Setting up Visual Studio Code

Getting up and running with Visual Studio Code is quick and easy. It is a small download so you can install in a matter of minutes and give VS Code a try.

Cross platform

VS Code is a free code editor, which runs on the macOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems.

Follow the platform-specific guides below:

VS Code is lightweight and should run on most available hardware and platform versions. You can review the System Requirements to check if your computer configuration is supported.

Update cadence

VS Code releases a new version each month with new features and important bug fixes. Most platforms support auto updating and you will be prompted to install the new release when it becomes available. You can also manually check for updates by running Help > Check for Updates on Linux and Windows or running Code > Check for Updates on macOS.

Note: You can disable auto-update if you prefer to update VS Code on your own schedule.

Insiders nightly build

If you'd like to try our nightly builds to see new features early or verify bug fixes, you can install our Insiders build. The Insiders build installs side-by-side with the monthly Stable build and you can freely work with either on the same machine. The Insiders build is the same one the VS Code development team uses on a daily basis and we really appreciate people trying out new features and providing feedback.

Portable mode

Visual Studio Code supports Portable mode installation. This mode enables all data created and maintained by VS Code to live near itself, so it can be moved around across environments, for example, on a USB drive. See the VS Code Portable Mode documentation for details.

Additional components

VS Code is an editor, first and foremost, and prides itself on a small footprint. Unlike traditional IDEs that tend to include everything but the kitchen sink, you can tune your installation to the development technologies you care about. Be sure to read the Additional Components topic after reading the platform guides to learn about customizing your VS Code installation.


VS Code extensions let third parties add support for additional:

Extensions integrate into VS Code's UI, commands, and task running systems so you'll find it easy to work with different technologies through VS Code's shared interface. Check out the VS Code extension Marketplace to see what's available.

Next steps

Once you have installed and set up VS Code, these topics will help you learn more about VS Code:

If you'd like to get something running quickly, try the Node.js tutorial walkthrough that will have you debugging a Node.js web application with VS Code in minutes.

Common questions

What are the system requirements for VS Code?

We have a list of System Requirements.

How big is VS Code?

VS Code is a small download (< 200 MB) and has a disk footprint of less than 500 MB, so you can quickly install VS Code and try it out.

How do I create and run a new project?

VS Code doesn't include a traditional File > New Project dialog or pre-installed project templates. You'll need to add additional components and scaffolders depending on your development interests. With scaffolding tools like Yeoman and the multitude of modules available through the npm package manager, you're sure to find appropriate templates and tools to create your projects.

How do I know which version I'm running?

On Linux and Windows, choose Help > About. On macOS, use Code > About Visual Studio Code.

Why is VS Code saying my installation is Unsupported?

VS Code has detected that some installation files have been modified, perhaps by an extension. Reinstalling VS Code will replace the affected files. See our FAQ topic for more details.

How can I do a 'clean' uninstall of VS Code?

If you want to remove all user data after uninstalling VS Code, you can delete the user data folders Code and .vscode. This will return you to the state before you installed VS Code. This can also be used to reset all settings if you don't want to uninstall VS Code.

The folder locations will vary depending on your platform:

  • Windows - Delete %APPDATA%\Code and %USERPROFILE%\.vscode.
  • macOS - Delete $HOME/Library/Application Support/Code and ~/.vscode.
  • Linux - Delete $HOME/.config/Code and ~/.vscode.