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!

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47 Responses to “Visual Studio 2012 Intellisense Not Working – SOLVED”

  1. Greg says :

    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.

    • Jerry says :

      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.

  2. Jimi says :


    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. 🙂


    • David Haney says :

      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. 🙂

  3. Gerhard says :

    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!

    • David Haney says :

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

  4. Jimmy Harris says :

    Thanks for taking the time to post this… saved me a lot of frustration!!!!

  5. Suraj says :

    Thanks a lot. It helped me.

  6. Deva says :

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

  7. Bill says :

    Thanks! That worked for me. I was unable to see it in the .aspx files, but now I can.

  8. beha says :

    it is not working for me ((

  9. GetKJV says :

    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.

  10. Spencer Clark says :

    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!

  11. Florin says :

    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.

    • Dirk Strauss says :

      Intellisense not working is hardly a critical bug, and easily resolved thanks to guys like David sharing the solution with the community.

      • Jason says :

        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.

  12. Naser Rezaee says :

    Very thanks it’s worked for me.

  13. Thomas says :

    Thanks, it works

  14. Mark Kamoski says :

    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

    • David Haney says :

      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.

  15. Sang says :

    thanks a lot. It works!

  16. sasi says :

    not working for me

  17. Daniel Latikaynen says :

    Thanks, worked for me and my team.

  18. Ron Smith says :

    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.

  19. Austin says :

    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!

  20. Yossarian says :

    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?

  21. Dave says :

    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).

  22. Octan says :

    Great help for me. Work perfectly. Thanks

  23. Nikola says :

    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!

  24. Monica says :

    Great post. Thank You!!!!!!

  25. Eye Gore says :

    I’m happy for all those this worked, but sad it did not work for me.

    I may as well use Notepad.

  26. Claudia says :

    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.

  27. JB says :

    Other folks have posted a fix such as Delete Project Solution file. That fixed the problem for about 1 minute.

    Deleting the Roaming settings folder worked for VS 2013 but it seems I have to do this at least once a month. Thanks for posting!

  28. JohnKoz says :

    Bingo, that did it when all other conventional steps failed (SUO, reset settings, add-ins, extensions, etc.)
    And in my case this was VS2013

    Thank you!


  29. Mark Kamoski says :

    Does not work for me with VS 2013. Ug. Really MS???

  30. Luis says :

    You save my ass

  31. Christie says :

    This worked for Studio Community 2015. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Phil says :

    Awesome tip…thanks for posting. Saved me hours of time…

  33. Paul Schofield says :

    I think my biggest feature request for Microsoft products is to at least present some information to the user when a feature is non-functional, and ideally fix the problem itself rather than just silently failing.

  34. Aaron Smith says :

    Nice find, totally worked!!

    The only flipside is I lost all my window layouts and hotkey preferences. I bet there’s a subfolder that could be deleted instead.

  35. sateesh says :

    For me its not working randomly intellisense is coming while dubugging, manytimes its not coming

  36. Priyanka kaushal says :

    Hi i couldn’t find VS folder inside roaming anywhere, its not in microsoft, i can find only “visual studio set up ” folder inside roaming
    and Intellisense isnt working

  37. Patty Herkstroeter says :

    How’s things?, sometimes I see a 500 website message when I arrive at your webpage. Just a heads up, cheers

  38. Aya Gaber says :

    Thanks allot , It’s really useful and working very well

  39. Keith Howard says :

    In VS 2017, IntelliSense works for me in VB.Net projects but not in JavaScript or SSDT projects. Anyone have any ideas why that might be?
    Many thanks.

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