Visual Studio administrator guide

In enterprise environments, system administrators typically deploy and update software on end users machines. The Visual Studio product integrates well in these types of environments by giving system administrators the ability to manage and control when and how the Visual Studio software is deployed and updated. Visual Studio can be acquired from the internet, from a network share, or from a product cache, and it can be deployed and updated manually, programmatically or by using systems management software. Visual Studio provides the ability to create and maintain acquisition locations, pre-configure installation defaults, deploy product keys during the installation process, and manage product updates after a successful rollout. This administrator guide provides quick links to scenario-based guidance for enterprise deployment.

Research and plan before you begin

You will need to make a plan for how you deploy Visual Studio across your organization. Below lists some of the key things to think about, and it's best if your plan and decisions are made before the original installation happens on the client machine.

  • Make sure that each target computer meets the minimum installation requirements. Note that Visual Studio does not support application virtualization solutions such as Microsoft App-V or MSIX for Windows or third-party app virtualization technologies.
  • Make sure that each target computer meets the minimum installation requirements. Note that Visual Studio does not support application virtualization solutions such as Microsoft App-V or MSIX for Windows or third-party app virtualization technologies.
  • Clarify your security and compatibility needs. Microsoft recommends that your organization always uses the latest and most secure software.
  • If your company needs to stay on a feature set longer but still wants to get regular servicing security updates, you should plan to use a long-term servicing channel (LTSC). For more information, see the Support options for Enterprise and Professional customers section of the Visual Studio product lifecycle and servicing page.
  • Follow Windows security baselines. Microsoft is dedicated to providing its customers with secure operating systems, such as Windows 10 and Windows Server, and secure apps, such as Microsoft Edge. In addition to the security assurance of its products, Microsoft also enables you to have fine control over your environments by providing various configuration capabilities.

Plan for how Visual Studio should be installed and initialized

Plan for how Visual Studio will be regularly updated

  • Where should your client machines acquire the product updates from? This often depends on if clients have access to the internet or not. Should they get their updates from an IT managed and maintained company-wide network layout, or should they acquire the updates from the internet?

  • Who is allowed to update the client machines? By default, the action of updating Visual Studio requires administrative privileges on the machine, although starting in August 2023, an admin can delegate update capability to standard users by configuring the AllowStandardUserControl policy. Standard users can never use the bootstrapper, though. The AllowStandardUserControl policy just enables them to use the Visual Studio Installer functionality after the installer has already been installed on the client. Are users allowed to update their machines, or does an admin need to invoke it centrally or programmatically via a system context process?

  • When should the updates happen? Should it be left to the user's discretion to decide when to update, or are there organizational policies that govern timeliness of updates?


We encourage all organizations to enroll their client machines into Visual Studio Administrator Updates, a system which delivers security updates on a monthly basis to devices that are enrolled in Windows Update for Business.

Install Visual Studio

The following resources will help you do the initial install of Visual Studio in common enterprise scenarios. You'll typically only have to do this once.

Update Visual Studio

The following resources will help you keep your Visual Studio updated, current, and secure. Best practice is to plan for monthly updates.

Configure Visual Studio

  • Configure policies that affect the behavior of Visual Studio Use the Microsoft Intune settings catalog or the Visual Studio Administrative Templates (ADMX) to easily configure Visual Studio policies on client machines across your organization. This includes configuring policies that govern installation and update behavior such as who is allowed to update, where some packages shared with other versions or instances are installed, where and whether packages are cached, if administrator updates should be enabled or how they should be applied, which update channels are available and how they're presented to the client, if unsupported components should be removed during an update, and how notifications appear or don't appear. This also includes configuring policies that govern customer feedback, telemetry, Live Share, and Dev Tunnelsbehavior.

  • Create custom bootstrapper packages. Learn advanced techniques for how to create custom bootstrapper packages to further control your installation configuration by creating product and package manifests.

Manage, Modify or Repair Visual Studio

  • Detect, verify, and manage installed Visual Studio instances on client machines.

  • Get troubleshooting tips. Get help when you’re installing or updating Visual Studio, and learn how to report a problem if you’re blocked. These tips include step-by-step instructions that should resolve most online or offline installation issues.

  • Repair Visual Studio to fix update issues. Sometimes your Visual Studio installation becomes damaged or corrupted. A repair is useful for fixing install-time issues across all install operations, including updates.

Support or troubleshooting

Sometimes, things can go wrong. If your Visual Studio installation fails, see Troubleshoot Visual Studio installation and upgrade issues for step-by-step guidance.

Here are a few more support options:

  • We offer an installation chat (English only) support option for installation-related issues.
  • Report product issues to us via the Report a Problem tool that appears both in the Visual Studio Installer and in the Visual Studio IDE. If you're an IT Administrator and don't have Visual Studio installed, you can submit IT Admin feedback here.
  • Suggest a feature, track product issues, and find answers in the Visual Studio Developer Community.

See also