My Go-To Visual Studio Extensions


There are a number of extensions for Visual Studio that I always keep installed. Time and again they’ve proven their value for me. Maybe they can do the same for you. I haven’t made the full transition from VS2015 to VS2017 as i use 2015 at work and 2017 at home. Some of these have different versions between the two VS versions. The links below are all to the 2015 versions in those cases.


One of my all time favorites, ReSharper has saved me countless hours over the years. I love its code analysis ability to identify logical flaws in my code and spot issues in C# and JavaScript that could come back to haunt me at run-time. Its refactoring and search capabilities are also huge time savers. There are a huge number of other tools it includes

I’m not a fan of their change to an annual subscription model a couple years ago. So far I’ve gone along with it, but VS2017 closes a lot of the gaps that ReSharper used to be the only source of, so maybe it’s time to rethink having it onboard.


If you have ever debugged .NET code, you know how difficult it can be to track down certain types of issues in Visual Studio’s default debugging tools. It does a good job, but has certain deficiencies, especially around LINQ queries.

Oz-Code fills in many of those holes. It makes it easy to search LINQ data, make changes to data, search data, identify error causes more easily, better conditional breakpoints and predictive debugging. It’s an amazing plugin.

Unfortunately, with their latest version, they also moved to an annual subscription model. I haven’t upgraded yet since I’m already paying for ReSharper and I’ve gotten very tired of subscription model software. It may also be time to let this one go as the older version I use doesn’t seem to play as well with VS2017 as it did VS2015.

Cloud Explorer

Cloud Explorer for Visual Studio 2015 gives you an easy method to connect, view and word with all your various resources in your Azure subscriptions. It’s especially helpful for setting up and working with remote debugging in Azure App Service.

Debug Attach Manager

If you use local IIS instead of IISExpress for your website development, Debug Attach Manager is a huge help. It tracks and easily allows you to start debugging with local IIS websites. The biggest helper I’ve found in this plugin is that if you have multiple websites in your project, it’s simple to start up debugging of all of them at once with a single button click.

PowerShell Tools for Visual Studio

Great plugin for running, editing and debugging PowerShell scripts both locally and remotely.

Productivity Power Tools 2015

I find this plugin excellent for filling some power user gaps that ReSharper misses, including scrollbar markers, recently closed documents list, margin highlights for matching text, single click fixing of mixed tabs and spaces (tabs win), a number of power commands to perform certain tasks quickly, and a bunch of other things.


This gives you the same XML transform functions for appSettings files that Visual Studio offers for webConfig files.

Web Accessibility Checker

This is an extremely helpful plugin for making sure your ASP.NET websites meet web accessibility standards.

WebPack Task Runner

If you’re using Webpack for your websites, this plugin eases the headaches around making it friendly for Visual Studio development.

These extensions make my life easier. They can make your life better as well.

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