Customizing the Start Page

You can customize the Visual Studio start page in different waysYou can display the Open Project dialog box, or you can open the solution that was loaded most recently. You can also select a different news feed. You can also install a custom start page, or create one yourself using the Visual Studio SDK.

Go to the Startup options page (Tools / Options, Environment, Startup, or type startup in the Quick Launch window). To change what is displayed at startup, choose one of the options in the At startup drop-down list. To change the RSS feed, change the URL in the Start page news channel box.

The Visual Studio start page is a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) XAML page that runs in a Visual Studio tool window. The start page tool window can run Visual Studio internal commands.

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

You can find custom start pages by using the Online section of the Tools / Extensions and Updates dialog box. You can also install one from a website or local intranet page by opening a .vsix file that contains a custom start page, or by copying the start page files and pasting them into in the %USERPROFILE% \My Documents\Visual Studio 2012\StartPages folder on your computer.

After you have installed the custom start page, you apply it by selecting it in the Customize Start Page dropdown on the Startup options page.

An error in a custom start page can cause Visual Studio to crash. If this happens, you can start Visual Studio in safe mode by typing Devenv /SafeMode at the Visual Studio command prompt. This step prevents the bad start page from loading. You can then return to the Startup dialog box and reset Visual Studio to use the default Start Page. For more information, see /SafeMode (devenv.exe).