Task Runner Explorer

Microsoft DevLabs Free

Provides custom task runner support to Visual Studio.

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by pbyte | January 04 2016

+ Great idea

- Extension not maintained anymore
- source code is not open sourced so that we could fix it by ourselves in order to implement complex frontend developement workflows which require tight VS integration. one show stopper is for example the fact that other extensions like NpmTaskRunner depend on it.
- questions/bugs reported by users are totally ignored

by Mikey Jensen (The Fantastic) | October 07 2015

How the hell do you hide this thing? It comes up every time it runs, why can't it just run in the background.

by Phi Huynh | September 09 2015

by speedystgt | September 09 2015

Hi Mads,
this plugin seems to be great, but one important thing is not supported.
Most developers may need the possibility to use nested solutions. Is there
any plan to support this? Then you will get five stars.

by Alexander Staroselsky | August 11 2015

Great plugin for organizing and running Gulp/Grunt tasks. Plugin has done a great job of identifying registered tasks in gulpfile and displaying in window so far. One really big win for me was being able to bring up the task runner explorer and run Gulp tasks while MVC application was running, allowing me to run tasks such as gulp-uncss to identify unused css.

by I.Mahmoudi66 | August 06 2015

by Eric Aldinger | June 10 2015

I really like this so far. Good job.

The test output is nicer in the explorer than the output directly from the cli. I wish I knew how to capture that formatting for our build output.

I would like to access this from within the context of any js file.

I would like the option to mute warnings like ">> Local Npm module "grunt-sync" not found. Is it installed?" It should be installed IMHO, but that is a matter of debate for our team. So the warning is not of value right now.

Instead of having jshint and htmlhint directly under Tasks, perhaps move them under a general Hint level. This could enable users to either lint both at the same time, or either independently.

by Guilherme Magalhães | April 03 2015

I'm getting "object reference not set to an instance of an object" while clicking the refresh projects button... Only happens in one new Win10 machine with 2013 and 2015 installed.

Is there a way to debug the extension or get logs?

by LongDinhLe | April 01 2015

by Justin_Butler | March 30 2015

Mads -

Great extension and really helped me get some outsourced front-end code into our Visual Studio environment. In order to take this to the next level, it would be great if there were built-in support in Visual Studio for getting Gulp into the build pipeline so that we can really take advantage of this in Continuous Integration scenarios. There is a really good article about this by Steve Cadwallader on his blog, which can be found here:


Hope you consider making this part of Visual Studio's default functionality. Again thanks for your work thus far!


by SturmUndDrang | March 03 2015

I can't get it to work. Gulp works fine from the command line, but in VS I just get "Process terminated with code 1". No idea what the problem is or how to fix it

by cslater | March 02 2015

Please fix the crash every time you size the splitter window.

by JHubSharp | February 16 2015

Awesome work. The tooling here and elsewhere in VS2015 has really renewed my focus on client-side development. Thanks!

by Pat James | February 12 2015

It is a nice idea but it completely breaks Visual Studio's git integration. To me, git is much more valuable inside VS. I can run gulp, grunt, etc just fine outside of VS with very little reduction in capability from what Task Runner Explorer offers. Not so with git. Maybe if/when this bug https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/Feedback/Details/865064 is resolved I will give it another try.

by DevDells | January 23 2015

You don't need a file save event to bind to. Just use the Grunt watcher.
Takes a little time to get Grunt integrated in your workflow, but this Task Runner makes it so much simpler.
Staying in VS makes it more transparent.

by Guido Müller | January 16 2015

Nice tool. From my perspective it would be an improvement to have a binding for a file save action to trigger a grunt task.

by Jorge Neyra | January 16 2015

This works great! I have 2 issues though. One was mentioned by another user about the tasks taking too long for the production files to be ready before publishing. My second issue is that any new files created by the tasks are not automatically included in the project.

by MaksimVi | January 08 2015

Great idea, but still needs improvements. Bindings seem to be triggered by every project inside the solution instead of just the one containing gruntfile.

by vilicvane | December 21 2014

Great to have this. And it would be great if there's a quick way to know the updates of running tasks without unfold task runner.

by LordDawnhunter | December 09 2014

Great tool but there is a small issue.
When publishing a web project, the package is created before "gulp" has finished running.
So, there is either missing files or files that are empty.

