party]

Silverlight Development Kit

Universal Windows App Development Tools

Windows 10 Tools and SDKs

Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.0/8.1 Tools

Windows 8.1 Tools and SDKs

Cross Platform Mobile Development

C#/.NET (Xamarin)

HTML/JavaScript (Apache Cordova)

Visual C++ Mobile Development for iOS / Android

Clang with Microsoft CodeGen

Common Tools and Software Development Kits

Android Native Development Kit [3rd Party]

Android SDK [3rd Party]

Android SDK Setup APIs [3rd Party]

Apache Ant [3rd Party]

Java SE Development Kit [3rd Party]

Joyent Node.js [3rd Party]

Common Tools

Git for Windows [3rd Party]

GitHub Extension for Visual Studio [3rd Party]

Visual Studio Extensibility Tools

You can install Visual Studio by using installation media (DVDs), by using your Visual Studio subscription service from the My.VisualStudio.com website, by downloading a web installer from the Visual Studio Downloads website, or by creating an offline installation layout (see the Creating an Offline Installation of Visual Studio topic for more details).


You need administrator credentials to install Visual Studio. However, you don't need them to use Visual Studio after you install it.

Your local administrator account must have the following privileges enabled to install everything in Visual Studio.

Local Policy Object Display Name

User Right

Backup Files and directories


Debug programs


Manage auditing and security log


For more information on this local administrator account requirement, see the Knowledge Base article, SQL Server installation fails if the Setup account does not have certain user rights.

To install Visual Studio, in the root directory on the Visual Studio installation media, run the installation file for the edition you want:


Installation File

Visual Studio Enterprise


Visual Studio Professional


Visual Studio Community


Visit the Visual Studio Downloads page, and select the edition of Visual Studio that you want.

Visit the My.VisualStudio.com page, and select the edition of Visual Studio that you want.

If you do not have the Visual Studio installation media, or you do not have a Visual Studio subscription, or you do not want to install Visual Studio by using the web installer, you can perform a "disconnected" installation by creating what is known as an offline installation layout. For more information, see the Creating an Offline Installation of Visual Studio topic.

For information about how to deploy Visual Studio over a network, see the Visual Studio Administrator Guide.

Video Issues with Hyper-V

If you run Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V enabled and an accelerated graphics adapter, you may experience system slowdowns.

For more information, see the following page on the Microsoft website: Video performance may decrease when a Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 based computer has the Hyper-V role enabled and an accelerated display adapter installed.

Emulating Devices with Hyper-V

When you install Visual Studio 2015 on real hardware without virtualization, you can choose features that enable emulation of Windows and Android devices using Hyper-V. When you install into Hyper-V, you will not be able to emulate the Windows or Android devices. This is because the emulators are themselves virtual machines, and you cannot currently host a VM inside another VM. The workaround is to have real Windows or Android devices to which you can directly deploy and debug your application.

If you want to install components that you might not have selected during your original installation, use the following procedure.

To install optional components

  1. In Control Panel, on the Programs and Features page, choose the product edition to which you want to add one or more components, and then choose Change.

  2. In the Setup wizard, choose Modify, and then choose the components that you want to install.

  3. Choose Next, and then follow the remaining instructions.

After you install Visual Studio, you can download additional Help content so that it will be available offline.

To install or uninstall Help content

  1. On the Visual Studio menu bar, choose Help, Add and Remove Help Content.

  2. On the Manage Content tab of the Microsoft Help Viewer, select the installation source for your Help content.

  3. If you're looking for a specific Help collection, enter the name or a keyword in the Search text box, and then press Enter.

  4. Next to the name of the Help collection you want, choose the Add or Remove link.

  5. Click the Update button.

For more information about how to install or deploy offline Help, see the Help Viewer Administrator Guide.

Because not all extensions are compatible, Visual Studio doesn't automatically upgrade extensions when you upgrade from previous versions. You must reinstall the extensions from the Visual Studio Gallery or from the software publisher.

To automatically check for service releases

  1. On the menu bar, choose Tools, Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, expand Environment, and then select Extensions and Updates. Make sure the Automatically check for updates check box is selected, and then choose OK.

  1. On the menu bar, choose Help, About.

    The About dialog box shows the product identification number (PID). You'll need the PID and Windows Account credentials (such as a Hotmail or Outlook.com email address and password) to register the product.

  2. On the menu bar, choose Help, Register Product.

To repair Visual Studio

  1. In Control Panel, on the Programs and Features page, choose the product edition that you want to repair, and then choose Change.

  2. In the Setup wizard, choose Repair, choose Next, and then follow the remaining instructions.

To repair Visual Studio in silent or passive modes (that is, to repair from source)

  1. On the computer where Visual Studio is installed, open the Windows command prompt.

  2. Enter the following parameters:

    DVDRoot \<Installation File> </quiet|/passive> [/norestart]/Repair

Use these resources to get help for setup and installation issues:

  • Visual Studio Setup and Installation forum. Review questions and answers from others in the Visual Studio community. If you don't find what you need, ask your own questions.

  • Microsoft Support for Visual Studio website. Read knowledge base (KB) articles and learn how to contact Microsoft Support for information about issues with Visual Studio installation.

  • For releases of Visual Studio 2015, you can report your issue by using the Connect site at https://connect.microsoft.com/visualstudio.

    It’s best if your issue includes the installation logs. You can prepare your logs for the issue report by using the Microsoft Visual Studio and .NET Framework Log Collection Tool, as described in the following steps.

    1. Download the installation diagnostic tool from http://aka.ms/vscollect 

    2. From an elevated command prompt, run the collect.exe program.

    3. After the collect.exe program completes, fetch the vslogs.cab file from your Temp directory and upload that into the issue report.



Installing Visual Studio Versions Side-by-Side

Provides information about how to install multiple versions of Visual Studio on the same computer.

Using Command-Line Parameters to Install Visual Studio

Lists the command-line parameters that you can use when you install Visual Studio from a command prompt.

Uninstalling Visual Studio

Describes how to uninstall Visual Studio.

Visual Studio Administrator Guide

Provides information about deployment options for Visual Studio.

Installing Multiple Language Versions of Visual Studio

Provides information about how to install different language versions of Visual Studio.

How to: Locate the Visual Studio Product Key

Describes how to locate the product key for your installation of Visual Studio.

The Visual Studio Image Library

Provides information about how to install graphics that you can use in Visual Studio applications.

Get Started Developing with Visual Studio

Provides information and links that can help you use Visual Studio more effectively.