Why I am right!

December 20, 2007

ASP.Net Edit and Continue in Visual Studio 2005/2008

Filed under: ASP.Net, Edit and Continue, Microsoft, Technology, Visual Studio — Shaun @ 4:20 pm

I have seen many articles that said Edit and Continue does not work in ASP.Net for Visual Studio 2005. Well, it works for me and here is how to enable it. I have showed many people how to enable this and every time I show someone I have to figure it out again. So I am putting this out there to hopefully save someone else the frustration.

To enable Edit and Continue there are 2 separate setting. The first is under Tools.. Options. Open the Debug section of the tree and click on the Edit and Continue Group. Make sure “Enable Edit and Continue” is checked. If you are using the VS 2005 Professional you may need to click a checkbox at the bottom of this screen saying something like Show all Options.


The second setting is in a strange place. I am not sure if this works with the new Web Projects introduced in 2005. We are using the Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Project which may have something to do with it. Open up the solution you are attempting to debug, right click on the web project, and click Properties. When the property window opens click down to the “Web”. Check the Enable Edit and Continue box and you should be all set.


I will never understand why there are two places you have to enable this, but at least it works.

UPDATE: You must be at a break point in your code to edit. You cannot edit method signatures, add new methods, etc. Changes like that were not what Edit and Continue were designed for and I can’t even start to think how that would be implemented by Microsoft.

UPDATE (again): I recently started working with Visual Studio 2008. This fix applies to that version as well.




    My goodness, this lack of Edit and Continue has been driving me nuts.

    Thanks for for having the insight to post this!

    Comment by Happy again — January 8, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  2. Any idea how/whether “Edit and Continue” can be enabled when using IIS instead of Development Server?

    Comment by kamiwa — May 22, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  3. Sorry Kamiwa I have never tried it. When I get into work this morning I will see if it works on my development machine.

    Comment by Shaun — May 22, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  4. YOU made my day. I was going crazy figuring how to turn ‘Edit and Continue’ feature ON 🙂
    Thank YOU

    Comment by Mohan — May 30, 2008 @ 9:49 pm

  5. Well, a couple problems.

    First, when I right click on a web project in VS 2005, I don’t have an option for “Properties” I only have a “Property Pages” option, and it does not have all the same stuff shown above. THis is an ASPX AJAX application, I don’t think that has anything to do with it though.

    I can edit, but I cannot continue. That has always been the case for me with vs 2005 though, and I just thought that was how it works, which to me didn’t make any sense. Who cares if I can edit the code if I can’t continue after I edit?

    Comment by Josh — August 13, 2008 @ 2:15 am

  6. I no longer have Visual Studio 2005 but I am pretty sure this is because you are not using the Visual Studio 2005 Web Application Projects (http://webproject.scottgu.com/).

    I am not sure how you would enable edit and continue without these. If you have the time you may want to convert over to the web application projects.

    Comment by Shaun — August 13, 2008 @ 2:25 am

  7. I am so grateful that you posted this information!
    Thank you!

    Comment by Ira Rus — April 2, 2009 @ 12:57 am

  8. Thank you!!

    Lovely to see and I ‘zoomed’ through process and its working.

    Bless you.. you’ve made a developer happy!!


    Comment by Fawad — June 10, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

  9. Was wondering why my edit and enable was disabled…thanks…u saved a lot of time!! ..:)

    Comment by Shree — July 19, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

  10. Does not work for me. I tried the steps but I still can not edit and continue. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Calvin — August 11, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

  11. The above project properties are only available when you have the Web Application Project setup in Visual Studio 2005. This project type compiles the website into a single dll, much like Studio 2003 did for ASP.NET 1.1, and hence supports Edit and Continue.

    Most of us using Studio out-of-the-box, are creating new ASP.NET Web Sites from the installed templates. This project type does not support Edit and Continue.

    Comment by Chris — August 27, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

  12. Dude!!! are you great or what???

    Comment by Mitech — September 4, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

  13. I don’t believe that there are so many message boards that do not state this. It is such an unbelievably easy fix.

    Thanks so much Shaun.

