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Important This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.

How to: Reference Windows Symbol Information

The Visual Studio Team Edition for Developers Profiling Tools use symbol (.pdb) files to resolve symbolic names such as function names in program binaries. You can follow these steps to automatically download and update the correct .pdb files for the version of Windows on the local computer.


This setting has no effect on existing reports. Only reports created after specifying the symbol server will have the symbol information.

For more information, see Installing System Debug Symbols in the MSDN Library.

To use the Microsoft symbol server

  1. Create a folder to contain the symbol file information, such as C:\SymbolCache.

  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  3. Expand the Debugging tree, and then click Symbols.

  4. In the Symbol file (.pdb) locations, type the following path of the Microsoft symbol server:


  5. In the Cache symbols from the symbol server to this directory, type the path of the folder created in step 1, for example:


  6. Select the Load symbols using the updated settings when the dialog is closed check box.

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