Visual Studio Toolbox – Items missing

Today, a team member asked for help with a Visual Studio issue he had just run into. In short, his Visual Studio toolbox was acting strange and was essentially unusable. The toolbox was blank and clicking Reset Toolbox (though it took forever) did not help. Clicking Show All Items did in fact show ALL items, but they were greyed out and unusable. After trying everything under the sun to fix the issue we figured that there was something profile-specific going on and, after browsing his local settings, came up with the following fix:

  • Close all instances of Visual Studio
  • Navigate to the following directory (I am using 2008 – for a different version change the 9.0 to reflect the correct version number/folder)

%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\9.0

  • You should see four files:
    • toolbox.tbd
    • toolbox_reset.tbd
    • toolboxIndex.tbd
    • toolboxIndex_reset.tbd
  • Move these files to another folder (or, if you are very brave, delete them altogether. Note, this is very much a case of “Worked on my (colleague’s) PC” – do this at your own risk.
  • Restart Visual Studio and hey presto, your Toolbox should be back to where it needs to be. The user in question did not have any custom items in his toolbox so I can only assume that the fix reverted the toolbox to the original Visual Studio state.



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