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Stop Running with the Visual Studio Debugger

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A number of people who have seen me code this year have asked me how I can make changes in an ASP.NET web application and see the changes in the browser without restarting the web application. The person asking always runs the application by starting the Visual Studio debugger.

The problem with starting the debugger is that later you’ll have to stop the debugger, and stopping the debugger also stops the default host process (IIS Express). Refreshing the browser at this point is like waiting for an echo in the emptiness of space.

No server is available to respond!



I always run web applications without the debugger. The default shortcut key for this behavior is Ctrl + F5. Now the server can stay up and running, and changes are automatically loaded and seen in the browser after a reload. I will only run with the debugger if I have to debug code.

Unfortunately, Visual Studio encourages us to run with the debugger. Not only is the shortcut key easier (just F5), running with the debugger is also featured prominently in the menus and toolbars that appear in a web project.


Do yourself a favor and use Ctrl+F5 instead!