My Documents folder


  • I am a beginner programmer, who downloaded last week MS Visual Studio 2015 - the community version. I noticed that every time I start Visual Studio to learn programming, it saves tons of files in My Documents folder. Just starting the program creates and saves 24 files in My Documents folder - then every time I do something, it creates new files. In only 4 days, Visual Studio created something like 300 or 400 files which have used up nearly 2 GB's on my Hard Drive. 

    Worse still, 100's of files were saved in my Documents folder that were dated from several months back even though I download VS just last week!! Because these files dates back several months, they are not saved just on the top of the list in My Document folder, but littered all over the place in that folder. So I cannot just select them all to delete without accidentally deleting some of my other files too. 

    What is going on? This cannot be right. What can I do to fix this? 


    Saturday, May 7, 2016 1:13 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I will try to tell you my view on this topic:

    1. The choosen path

    Visual Studio needs an area to save files that you decided to download or create. Because Visual Studio can be used without administrative rights, Microsoft choosed a directory where the user has write access to.

    So for such a topic, only 2 places are common:
    a) Documents folder - that is the location where files created by the user should be safed
    b) Application Data folder - that is for settings and stuff that the application needs.

    There are arguments, why some stuff should not belong into documents (e.g. downloaded templates), but I also see some good reasons to do it exactly that way e.g.
    - keeping files together
    - Developers also have their own created templates - so there must be a place for templates inside documents. But having 2 different places could confuse people ...

    2. The files itself

    Visual Studio has a lot of different files to store. If you check the Visual Studio 2015 directory in your documents folder, then you see a lot of directories:
    Projects - this is the default location for your projects
    Settings - Visual Studio settings will be saved here (This is something that I would have expected in Application Data)
    Templates - This could be the directory that takes up that much space. When you download online templates then they will be stored here.
    Backup Files - this is a location where Visual Studio can save Files so no data is lost in case of a crash.
    Code Snippets can contain code snippets of different languages.
    I hope I got the most important directories.

    If you have further questions or if i missed an important topic: feel free to ask.

    With kind regards,


    Saturday, May 7, 2016 8:29 AM
  • Hello Konrad,

    Thank you so much for clarifying this. However, what I don't understand is the number of files created by Visual Studio. I know it supposed to create at least 3 files: .cs, .config, and .resx files, but I am seeing over 300 files and I haven't programmed much yet. All I did was to insert a button and a text box and a few lines of C# codes. The files VS created have taken up nearly 2 GB's of my computer's capacity (NOT counting the 3 GB's of memory required to install Visual Studio itself. The 2 GB's I am talking about is just the files that VS created afterwords in only one week). If this continues, my computer Hard Drive will be full within a months!!! 

    It looks like every time I am making changes to a Form or to my codes, instead of saving the changes in the same file, VS copies a new file with the changes. So if I add just a new line of C# code, the system generates an entirely new .cs file with my coding update rather than just saving the new line of code in the same file!

    Sunday, May 8, 2016 2:03 PM
  • Hi,

    that is not the normal behaviour. Could you give us a file list together with the exact directory?

    I also checked my files and even with templates: 2GB is something that is far more than I would expect.

    Inside a forms application you will have a few more files so you should have:
    a .sln file which describes the solution
    a .csproj file which is you c-sharp project
    the .cs files for assembly description, for your form and the designer file

    Some more files are stored on your system with user settings and when you compile, then some output files will be generated.

    But all this does not explain what you described. So some more information would be great to see what is going on.

    With kind regards,


    Sunday, May 8, 2016 2:21 PM
  • Hi Hacar,

    Could you please provide more information that Konrad Neitzel asked?

    We need to know more about information to help us find out what happened with your Visual Studio. We are waiting for your response. Thanks.

    Best Regards,

    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
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    Thursday, May 12, 2016 9:26 AM