    Comment by Mike — November 19, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  14. I’m doing a console app and my Debugging “Edit and Continue” was already selected, but greyed out. No “Web” tab because it’s a console app. But even though my “Edit and Continue” box was selected in the Debugging section of my project’s properties, I get the “Changes are not allowed when the debugger has been attached to an already running process or the code being debugged is optimized.” error. Can’t edit at a checkpoint, either. Other projects I start don’t have this problem, but I don’t want to “redo” this one by creating a new one and importing all my classes & references again. I did once set it to “Release” and now “Debug” again. Something I’m missing here on how it handles that?

    Comment by Tom — December 3, 2009 @ 7:15 am

  15. Found my own solution, actually. Went to the “Configuration Manager” under the “Build” option on the VS 2005 toolbar. Selected my project and selected “Debug” as the “Active solution configuration” and it worked. Even “ungreyed” my “Edit and Continue” checkbox in my Debugging section of the project’s Properties. Guess “Release” in the Configuration Manager doesn’t work to allow “Edit and Continue”.

    Comment by Tom — December 3, 2009 @ 7:39 am

  16. To anyone running Vista 64 bit…

    It may be that the IDE is not ready for Edit and Continue (EnC) web apps on Vista 64 bit without a tweek.

    My situation: Migrated Web App to Vista 64 bit. Set platform to x86, set EnC in Tools/Options & Web properties, Debug flag in Web.Config, Debug mode set in Build configuration, etc, etc.

    No joy – Could hit break points, inspect variables, etc, but could not EnC.

    There were 7 Google hits on Msg “Changes are not allowed if the assembly has not been loaded”. No new advice there for this situation though.

    After trying numerous things finally tried changing the Build output path from “bin\x86\debug” to “bin\”.

    There was great joy across the land – Debug with EnC works now.

    Comment by MKP — December 10, 2009 @ 8:29 am

  17. Very Nice….
    Thanks a Lot….. 🙂

    Comment by Arulselvan — December 14, 2009 @ 9:46 am

  18. Thanks a lot!

    I’ve lost at least few hours due to this need to stop website, restart it after making changes, login, and navigate back to a page being developed… but now I’m going to save tens of hours knowing this!

    btw: there is several articles on the Internet telling you that this cannot be done under Web projects! Luckily for me I couldn’t believe that and continued searching…

    Comment by WWalker — March 8, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

  19. AWESOME! just AWESOME dude, thanks for posting this

    Comment by dudu — July 3, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

  20. I upgraded a project from 2003 to 2005 and hit this issue. I have another web project which ws developed using VS 2005 and edit and continue was not a problem at all.
    Upgrade wizard how how put my upgraded project to use IIS and disabled this feature. Once I changed it to use the seb server that ships with VS 2005 and checked this “edit and continue” it started working. I could’ve saved several days of annoyance if had seen your post early. Thanks, You helped me a lot..I owe you a grand booze party.

    Comment by VJ — September 6, 2010 @ 3:39 am

  21. Just marvellous! Thanks.

    PS. be sure the enable “Break all processes when one process breaks” in Tools | Options | Debugging | General, otherwise it will still not let you edit-and-continue. (But at least here VS will help you what it needs to be set)

    Comment by gkokmdam — September 13, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

  22. Nothing worked for me. I have a project that used to be edit and continue friendly. Now every time I try it says the change is too big for the image even it I change one character in a string define (error 1012). Can you suggest anything to try?

    Comment by Bob — October 20, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

  23. 3+ years later and this still applies. Works in VS 2010.

    Comment by Fazzamar — April 3, 2011 @ 5:56 am

  24. Thanks dear.. It really worked

    Comment by Pramit — June 30, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  25. It works!
    Thank you!!

    Comment by Evandro Junqueira Ramos — October 9, 2011 @ 12:55 am

  26. gr8 man ……..its surely makes Developers be more productive.

    Comment by Dhanraj — July 6, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

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