Visual Studio Hacks

Double-clicking a VS2005 Solution in Vista

by dstokes on January 12, 2009

Even though Visual Studio 2008 has been released for over a year and 2010 is already in CTP, there is still quite a bit of development that happens on Visual Studio 2005.  Most developers know that Visual Studio 2005 (devenv.exe) needs to run with Administrator privileges in Windows Vista.  Modifying the shortcut for Visual Studio 2005 once can take care of that. 

If you are a “launch Visual Studio and then select the solution to load” type of person, this configuration will do just fine.  However, if you are a “double-click the solution file in windows explorer” type person you might have noticed something lacking for VS2005 solutions.  In Vista, by default, double-clicking on a Visual Studio 2005 solution file does – well – absolutely nothing.  Unless you count the brief swirl of the hour-glass replacement.

The reason for this is the program that is executed when double-clicking on a solution file is the Visual Studio Launcher.  The sole purpose of the Visual Studio Launcher, as far I can tell, is to launch the correct version of Visual Studio based upon the metadata found in the solution file.  Since Visual Studio 2005 needs to run as Administrator, the Visual Studio Launcher will need to run with the same privileges in order to launch it.

You will find the launcher at<Program Files>\Common Files\microsoft shared\MSEnv\VSLauncher.exe.  Right-click on the that file and set the file to run as Administrator.


Afterwards, double-clicking on a VS2005 solution file will launch the IDE as expected.

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