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14 September 2008

Two ASP.NET/VS 2008 Performance Tricks That Even Microsoft Didn’t Know About!

Visual Studio 2008 Perofrmance

Visual Studio 2008 is a huge resources consumer, it takes long to load then long to open your solution, long to run it and debug it. I have been using it for more than a year now after setting VS 2005 to retirement. I have VS 2008 set on a high perforamce Vista Business laptop with 2GB of memory.

While working with ASP.NET on VS 2008 my colleagues and myself started to notice some patterns when running or debugging a web project that will improve performance rapidally. Tricks that do really work and we laugh every time they work at how silly they are.

Here are two interesting tips that we encountered:

1 – The Magical VS 2008/ASP.NET Mouse Moving

When debugging a running ASP.NET application, sometimes, it takes long to step from one code line to the other, usually I run out of patience and I snap my fingers asking Studio to leg it, but obviously that doesn’t work. I started changing my pattern into keep moving the mouse right and left and I have noticed that it takes no time to move from one line to another, tried it again and again and it kept working every time. I even asked my collegues to try it and it worked for them. So, now when I debug I usually click F10 with one hand and move the mouse right and left with the other.

Trick: While debugging ASP.NET with VS 2008 moving the mouse continuously will make debugging faster

2 – The Miraculous VS 2008/ASP.NET Task Bar Click

When hitting F5 or clicking “Run” to run and debug an ASP.NET Website or Web Application, the project used to compile then takes more than a minute, sometimes, to load the browser while I sit patiently looking arround waiting for it to load.

My colleague, Liz Ridley, which happens to have similar laptop specs, was less patient, she used to click randomly on the screen waiting the project browser to run. Suddenly, she clicked the task bar and the browser run at once! Is it a coincidence? She tried it again and again and it worked! Then I tried it and it worked for me, even if I waited for some time before clicking it.

Trick: Clicking on the task bar after the project completes compilation and preparing to launch the browser in debug mode will reduce the browser’s launch time.

Do you think that Microsoft knows about this? Is there a logical explanation for this? No, but it works so enjoy it while you can. If it works for you then please drop me a line of comment to let me know. And if you happen to know similar tricks, then please hit me with it.

leave your own
  • Lewis September 16th, 2008

    This is the reason why we are called programming monkeys. LOL

  • Brandon Morales September 16th, 2008

    I have noticed and been consistently using tip 1 for some time now. My box is a desktop running dual proc/dual core with 3 gigs of ram, and I still need to do the mouse move trick.

    However, tip two is new to me, and I notice browser lag a lot on debug…I am putting this tip into use immediately

  • we know September 16th, 2008

    It’s well known within microsoft that clicking the taskbar overrides the default sleep code and that moving the mouse boosts application priority

  • Klaus Graefensteiner September 16th, 2008


    I put the IE window underneath the Visual Studio Window during debugging. In this case gravity will speed up the loading of the HTML into the browser.

    And there is a good explanation for this!


  • Adam Tibi September 16th, 2008


    Thank you for this tip, I never tried it before, but I will.

  • SuperJason September 16th, 2008

    Somebody call Microsoft! These are obviously reproducible issues, so they should fix them!

  • Adam Tibi September 16th, 2008


    Until then, enjoy using them!

  • Valamas September 17th, 2008

    Maybe try using command line to start visual studio with a higher priority. You can use NET START and assign high priorty as a default. (Soz, dont have working command handy).

    Moving your mouse across visual studio or clicking the taskbar probably just triggers higher priority on the application in hover or focus.

  • Adam Tibi September 17th, 2008


    I can’t think of another reason other than this one.

  • An Apple September 17th, 2008

    you have a click a task bar or move your mouse to make a dev app work faster on a machine with 2GB of ram? wow … quality software.

  • Adam Tibi September 17th, 2008

    An Apple Mac fan, aren’t you? πŸ™‚

  • Jimmy Mclean September 17th, 2008

    Excellent tips, saved a lot of time, keep them coming.

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