October 2020 (version 1.51)

Update 1.51.1: The update addresses these issues.

Downloads: Windows: User System ARM | Mac | Linux: snap deb rpm tarball ARM

Welcome to the October 2020 release of Visual Studio Code. As announced in the October iteration plan, we focused on housekeeping GitHub issues and pull requests as documented in our issue grooming guide.

We also worked with our partners at GitHub on GitHub Codespaces, which ended up being more involved than originally anticipated. To that end, we'll continue working on housekeeping for part of the November iteration.

During this housekeeping milestone, we also addressed several feature requests and community pull requests. Read on to learn about new features and settings.


More prominent pinned tabs

Pinned tabs will now always show their pin icon, even while inactive, to make them easier to identify. If an editor is both pinned and contains unsaved changes, the icon reflects both states.

Inactive pinned tabs showing pin icons

Extension trees use custom hover

Instead of using the native tooltip in extension tree views, we now use a custom hover that is consistent cross-platform and fits better with the overall UX.

Custom tree hover

Install an extension without synchronizing

You can now install an extension without synchronizing it while settings sync is enabled.

Install extension without syncing

Theme: GitHub Light

Install an extension from Explorer

VS Code now supports installing an extension VSIX file from the Explorer by right-clicking on a VSIX file and choosing the Install Extension VSIX context menu item.

Input blur command

A new internal workbench.action.blur command is now available, which removes focus from any focusable input. You can assign a keyboard shortcut for this command in the Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences.

Integrated Terminal

Local Echo

Making modifications in the terminal traditionally requires information to be sent to the terminal process, processed, and returned to VS Code in order to be affected. This can be slow when working on a poor or distant connection to an SSH server or Codespace.

This release adds a "local echo" mode to the terminal, which attempts to predict modifications and cursor movements made locally and show them in the UI without requiring a round trip to the server. By default, predicted characters show as "dimmed":

Gif showing typing with 250ms latency where characters entered immediately are dimmed

There are two settings you can use to configure this:

  • terminal.integrated.localEchoLatencyThreshold configures the detected delay threshold, in milliseconds, at which local echo will activate. This can be set to 0 to turn on the feature all the time, or -1 to disable it. Defaults to 30.
  • terminal.integrated.localEchoStyle configures the style or color of local character, defaults to dim.


Resizable suggestions

This milestone, we've made several improvements to the suggestions UI. First and foremost, it can now be resized. Drag the sides or corners to resize the control.

Resizable Suggestions control

Theme: GitHub Light, Font: FiraCode

The size of the suggestions list will be saved and restored across sessions. The size of the details pane is only saved per session, since that size tends to be more variable. Also, the editor.suggest.maxVisibleSuggestions setting has become obsolete.

Status bar for suggestions

The suggestions control can now also show its own status bar at the bottom of the window. Enable it using the editor.suggest.showStatusBar setting. It makes toggling details simpler, and shows if a completion supports inserting, replacing, or both.

Suggestions Status Bar

Theme: GitHub Light, Font: FiraCode

In the sample above, selecting "Insert" results in Math.floorceil and selecting "Replace" results in Math.floor.

The new editor.suggest.insertMode setting allows you to configure whether you prefer insert or replace. When a suggestion supports both, your preference will be the default.

Move cursor to select suggestions

Last but not least, you can now move the cursor while suggestions are showing. For instance, you can trigger suggestions at the end of a word, move left to see more suggestions, and then use replace to overwrite the word.

Moving cursor while suggestions are showing

Theme: GitHub Light


Custom snippets in Emmet are back. Additionally, snippets now automatically refresh upon saving the snippets file or updating the emmet.extensionsPath setting.

Emmet custom snippets working again

Source Control

Source Control input box saves commit message history

This addresses a feature request to navigate SCM commit history. Press (Windows, Linux Up) and (Windows, Linux Down) to display the prior and next commits, respectively. To move directly to the first and last position of the input box, press Alt in conjunction with the corresponding arrow key.

After typing a message in the SCM input box, then staging and committing changes, pressing the up arrow reveals the message that was just committed

Git: Tag commands in submenu

Tag related Git commands have been added to the ... Git menu.

Git tags submenu

Git: Rebase command

A new Git: Rebase branch... command has been added which lets you rebase a branch using the UI.

Git: Recursive clone command

With the Git: Clone (Recursive) command, you can now recursively clone Git repositories, including its nested Git submodules.

Timeline: Emoji shortcode rendering

We now render emoji shortcodes, such as :smile:, in the Timeline View.

