How to Remove Projects in the Visual Studio Project MRU List

Mar 08, 2008
by:   Tim Stanley

Visual Studio.Net (2003, 2005 and 2008) keeps a list of recent projects shown on the Start Page in the IDE. Sometimes when moving projects around on the disk, one can end up with duplicate names and this can be confusing. To resolve this, the list in the registry must be updated.

Visual Studio Recent Projects

Visual Studio .Net keeps it's list of projects in the registry. Depending on which version depends on which location the list is stored.

  • Visual Studio 2002 - 7.0
  • Visual Studio 2003 - 7.1
  • Visual Studio 2005 - 8.0
  • Visual Studio 2008 - 9.0
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.0\ProjectMRUList]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\ProjectMRUList]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0\ProjectMRUList]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0\ProjectMRUList]

There is also a FileMRUList that is maintained for individual files as well.

Warning: All the normal cautions to editing the registry apply. Editing the registry can corrupt your system. If you don't know what your doing and don't know how to fix it, don't even think about doing it.

 

The registry entry contains a list of files as REG_EXPAND_SZ values similar to what is shown below.

   1: File1 - C:\Projects\Test\Test1.sln 
   2: File2 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Temp\ReportTest.sln 
   3: File3 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\ReportTest.sln 

All you have to do is find the entry that you want removed, and delete the registry entry.

Update: If you remove an entry in the middle of the list, then Visual Studio does not show any entries after the entry that is removed. For example, consider a list that contains the following registry entries before editing.

   1: File1 - C:\Projects\Test\Test1.sln 
   2: File2 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Temp\ReportTest.sln 
   3: File3 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\ReportTest.sln 
   4: File4 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution4.sln 
   5: File5 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution5.sln 
   6: File6 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution6.sln

If you remove the entry for File4 then you would be left with the following.

   1: File1 - C:\Projects\Test\Test1.sln 
   2: File2 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Temp\ReportTest.sln 
   3: File3 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\ReportTest.sln 
   4: File5 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution5.sln 
   5: File6 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution6.sln 

Visual Studio however, will show only the entries for 1 through 3. If you want entries after 3 to show, then you must renumber the subsequent entries to have the following.

   1: File1 - C:\Projects\Test\Test1.sln 
   2: File2 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Temp\ReportTest.sln 
   3: File3 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\ReportTest.sln 
   4: File4 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution5.sln 
   5: File5 - %USERPROFILE%\My Documents\Projects\Solution6.sln 

Josh Beach wrote a tool Visual Studio Project MRU List Editor that appears quite useful if you have to do this on a recurring basis. [1]

Updates

  • May 22, 2007 - original post.
  • Mar 8, 2008 - update with Visual Studio 2008 notes.

References

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