Microsoft plans to roll out Visual Studio updates via Windows Update

The new update experience can be previewed right now by configuring specific registry key

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Microsoft to soon roll out the ability to update Visual Studio via Windows Update

We can’t shy away from the fact that Visual Studio is one of the most popular IDEs available worldwide. Microsoft which recently revamped Resource Explorer in Visual Studio is now planning to push future updates for the program via Windows update.

The Redmond giant recently said it will be revamping the update experience for Visual Studio by integrating it with the Windows Update system.

Visual Studio updates will soon be delivered via Windows Update

Mads Kristensen, from Microsoft’s Visual Studio team, took to X to inform the intentions of the company. He adds Microsoft wants to make this change for easier security and maintenance automatically in the background.

So, how would that work? Well, instead of manually updating the Visual Studio, you can simply click on Check for updates on the Windows Update page. Then, all the available updates will be installed automatically in the background.

A Developer Community post for the Visual Studio website quoted by Neowin further talks about the new update mechanism. It reads:

Starting in August 2024, Visual Studio security updates will be delivered through the Microsoft Update (MU) system, which is designed to run in the background in a non-intrusive manner. This means that Visual Studio will automatically receive and install monthly security updates on any computer that has opted into “receiving updates from other Microsoft products”.

Per the post, it is the easiest way to stay updated and secure. Microsoft further encourages users to enroll in this feature. Not to forget, the new update mechanism applies to supported releases and LTSC Channels of Visual Studio 2022, 2019, and 2017. Notably, the ability to update Visual Studio via Windows update doesn’t apply to Visual Studio Previews.

That said, Microsoft is quite cautious this time, especially after the Recall controversy, and isn’t planning to force the new update mechanism from day one. Rather, there’ll be a choice for developers to opt for the feature.

Once the new update mechanism is rolled out, Visual Studio settings’ will feature an option to opt in to receive updates via the Windows Update system. As pointed out by Kristensen, you’ll need to enable the option. And, toggle to receive updates of other Microsoft products on the Windows settings page.

Previewing the new update experience is possible, but it’s not straightforward

You can try to preview the new Visual Studio update experience right away, but there’s a catch. The only way to do so is by configuring the given registry key:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\VisualStudio\Setup\PreviewAutomaticUpdates (REG_DWORD) = 1

Worth noting that the preview phase of the new Visual Studio update experience will last until July. Post that, you won’t need to configure the registry after the specified month. As we write, there’s no date committed when it’ll be out of preview.

However, we do know that the new update experience for Visual Studio will roll out to users starting this August.

Will you opt-in to update Visual Studio via Windows Update when it is available? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

More about the topics: visual studio, Windows Update