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  • VS 2013 and 2015
    3 Posts | Last post Mon 3:57 PM
    • Thanks for your hard work!  Any plans to make the 2013 bindings compatible with 2015?  It would be nice to be able to open the solution in either version and have your ProjectOpened/SolutionOpened tasks fire.
    • I have the same problem. Did anyone find a solution?
    • tried setting both the vs2013 and vs2015 versions of the event binding but it only seems to read the value if it is at the top of the file.
  • vs2013 and vs2015
    1 Posts | Last post Mon 2:45 PM
    • it appears that this plugin in vs2013 uses different text in the triple slash comment in gulpfile.js than the Task Runner Explorer in vs2015.
      This is a problem for me trying to adopt this as I have people using both.
      Is this plugin going to be updated to use the same tag as vs2015?
  • Doesnt work under VS 2013
    1 Posts | Last post Sat 3:24 PM
    • Not sure what is going on. Have VS 2013, Updt 5. Installed Task Runner Explorer. Window is now there. Created guplfile.js. tested gulpfile from command line, works fine. But Task Runner Explorer seems dead. Doesn't recognize the gulpfile.  Project dropdown is empty.  Refresh button gets an "object reference not found.." error. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Gulp-sass task compile error
    1 Posts | Last post Thu 9:58 AM
    • https://i.gyazo.com/8a41191afa1fa463aa4e2377ab1e2164.png
  • You should tell users that they need integrated shell to install this
    2 Posts | Last post January 21, 2016
    • I was having trouble installing this extension, I spent an hour trying to figure out why this wasn't working and it was as simple as ticking the extensibility option in vs 15 installer.
    • can someone delete this one?
      it's a duplicate, sorry!
  • You should tell users that they need integrated shell to install this
    1 Posts | Last post January 21, 2016
    • I was having trouble installing this extension, I spent an hour trying to figure out why this wasn't working and it was as simple as ticking the extensibility option in vs 15 installer.
  • Add support for load-grunt-config
    2 Posts | Last post January 06, 2016
    • Our gruntfile was getting enormous, so we utilized: [load-grunt-config](https://github.com/firstandthird/load-grunt-config) to be able to break it up into modules. It does not appear that Task Runner Explorer can work with this. I just see a "Failed to load '<path>\gruntfile.js'..." error in the Output window.
    • I had the same problem, but found that load-grunt-configs (from https://github.com/creynders/load-grunt-configs) works:
          var configs = require("load-grunt-configs")(grunt, {
              config: { src: "grunt/config/*.js" }
  • Not loading gulpfile in VS2015
    1 Posts | Last post December 22, 2015
    • I have the impression the taskrunner gets in an infinity loop when doing the following in gulp:
      1. define a gulpfile with some tasks and gulp.watch() at the end of the file
      2. save the file and close the project
      3. reopen the project (at this point the gulpfile is already not loaded in the taskrunner)
      4. hit the refresh button.. it never seems to finish. (also when I close the project afterwards VS throws the error that it isn't working anymore)
      so maybe there is a bug concerning the gulp.watch task when loading?
  • Don't modify gulpfile.js
    3 Posts | Last post December 21, 2015
    • The following comment is added to gulpfile.js
      /// <vs SolutionOpened='default' />
      There are two reasons why this should not happen.  
      1.) Different users may want to configure different solution open defaults.
      2.) In an IDE agnostic development environment, the project should not be "polluted" by my tool choice.  It's fine if there is a user specific local configuration file that is never checked into source control.
    • +1000 for this feature. Devs should be able to configure this locally separately from source controlled grunt or gulp configuration.
    • I have only been using the VS extension for 2013. Is this the same behaviour for 2015 as well?
      I have to agree with Rich and kesylor, this tool should not be modifying the gulpfile for its own purposes for the exact reasons they have already mentioned. Would it not be possible for the extention to read from and write to the .user file instead?
      It would be nice to get an official response on this feature request.
  • Terminating current gulp watcher before launching new one?
    1 Posts | Last post December 16, 2015
    • I bound gulp watcher to "Project Open" event. It works good, I open project and my front-end files automatically processing when I save them.
      The problem is each time I switch branch on git, my project file changes and my gulp watcher starts again in new tab. I don't need multiple equal watchers at the same time so I manually close one of tabs with watcher each time my project is reloaded. Can extension close it for me?
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