Visual Studio settings for "Track my active file in Solution Explorer" - a really useful setting to have enabled, if you ask me!

Tip: Scroll Solution Explorer to current file in Visual Studio 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2017

This quick post describes how to get the Solution Explorer to actually track your currently open file. For some reason, this extremely useful feature is disabled by default in Visual Studio. Enabling it helps you to better conserve your context, and see which part of your solution you’re in, while you’re developing a complex piece of software.

Give it a try, in case you haven’t already! It’s great and extremely useful! 🙂

How to enable the Solution Explorer to track your currently active item

I always want the Visual Studio Solution Explorer to show me the context where I work at. I want it to kind of follow me around while I jump from file to file. It feels to me, that since in a typical software project, your code is going to be split between multiple projects in pretty much any case, conserving your context in the solution explorer is extremely useful!

This behavior is built-in, but off by default, and also probably disabled after installing some new extensions or Visual Studio updates. At least for me, that seemed to happen.

Here’s how you can (re-)enable it:

Tools -> Options -> Projects and Solutions -> “Track Active Item in Solution Explorer”

See below for an example.

Visual Studio settings for "Track my active file in Solution Explorer" - a really useful setting to have enabled, if you ask me!
Visual Studio settings for “Track my active file in Solution Explorer” – a really useful setting to have enabled, if you ask me!

And that should be it!

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Antti K. Koskela

Solutions Architect / Escalations Engineer at Koskila / Norppandalotti Software / Valo Solutions
Antti Koskela is a proud digital native nomadic millenial full stack developer (is that enough funny buzzwords? That's definitely enough funny buzzwords!), who works as a Solutions Architect for Valo Intranet, the product that will make you fall in love with your intranet. Working with the global partner network, he's responsible for the success of Valo deployments happening all around the world. He's been a developer from 2004 (starting with PHP and Java), and he's been bending and twisting SharePoint into different shapes since MOSS. Nowadays he's not only working on SharePoint, but also on .NET projects, Azure, Office 365 and a lot of other stuff. This is his personal professional (e.g. professional, but definitely personal) blog.

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