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You can download this extension from the Visual Studio Marketplace

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If Start Page+ has saved you time and hassle, please come back and show your support:

Please Note

  • feedback is welcome, just use the GitHub Issues page for new features, enhancements, bugs etc
  • please consult the Roadmap page, or the GitHub Issues page before you add an issue
  • for any known issues, please consult the Start Page+ website's Known Issues page

Bring Back Start Page!

When Visual Studio 2019 was released, many developers were dismayed to find that the Start Page had been completely replaced by a new Start Window (a big modal dialog window, with no Developer News).

Start Window

Introducing Start Page+

So many of you, in so many posts in the Developer Community forum, pleaded for Microsoft to bring back the Visual Studio 2017 Start Page, and unfortunately those pleas fell on deaf ears.

Well, you asked for it, and now Start Page+ delivers it. All that was taken away, plus more! (get it?)

Start Window

Start Page+ is a start page replacement that is a dockable tool window, not a modal window. It's been written from the ground up, and doesn't rely on any of Visual Studio's internal code. So it can't be taken away by Microsoft. And it's open source!

For a complete list of Start Page+'s features, including images, click here to go to the Features page on the Start Page+ website.

To Open The Start Page+ Window

  • make sure Visual Studio's Start Window is disabled

    • in Tools | Options | Environment | Startup select Empty Environment

    Startup Options

  • click on View | Start Page+

The Start Page+ window is accessed from the View menu, because it just makes sense. It's also easy to remember because you think "I want to view the start page", you don't think "I want to file the start page".

The Visual Studio 2010-2017's Start Page was always in the View menu, until Microsoft moved it to the File menu in later versions of VS 2017, and then permanently in VS 2019, which never really made any sense to me.

Theme Samples

Built-in themes

Blue Theme

Blue 2019

Dark Theme


Light Theme


Custom Themes

Start Page+ will use colors from any custom theme.

Dark Purple

This is my custom Dark Purple theme, based on the built-in Dark theme.

Dark Purple

Original Blue Theme (from VS 2017)

Mads Kristensen wrote an extension called Original Blue Theme to bring back the original theme from VS 2017.

Blue 2017

Color Theme Editor Themes

The Color Theme Editor for Visual Studio 2019 extension adds more themes to choose from, and lets you create your own themes (which is what I did). However Microsoft has now marked it deprecated, advising users to use Visual Studio Color Theme Designer instead. However I've found it extremely frustrating, and had no success creating a decent custom theme.

Green Theme


Purple Theme


Red Theme


Tan Theme