Telemetry extension authors guide
This topic has guidelines for extension authors so that their extensions can conform to VS Code telemetry requirements and best practices.
Note: If you don't want to send usage data to Microsoft, you can set the
telemetry.telemetryLeveluser setting to
The VS Code team maintains the @vscode/extension-telemetry npm module that provides a consistent and safe way to collect telemetry within VS Code. The module reports telemetry to Azure Monitor and Application Insights and guarantees backwards compatibility against previous versions of VS Code.
Follow this guide to set up Azure Monitor and get your Application Insights instrumentation key.
Without the telemetry module
Extension authors who wish not to use Application Insights can utilize their own custom solution to send telemetry. In this case, it is still required that extension authors respect the user's choice by utilizing the
onDidChangeTelemetryEnabled API. By doing this, users will have one centralized place to control their telemetry settings.
Custom telemetry setting
Extension may wish to give user control for extension specific telemetry independent of VS Code telemetry. In this case, we suggest that you introduce a specific extension setting. It is recommended that custom telemetry settings be tagged with
usesOnlineServices so that users can more easily query them in the Settings UI. Adding a custom telemetry setting is not an exemption from respecting a user's decision and the
onDidChangeTelemetryEnabled flag must always be respected. If
isTelemetryEnabled reports false, even if your setting is enabled, telemetry must not be sent.
We understand that telemetry can be a sensitive topic for many users and we aim to be as transparent as possible. The core VS Code product and most first party extensions ship with a
telemetry.json file in their root. This allows a user to use the VS Code CLI with the
--telemetry flag to receive a dump of all telemetry that VS Code produces. Extension authors may include a
telemetry.json file in their root and it will also appear in the CLI dump.
Do's and Don'ts
- Use the @vscode/extension-telemetry npm module if using application insights works for you.
- Otherwise, respect the
- Tag your custom telemetry setting with
usesOnlineServicesif you have one.
- Collect as little telemetry as possible.
- Be as transparent as possible to your users about what you collect.
- Introduce a custom telemetry collection solution that does not ask for user consent.
- Collect Personally identifiable information (PII).
- Collect more telemetry than necessary.
- Use just the
telemetry.telemetryLevelsetting, as it can sometimes be incorrect compared to