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VS2010 forgets default browser settings by Sergey Kraev


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Type: Bug
ID: 568469
Opened: 6/17/2010 7:51:17 AM
Access Restriction: Public
User(s) can reproduce this bug


My system-wide default browser is Opera.

I change default browser in VS2010 the same way like I did it in VS2008:

1. Right click on the ASPX file in the Solution Explorer.
2. Choose "Browse With...".
3. Select "Internet Explorer" (there are 4 browsers listed in total: Firefox, Internal Web Browser, Internet Explorer and Opera Internet Browser).
4. Press "Set as Default" button.

It stays as a default browser for a while but then VS2010 resets it to Opera. I haven't figure out the pattern but looks like the reset happens on the PC reboot.
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Posted by Nicholas598305 on 4/6/2011 at 9:25 AM
That extension is nice but has bugs of it's own.

Even setting the XML as read only doesn't fix the issue for me-- next time I start up Visual Studio and launch a web app, IE9 opens up. I don't understand what is going on, and why "browse with" is coupled in any way to extensions. Also, I am not installing/uninstalling extensions at all when the problem occurs. I have only a few running (and most are 'official' Microsoft ones:

(add-on) Resharper
Image Optimizer
JScript Brace Matching Extension
JScript Editor Extensions
JScript IntelliSense Para Extension
JScript Outlining Extension
JScript Word Highlighter Extension
NuGet Package Manager
WoVS Default Browser Switcher

Please, please please look into fixing this ASAP.
Posted by Microsoft on 4/5/2011 at 9:28 AM
In the meantime, Clarius has released an extension that allows you to quickly set your default browser: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/bb424812-f742-41ef-974a-cdac607df921

It's not the fix but should at least provide a better experience than we have today.

Weston Hutchins
Program Manager - VS Platform
Posted by AWBauman on 10/26/2010 at 11:34 AM
"...most likely the fix will appear in next version of Visual Studio."
I would expect it to show up in the next version of VS, I have even greater expectations of it showing up my existing version.
This happens all the time for me and I echo the other comments in how annoying it is.
Posted by Alin Constantin - MSFT on 9/16/2010 at 9:00 AM
@TheSilverBadger: The issue with the [Browse with...] command not being available on the aspx files is a different issue. Please open a separate Connect bug to track that one (it will be assigned to the web project team)

Just a quick update for the browser setting "forgotten" problem - given the large number of votes for fixing this, the triage team reviewed the internal bug and reactivated it. It's currently in my plate for fixing, and most likely the fix will appear in next version of Visual Studio.
The browser chosen to debug with the web projects is not completely orthogonal to the installed extensions (as I said before, some extensions may register/unregister internal browsers, which will affect the default browser), but I agree that if the extensions installed/removed don't have anything to do with the browsers configurations (and even more, with the browser selected as default) there is no reason to reset the default browser setting.

Alin Constantin
[Visual Studio Platform development]

Posted by Matthieu Guyonnet-Duluc on 8/30/2010 at 5:51 AM
I have the same problem, and definitely it resets the settings in some kind of magic way. The response from Microsoft confirms that there's a problem since the behavior is so mysterious ...
Posted by TheSilverBadger on 8/26/2010 at 4:14 AM
This is even more frustrating when trying to debug/develop ASP.NET MVC projects, because VS no longer lets me right click the .aspx views to [Browse with...] - I have to add a Webform to the root of the project just so I can set IE as the default browser.
Posted by David A Nelson on 8/18/2010 at 2:56 PM

"By Design" is not an acceptable answer to this bug. The browser I want to debug Visual Studio projects with is completely orthogonal to the extensions I have installed. If the current design does not allow these to be orthogonal, then THAT is the bug; but it is a bug one way or the other.
Posted by Alin Constantin - MSFT on 8/18/2010 at 2:52 PM
Walt is correct - you're experiencing this problem most likely because you're enabling/disabling/installing/uninstalling new Visual Studio Extensions.

The default browser is saved in a file like "C:\Users\alinc\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\browsers.xml" when the BrowseWith... dialog is dismissed. No, this file is not saved everytime VS is closed, and no, this is not reset when the machine is restarted.

Visual Studio may switch back and launch non-default browsers when:
- launching the default browser failed for some reason
- the file path to the saved browser doesn't point anymore to a valid application (browser uninstalled)
- you explicitly run commands that delete the cache (e.g. "devenv /resetuserdata", etc.)
- the browsers.xml file cache is old

The last case happens if you change the pacakges/extensions configurations (uninstall/uninstall/disable/enable extensions) or run other commands affecting packages configuration (e.g. "devenv /setup")
All these affect which packages are installed and since packages may register/unregister browsers, when the timestamp (in registry) of the browsers cache file is older than the timestamp of the PkgDef and ExtensionsManager the browser cache file is considered invalid. The next time you will use BrowseWith... dialog the browser will be read from the system's defaults.
This behavior is by design.

Alin Constantin
[Visual Studio Platform dev]
Posted by Lachlan01 on 8/14/2010 at 3:58 PM
Come on MS this is a real pain, lets get it fixed pronto!! Don't want to wait until VS 2013. Do you even test on machines with browsers other than IE? Wake up and smell the roses, no-one in the dev community uses archaic IE as their default browser - but we DO use it when debugging in VS.

Duplicate of 533926 where it has been closed as "won't fix".
Posted by Walt Daniels on 8/5/2010 at 4:29 AM
The VS "Default Browser" seems to be reset to the OS Default whenever you update & save anything within the Tools>Options dialog, or apply updates within the Extension Manager.
Posted by Barry Bulls on 8/2/2010 at 10:03 AM
This happens to me whenever i close visual studio and reopen it. The default browser is saved as long as the app is open, but when it's closed it gets rest back to the OS default.
Posted by qs7000 on 6/27/2010 at 11:46 PM
I have a solution with multiple SL projects (including unit test projects) and one web project hosting the main application.
I have noticed that the "Browse with..." option is only available for the web project, but if I change the default browser there, also the other projects are opened in that browser, but unfortunately at some point it gets all mixed up and the system default browser is started instead of the desired one.
Maybe switching between web and non-web projects can play a role in this problem, but overall this seems pretty random to me.
Posted by Microsoft on 6/17/2010 at 5:03 PM
Thank you for your feedback, we are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly(http://support.microsoft.com)
Posted by David A Nelson on 6/17/2010 at 2:52 PM
The same thing is happening to me. Firefox is my system default, but I debug in IE (primarily because when I stop debugging Visual Studio often decides to close all of my Firefox windows). But the Visual Studio browser is constantly getting reset to Firefox. I have also not yet been able to determine the pattern, but it is definitely more often than a PC reboot.
Posted by thepaulpage on 6/17/2010 at 8:58 AM
I think it happens on a clean as well, but I'm not sure how consistent that is either.
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Posted by Vrlvrox on 12/16/2010 at 1:06 AM
Lars, running the project for the first time (after you start VS) will indeed start in OS's default browser. But, running it second time will "catch on" and run it in browser specified in read-only browsers.xml.
Posted by LarsWa_Discontinued on 12/9/2010 at 1:16 PM
Vrlvrox solution works, BUT you have to delete the .SUO file for the solution before it works. LAst brower used is apparently stored in there.
Posted by Vrlvrox on 11/19/2010 at 1:15 AM
I have tried setting read-only attribute of
to read-only and it seems to be working.

When starting VS and opening "browse with..." you will still see system default as the chosen browser . But running the project will start browsers.xml browser and also change "browse with..." setting.