If you have problems with TFS or Visual Studio flush the user cache … or not?

Updated 2010-09-22 ... changes in blue italic.

BUT … before you go down this “drastic” route, please get a cup of coffee and think about pressing the Enter key.

WHY … The side effects are that your personal environment resets to default and many, if not all, the Visual Studio extension  have to be re-installed. The worst side effect, unless you are Swiss and keep everything documented to the nth degree, is that the Team Foundation Server and Collection configuration evaporates during the user data reset.

With many problems, such as the infamous Red X issue, the common resolution is often to flush the local cache by completing the following steps:

  1. Delete the contents from the following folders
    • C:\Users\<<Your Alias>>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation
    • C:\Users\<<Your Alias>>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio
    • C:\Users\<<Your Alias>>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VSCommon
  2. Go to the Visual Studio IDE folder in command prompt and Run the following command "devenv /resetuserdata" from the Visual Studio IDE folder.
    • Typical location for 64 bit: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE
    • Typical location for 32 bit: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE

While this feature has its place, it needs to be used with some pre-Enter-Key thought and planning, and anyone recommending this to anyone should also highlight the side effects … or face a VERY unhappy customer.

To minimise the potential loss of your personal environment, you should consider creating a backup of your environment using the Export Settings wizard, and the Import Settings wizard to restore the settings if and when needed.

… loaned from book “Software Engineers on their way to Pluto”, symbolizing the possible side effects :)