Tips & Tricks: Customizing Visual Studio 2010 Start Page

Do you know that you can easily customize the Visual Studio 2010 start page? Yes, this is true. This uses a XAML page which you can modify easily if you have a knowledge in XAML. Redesign your page with your brand & look, impress your users (mainly your team) with the new look.
Why should I do this:
Now before reading the steps question may arise in your mind “Why should I do this? I don’t care what the look is.” Yup, this is right but thing in some point of view where you want to show some sort of information/news tracker on the best coding practises your team should follow or you may want to show the pending tasks of the team in the start-up page or you may want to redesign that page with custom templates to meet your company brand or something else.
How can I do this:
How I can do this? First of all, go to your “My Documents\Visual Studio 2010\StartPages”. There you will find a project named “StartPage” with an additional XAML file named “StartPage.xaml”. This xaml page is your Start Page of the Visual Studio 2010. Remember that this is user specific file & have to deploy for all users.
Before doing anything take a backup of the same. Now open the StartPage project file which will load the xaml in your Visual Studio IDE. Modify it according to the look & feel you want. Save it & you will immediately see the effect in your startup page.
Not only this. You can also chose different XAML files for your Startup XAML page. Create a separate XAML file with your design in the same directory as mentioned above. Open your Visual Studio 2010. Go to Tools –> Options –> Environment –> Startup.
Select the “Custom Start Page” from the drop down that you have created. Hit “OK” to see it immediately in your start page. Remember that for security reason you can’t change the path as this executes under the trusted privileges of the user only & also uses some references to the Visual Studio UI assemblies.

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  1. Great Info. Thanks for Sharing with Us.

  2. After reading your blog, I was ready to customize the startpage, but there is no startpage.xaml in the directory you mention. (nor in any other directory on my harddisk). Do I need an additional download (I have the 64 bit ultimate version of the rc and I downloaded the Sdk)

  3. Hmmm... I see...

    This was available in Beta 2 & I think it has been removed in RC or moved some where else.

    Thanks for the feedback & will let you know soon if there's any alternative.

  4. Hi Horlings, you can get the startpage project from my blog share: http://cid-5c93c05515dfe04a.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/My%20Blog%20Share/Visual%20Studio%202010%20StartPages.zip

    Just extract the zip & copy the extracted 3 files to your "Documents\Visual Studio 2010\StartPages" directory. Then follow the steps I mentioned in the blog.


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