Visual Studio 2012 Intellisense Not Working – SOLVED

So, this post is about our beloved IDE instead of actual code.

I recently upgraded my home PC from Visual Studio 2010 and 11 Beta to Visual Studio 2012. The very first thing I noticed was that after about 10 minutes of programming my Intellisense quit working and never came back. I thought to myself “what the hell Visual Studio? 2010 didn’t have these problems?!” and then, after a swig of beer, proceeded to exercise my Google-Fu to solve this issue.

Strangely, I did not find the “correct” aka permanent solution to this problem. So, after a ton of screwing around and guess-and-check, here’s how I solved it. Note that for this fix to work, you have to abandon Visual Studio 2010 or 11 PERMANENTLY. You don’t have to uninstall either of them, but if you open a solution in them it seems you’ll re-break Visual Studio 2012. Stupid, I know. Maybe a hotfix will come out eventually to fix this issue. Anyway…

If your Intellisense is anything but intelligent, and has stopped working, do the following:

1. Open the start menu and type “%AppData%” and press enter to get to your Application Data Folder.

2. Either you were automatically placed in the “Roaming” folder or you weren’t. If you weren’t, go to the “Roaming” folder.

3. Open the “Microsoft” folder.

4. Open the “VisualStudio” folder.

5. Here you’ll see a folder titled “11.0” (the VS 2012 folder) and probably also “10.0” (the VS 2010 folder).

6. DELETE (or rename) the “10.0” folder. Note that you can now kiss your Visual Studio 2010 settings and preferences goodbye (your projects will be safe and sound).

7. DELETE (or rename) all other folders that are not the “11.0” folder, assuming you used to have Visual Studio 2008 or whatever.

Now restart Visual Studio 2012 and you should be good to go!

32 thoughts on “Visual Studio 2012 Intellisense Not Working – SOLVED

  1. Greg

    Great find. VS 2012 has been rather stable and productive for me with the exception of the Intellisense. I had recently removed VS 2010 as all projects had been migrated to VS 2012 successfully. The VS 2010 AppData directory is not removed during un-install. Thus far, I’ve not had any issues after removing the VS 2010 AppData directory.

    Reply
    1. Jerry

      I hate 2012 intellisense. In 2008 version I only type a few letters and then I can press space bar to complete the word. In 2012 I have to highlight the word using the arrow keys before I can press the space bar. The older version automatically highlights the one on top of the list. It’s frustrating.

      Reply
  2. Jimi

    Hi,

    Thanks for the tip.
    I just wanted to say that in my case I didn´t change the name on vs 2010 folder 10.0 this time, I just restarted vs 2012 and the intellisence list was back.

    For me the intellisence “dropdown” list dissapeared suddenly while I was coding.

    Next time it dissapears I´ll rename the 10.0 folder. :)

    Thanks,
    Jimi

    Reply
    1. David Haney Post author

      Thanks for letting me know, Jimi. I had a similar issue… It came and went a few times and then eventually disappeared forever… Or at least until I renamed the folder. :)

      Reply
  3. Gerhard

    Actually I have no problems with intellisense in VS 2012 except for SQL-Server projects. In this case your recipie did not work.

    The behaviour is quite strange!
    I can create a SQL-Server-Project and add a class. Intellisense and navigation bar will be fine. As soon as I resart VS2012 intellisense and navigation bar will be gone. To reactivate navigation bar an intellisense I have to exclude the class file from the project and add it again. Then intellisense and navigation bar will work fine until I restart VS21012 again.

    This is really a nuisance!

    Reply
    1. David Haney Post author

      That sounds frustrating, Gerhard. Do you have any other versions of Visual Studio or SQL Server installed besides your primary editions?

      Reply
  4. Deva

    Thanks, that worked for me after tools–> import Export Settings –> reset did nothing… Though my Microsoft\VisualStudio folder was in local not in roaming.

    Reply
  5. GetKJV

    Worked like a charm. Thank you for sharing. I was also experiencing some debugger freezes that began around the same time as the erratic intellisense. I suspect this may clear that up too.

    Reply
  6. Spencer Clark

    Excellent! This worked for me. I was having major problems with getting jQuery intellisense working and had tried everything else. Deleting the “10.0” folder did the trick – the odd thing is, this is a new computer and I’d never installed VS 2010 on it in the first place!

    Reply
  7. Florin

    Thanks a lot for the info. The trick worked for me, I had vs2010 and 2008 installed. I’m astonished though – I just installed VS2012 with Update3 – and this critical bug is still not solved by the VS team – in the third iteration!

    Instead these people at microsoft are moving on vs 2013 :( … unbelievable! these people are working off a very different definition of quality than people who pay money for their tools, I’m afraid.

    Reply
      1. Jason

        In a tool that is meant to enhance developer productivity, any bug that has a significant negative impact on that productivity seems like a fairly critical bug to me. This is not really a solution, it is a workaround (for which I am grateful), which is a hallmark of a badly designed product. It would be akin to MS Word’s spell checker not working. Sure, you can use the product without this feature, but it would mean a reduction in most users’ productivity.

        Reply
  8. Mark Kamoski

    Thanks for the nice article. Unfortunately, the given fix did not work for me because I only have this folder C:\Users\ My1\ AppData\ Roaming\ Microsoft\ VisualStudio\ 11.0\ and there are no other folders at that location. Do you have any other ways to fix this issue? Please advise. Thanks. — Mark Kamoski

    Reply
    1. David Haney Post author

      I believe you probably have Windows hiding hidden files and folders. Try typing \Local into the file path directly and see if it comes up.

      Reply
  9. Ron Smith

    Nice Fix.

    But if you are using Team Explorer for TFS you need to rename the 10.0 and 9.0 folders so you still have access to the config settings.

    Reply
  10. Austin

    Spent a good half hour searching the internet to fix this problem! I just deleted the 11.0 folder and fired VS2012 back up.

    Great post, thanks!

    Reply
  11. Yossarian

    I’m using Visual Studio Express, and I have a similar problem but the solution didn’t work.

    I upgraded from 2010 to 2012, and am having inconsistent problems with Intellisense not working on some classes and namespaces.

    With Express the application folders are a little different — it’s “VCSExpress” for 2010 (“Visual C Sharp”) and “WDExpress” for 2012 (“Windows Desktop”). I tried removing %AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\VCSExpress and also %AppData%\Local\Microsoft\VCSExpress, but unfortunately it didn’t help.

    Has anyone encountered and resolved this issue with Visual Studio Express?

    Reply
  12. Dave

    This may only work if you had a previous version installed.

    I have the problem with a clean install of Windows 7 and VS 2012. This is the only thing on the computer and it still occurs after long coding sesions ( > 1 day).

    Reply
  13. Nikola

    Thank you very much! This solved an issue I had with the Navigate To window, not showing files other than class base. Restoring the VS2012 settings did not worked, as apparently the setting was inherited from VS 2008 I have also installed previously. I have struggled to find a solution but the proposed here did the trick. Thank you again!

    Reply
  14. Claudia

    Thank you so much! It worked for me. My Visual Studio 2013 crashed and restarted every time I tried to add a class in a HTML tag.

    Reply

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