Timeline view with emoji


Markdown smart select

Expand and shrink selection in Markdown documents using the following new commands:

  • Expand: ⌃⇧⌘→ (Windows, Linux Shift+Alt+Right)
  • Shrink: ⌃⇧⌘← (Windows, Linux Shift+Alt+Left)

Selection applies to the following, and follows a traditional hierarchical pattern:

  • Headers
  • Lists
  • Block quotes
  • Fenced code blocks
  • Html code blocks
  • Paragraphs

Smart select within a Markdown document expands from a block element, to the block element containing it, to the rest of the content under a header, to the header itself

Empty brace formatting option for JavaScript and TypeScript

The new javascript.format.insertSpaceAfterOpeningAndBeforeClosingEmptyBraces and typescript.format.insertSpaceAfterOpeningAndBeforeClosingEmptyBraces formatting configuration option controls if spaces are inserted between empty braces. The default value for these settings is true. For example, for the JavaScript:

class Foo {
    doFoo() { }

Setting "javascript.format.insertSpaceAfterOpeningAndBeforeClosingEmptyBraces": false and formatting the code results in:

class Foo {
    doFoo() {} // Notice that the space has been removed

Browser support

Download folders (Edge, Chrome)

Leveraging the new File System Access API, VS Code running in a browser can now offer a download action for folders from the File Explorer to download all files and folders to disk.

Download folder

Note: This requires a recent version of Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Open Workspace notification

If you open a folder that contains .code-workspace files at the top level, you'll now see a notification asking you to open it. This was always the case in VS Code for desktop, and will now work in the browser too.

Open workspace notification

Prevent accidental close

A new setting window.confirmBeforeClose was added to show a confirmation dialog before closing or leaving the workbench.

Possible values are:

  • keyboardOnly The confirmation will only be shown when you use a keybinding to close (for example, ⌘W (Windows, Linux Ctrl+W)). (default)
  • always: The confirmation dialog will always be shown, even if you close from a mouse gesture.
  • never: The confirmation will never be shown.

Close confirmation dialog

Note: This setting may not cover all cases. Browsers may still decide to close a tab or window without confirmation.

Contributions to extensions

GitHub Pull Requests and Issues

Work continues on the GitHub Pull Requests and Issues extension, which allows you to work on, create, and manage pull requests and issues.

To learn about all the new features and updates, you can see the full changelog for the 0.21.0 release of the extension.

Remote Development

Work continues on the Remote Development extensions, which allow you to use a container, remote machine, or the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) as a full-featured development environment.

Feature highlights in 1.51 include:

  • Ability to persist/reconnect to terminal sessions.
  • Improved port forwarding experience.

You can learn about new extension features and bug fixes in the Remote Development release notes.

Preview features

Preview features are not ready for release but are functional enough to use. We welcome your early feedback while they are under development.

Settings sync

Settings sync now synchronizes extensions' global state. Extensions will have to provide the state to sync using the newly introduced setKeysForSync API.

Remember proxy credentials

We are overhauling the login dialog that shows when a network connection requires authentication with a proxy. A new setting, window.enableExperimentalProxyLoginDialog: true, will enable this new experience that we plan to make the default in a future release.

Proxy Login

Theme: GitHub Light

The dialog will appear inside the VS Code window and offer a way to remember the credentials so that you do not have to provide them each time you start VS Code. Credentials will be stored in the OS standard credential store (keychain on macOS, Windows Credential Manager on Windows, and gnome keyring on Linux).

We still only show this dialog once per session, but might revisit this decision in the future. You will see the dialog appear again in case the credentials you selected to be remembered are not valid. Providing them again allows you to change them.

Please enable this option and let us know if something does not work as expected through our issue tracker.

TypeScript 4.1 beta support

VS Code supports the TypeScript 4.1 beta and nightly builds. The 4.1 update brings some new TypeScript language features, such as support for recursive conditional types, as well as tooling improvements. One focus area has been adding initial support for @see tags in JSDoc comments.

To start using the TypeScript 4.1 nightly builds, just install the TypeScript Nightly extension. Please share feedback and let us know if you run into any bugs with TypeScript 4.1.

Extension authoring

Updated extension samples

We've updated some of our extension samples to include VS Code default styles that are hooked up to our color theme tokens. This means that common elements (text, buttons, inputs) will be themeable and match the default styles in the product. Below are the extensions that include this:

Webview style samples

Codicon colors in trees

With the finalization of the ThemeIcon color API, extension authors can use theme colors on codicons in custom tree views.

