Visual Studio is a complex IDE with lots of options that provide you various possibilities. Because of its complexity it sometimes works a bit slowly and you have to wait to achieve desired outcome. In this tutorial I'll present you some methods that can speed up this programming tool and that can make your work faster and more convenient.
Although in this article I will describe optimizations to the Visual Studio itself, in the beginning I'll show you how you can optimize code. Firstly you have to go to the project properties by right-clicking on the name of your project in the Solution Explorer window on right and then clicking Build tab. Then just check "Optimize code" option.
There are various options for optimization, you can optimize code for instance for minimum size or maximum speed. For the full list of this options check out the following link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/k1ack8f1.aspx
Speeding-up Visual Studio
There are a few changes that if applied together can significantly improve speed of Visual Studio. To apply these changes go to Tools menu and click Options.
After you have opened Options window go to Environment - General. Now you have two options, either make sure that "Automatically adjust visual experience based on client performance" option is checked or disable "Enable rich client visual experience" option. I recommend choosing the first option and leaving deciding if visual experience effects can be applied to Visual Studio.
To prevent turning on help by mistake (this happens on some keyboards quite often because it's close to the Escape button) disable F1 shortcut. You can do this in Options window by clicking Environment - Keyboard. Then find Help.F1Help on list and remove this shortcut or change it to some other button if you need it.
Disable showing Start Page at startup because it extends time needed to get Visual Studio working. In order to do so go to Environment - Startup and choose "Show empty environment" option in the first combo box.
Changes outside the environment
Detecting if files are changed outside the environment can be time-consuming especially when you have more files in your project. To disable this option go to Environment - Documents and deselect "Detect when file is changed outside the environment" option.
Tracking active item
This option automatically opens and selects item that you are currently working on in Solution Explorer. It's rather not so useful so you can disable it by clicking Projects and Solutions - General and then making sure that option "Track Active Item in Solution Explorer" is not checked.
This option shows you which lines of your code were changed in comparison to the saved version of this file on disc. To see how it works take a look at the following picture:
The yellow mark on the left side means that doSomething() method was recently added and is not saved yet.
To disable this option go to Text Editor - General and deselect "Track changes".
Navigation bar can be useful sometimes if you have a lot of methods in file. It allows you to find quickly desired piece of code. However some people does not even notice it so if you don't use it it's better to disable it. In the following picture you can see example of navigation bar:
To disable navigation bar go to Text Editor and then choose language for which you want to disable this bar. Then deselect "Navigation bar" option.
Summing up there are a few things that you can do to optimize Visual Studio to work faster. However this differences are not so significant that you must make these changes no matter what, but it may come in handy in web design. If you find some option useful like for example Navigation Bar don't turn it off just because it will make Visual Studio a bit faster. It can make you slower if you don't have functionality that is useful for you. Of course there are other things that you could turn off like for example IntlliSense but I consider them as useful so I haven't covered them in this tutorial.