Visual Studio PerfWatson

Microsoft Free

Microsoft Visual Studio PerfWatson tracks the responsiveness of the Visual Studio process and collects diagnostic information when unresponsive.

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by giygas73 | March 28 2012

I think this tool is great as both myself and other members of my team often complain about UI hang ups in VS2010. It will be interesting to see the results/improvements that come about through use of this tool!

by jnappi | February 01 2012

The tool is very cool. We've been suffering with pitiful visual studio performance from VS 2005 to VS2010 which seems to get worse with each new version. We have a solution with 60+ projects, and at times VS is just so slow that productivity is nil. Its nice to have perfwatson validate what we subjectively are feeling, that VS goes to cleveland most of the day. Now I can see a constant red bar, and vast amounts of dump files on my drive as proof that I'm not crazy. What's missing is some sort of rememdy or feedback for this problem. Where's the information coming out of Microsoft's analysis of this data telling us what they're finding, working on and whether there are workarounds in the mean time to help up?

by Steef-Jan Wiggers | November 03 2011

by grimskog62 | October 31 2011

I like the fact that it tracks response times and send feedback to Microsoft. However, since the solution I'm currently working on is too large for the hardware I end up with delays longer than 2 seconds 'all' the time, so I ended up disabled the extension after a week. Maybe we could have a way to set the 2 seconds to like 5?

Would be very nice if there were a way to see what is causing the delay, so that if it is IO I could push for getting a faster drive...

Would also be nice to get some information of what the top 10 issues are across the users...

by Thomas Zitzler | September 20 2011

by OliverKurowski | September 20 2011

by Pascal Saille | September 18 2011

by JK76 | July 14 2011

by ____Sam____1 | July 13 2011

by Ondrej Spanel | July 12 2011

by Juansss | June 15 2011

This idea is awesome, i hope the team release the findings with this tool in a blog post.

by Nick V_ | June 13 2011

The purpose of this tool is great, but when will we see the changes made by the data collected by this tool?

What has been improved by this extension thus far and how can I get a hold of the performance related patches?

by Paul Harrington | May 16 2011

Also try PerfWatson Monitor so you can see what PerfWatson sees:

by Krzysztof J. Obara | May 16 2011

@Oisin Grehan: I agree 100%.
If only it was available for other mortals who use Express version of VS, then it could also be helpful. :(
Still, I hope it helps in finding the bugs and fixing them, wether it is in SP2 or VS 2012+ ;)

by cankeskin | May 14 2011

Thank you for sharing very useful

by tbskrmn | May 14 2011

It does not actually catch many hangs. Often the UI blocks for >5 secs but I never get prompted for an upload.

On the other hand, the one time where it prompts for an upload is after it has loaded a larger solution. An initial longer load time doesn't bother me all that much in comparison to all other sorts of hangs.

This is on a decent laptop (Intel P8400, SSD, 4GB) with no other extensions running. The solution consists mainly of a Website project.

Otherwise great add-on!

by Oisin Grehan | May 11 2011

Deserves 5 stars just by virtue of existing.

by mhenrixon | May 09 2011

Great stuff! I have all kinds of performance issues with VS2010 so it's good to be able to report that without getting asked stupid questions for which I don't have any answer!

by MatthewSteeples | May 04 2011

Works seamlessly in the background. Seems to be doing something as it's generating a lot of files to upload! Would recommend that everyone downloads and installs this, and get it shipped as part of the product (tie in to Customer Experience Program)!

by Nathan Halstead [MSFT] | May 04 2011

This tool has been used inside Microsoft for several months, and the results have been nothing less than astounding! The quality of the bug reports this tool generates are superb, and allows the Visual Studio feature teams to spend more time fixing issues, and less time investigating and trying to reproduce issues.

If you are encountering responsiveness issues in the IDE, and would like your issues fixed, this extension is a must have!

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  • A single instance of PrefWatson could monitor multiple instances of Visual Studio
    2 Posts | Last post March 28, 2012
    • I've got PrefWatson installed, and I unfortunately sometimes have to use about ten running instances of Visual Studio (for ten different solutions). For each instance of devenv, there is a PrefWatson instance. Ten instances of PrefWatson can alone take as much as a quarter of a gigabyte of memory! This seems silly - I'm sure a single process can monitor several instances of devenv, reducing the memory footprint.
    • I agree with Taz0, there should only be one instance of the perfwatson process that can cover all instances of the devenv application! The memory footprint gets huge when using more than 2-3 instances of devenv!!
  • How did PrefWatson help improve performance in Visual Studio 2012?
    1 Posts | Last post March 13, 2012
    • I've been PrefWatson for quite some time. It mostly sits silently in the background, but we are told it helps Microsoft improve the performance of Visual Studio. Now that Visual Studio 2012, with its improved performance, is at beta, could you please tell us how the contributions of those using PrefWatson, if any, help achieve performance improvement in VS2012?
  • Suggestion to help user have information about the problem
    1 Posts | Last post December 07, 2011
    • I like the idea of this perf watson.  I would also like to have a direct benefit of this as a developer using visual studio.  I think it would be great if the report give us a clue about what was going on, especially for extensions by giving what visual studio is waiting for (stack trace would be great) and that way it would be possible for us to disable the extension if necessary and report a bug to the developers of that extension.
  • Is Flash required for PerfWatson?
    1 Posts | Last post August 26, 2011
    • I saw a message that said that msdev needed flash.ocx for the first time after installing PerfWatson.   Was PerfWatson the cause of that error message?
      (On my development machine, I try not to add potential problems)