Tree view with icon colors

Sync Global State

Extensions can now sync their global state by providing the keys, whose values should be synchronized when Settings Sync is enabled, using the newly introduced setKeysForSync API in globalState memento.

 * Set the keys whose values should be synchronized across devices when synchronizing user-data
 * like configuration, extensions, and mementos.
 * Note that this function defines the whole set of keys whose values are synchronized:
 *  - calling it with an empty array stops synchronization for this memento
 *  - calling it with a non-empty array replaces all keys whose values are synchronized
 * For any given set of keys this function needs to be called only once but there is no harm in
 * repeatedly calling it.
 * @param keys The set of keys whose values are synced.
setKeysForSync(keys: string[]): void;

Comment thread reply button visibility

Comment extensions can now control the visibility of the reply button in a comment thread with a new property, CommentThread#canReply. When it's set to false, users will not see the reply button or comment box in the comment thread.

Proposed extension APIs

Every milestone comes with new proposed APIs and extension authors can try them out. As always, we want your feedback. This is what you have to do to try out a proposed API:

  • You must use Insiders because proposed APIs change frequently.
  • You must have this line in the package.json file of your extension: "enableProposedApi": true.
  • Copy the latest version of the vscode.proposed.d.ts file into your project's source location.

You cannot publish an extension that uses a proposed API. There may be breaking changes in the next release and we never want to break existing extensions.

Folding range providers change event

Folding range providers can signal to the editor that folding ranges need to be updated using the onDidChangeFoldingRanges event.

For more details and to provide feedback, please use issue #108929.

Password APIs

As part of continued work on Authentication Providers, we have introduced API for storing and retrieving sensitive information. Internally, this acts as a wrapper of the keytar library that VS Code uses for storing secrets.

 * Retrieve a password that was stored with key. Returns undefined if there
 * is no password matching that key.
 * @param key The key the password was stored under.
export function getPassword(key: string): Thenable<string | undefined>;

 * Store a password under a given key.
 * @param key The key to store the password under
 * @param value The password
export function setPassword(key: string, value: string): Thenable<void>;

 * Remove a password from storage.
 * @param key The key the password was stored under.
export function deletePassword(key: string): Thenable<void>;

 * Fires when a password is set or deleted.
export const onDidChangePassword: Event<void>;


Making VS Code Trusted Types compliant

We have continued the effort to make VS Code "Trusted Types" compliant. The goal is to prevent DOM-based cross site scripting vulnerabilities. You can learn more about trusted types at the web.dev Trusted Types site and follow our progress in issue #103699.


Getting started

We are focusing on ways to make getting started with the editor easier. We've created a new "Learn to Code" landing page on our website with coding packs and new content geared towards folks who are new to coding. We've also created new student-friendly videos and resources on the site at code.visualstudio.com/learn.

Learn to code

Partner extensions

Coding Pack for Python (Windows)

The Coding Pack for Python installs Python 3.8, specific Python libraries, VS Code, and essential extensions like Python and LiveShare, making it easy for new coders to get started. It is currently available for Windows.

New commands

Key Command Command ID
Focus Left Editor Group (do not wrap around) workbench.action.focusLeftGroupWithoutWrap
Focus Right Editor Group (do not wrap around) workbench.action.focusRightGroupWithoutWrap
Focus Above Editor Group (do not wrap around) workbench.action.focusAboveGroupWithoutWrap
Focus Below Editor Group (do not wrap around) workbench.action.focusBelowGroupWithoutWrap
Focus Activity Bar workbench.action.focusActivityBar

Notable fixes

  • 43819: Windows: when deleting a folder with files that are in use, then there is no error message shown
  • 71315: Should maintain row focus after deleting a file
  • 96522: User input variables not working for launch configuration in multi-root workspace
  • 100255: Moving a file should load the model directly with the contents it had before
  • 108578: Extensions with a onDebugDynamicConfigurations are eagerly activated at startup in v1.50
  • 109088: Send vscode.workspace.onWillCreateFiles/onDidCreateFiles events for folders
  • 109226: Debug hover moves while expanding/collapsing

Thank you

Last but certainly not least, a big Thank You to the following people who contributed this month to VS Code:

Contributions to our issue tracking:

Contributions to vscode:

Contributions to vscode-json-languageservice:

Contributions to vscode-html-languageservice:

Contributions to vscode-css-languageservice:

Contributions to vscode-eslint:

Contributions to language-server-protocol:

Contributions to vscode-emmet-helper:

Contributions to lsif-node:

Contributions to debug-adapter-protocol:

Contributions to vscode-vsce:

Contributions to vscode-js-debug: