Follow this utility on the CBAutoSave page….

Visual Studio AutoSave Extension, Updated 10 Feb. 2017, version 1.11.5

Version 1.11.5 removes the experimental Lost Focus Cmds.

V. 1.9.3

Version 1.9.3 has been uploaded to the Visual Studio Gallery, and includes the option to automatically save the solution:


(Note that the settings have been moved to the VS Options dialog, under “CB AutoSave”.)

I will maintain the private gallery site as well.


I added the option to have Projects saved when Visual Studio loses focus, as well as files with unsaved changes.


This version saves your settings in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\12.0\CBVSAddIns.

The first time this version of the extension runs, it will create the key and values; AutoSave is set to true, while AutoSaveProject is set to false.

If AutoSaveProject is enabled, a project will be saved if:
– any files in the project are modified
– VisualStudio has the project marked as modified (you added or deleted a file, for example)

Let me know if you find any problems.

(See the previous post for installation instructions.)


Visual Studio AutoSave Extension

Automatically save changed documents when Visual Studio loses focus.
In Visual Studio 2012/2013:  Tools -> Options -> Extensions and Updates, Add:  http://www.cbates.net/VSIX/atom.xml, and give it a name.

Now, in Tools -> Extensions and Updates, Online, [new gallery name], you’ll see the VSPackage:  Document Autosave.

The extension adds a menu item to toggle off and on the AutoSave feature:

Send questions or problems to C. Bates


 Simple Timer

Update, 24 Dec 2015

I added a Pause button, and a countdown pie that can be shown or hidden.  (I was tinkering with animations…)  Similarly, the buttons for Notes are concealed in an expanding panel.

Here is a comparison of the countdown pie shown and hidden:


(Note that there are several disabled items in the Settings dialog; they are still work-in-progress.)


I wanted a simple desktop timer for Pomodoro-style work management.  I created a Windows Desktop Gadget, but that wasn’t quite satisfactory.
I experimented with an Air app, but adding a config page seemed too complicated without having to dig in to building Air apps.
I finally built a WPF app that I like and use every day:
– Keyboard shortcuts for Start, Stop, ShortBreak, LongBreak, and Settings.  (Shortcut key appears in each tooltip.)
– Settings:

  • Configurable Work, Short Break, Long Break times
  • Auto-restore window when timer expires
  • “AutoRollover” : timer continues to keep counting after interval has expired
  • Play sound when timer expires
  • Auto-edit note:  Pop up a dialog to edit a note when the work time stops and starts.   Notes are time-stamped.

UPDATED 6 August 2015




  1. Using the extension in 2015 preview, the 2 icons don’t update properly on the Tools menu.
    Clicking Enable Document AutoSave it disables the other menu item.
    Neither projects nor documents are autosaved as far as I can tell.

    Incidentally for options like your menu items there’s a really easy way to get them in the Tools…Options dialog where you create a class with some boolean properties and implement one of the VS interfaces.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Graham. I have seen the bad behavior when running on Win8.1, but that is the only OS that has the problem (as far as I know).
    I have started a thread on MSDN, but haven’t gotten an answer yet (http://goo.gl/ehAxSr).
    I have tested the extension on the 2015 preview on an Azure VM (Win Server 2012), and it seems to work as expected.
    Continuing to investigate…

  3. This is failing to load in VS2012 in my environment.

    2015/02/11 21:18:57.373
    Begin package load [CBExtensionPkg]

    2015/02/11 21:18:57.377
    CreateInstance failed for package [CBExtensionPkg]
    Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.12.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    2015/02/11 21:18:57.377
    End package load [CBExtensionPkg]
    80004005 – E_FAIL
    Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.VisualStudio.Shell.12.0, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a’ or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    • Send me your email address (to admin@cbates.net) and I’ll send you the address of another gallery that has the VSPackage rebuilt with a PLK.
      The current VSPackage installed in VS2012 for me, but I have the VS2012 SDK installed; as I understand it, adding the PLK is supposed to remove the requirement for the SDK.

  4. Can’t thank you enough! Like you, I’m a long-time SlickEdit user (…and CRiSP before that, and Brief before that). I’m also finding that Studio’s editor is getting “almost good enough”, so I don’t have to do everything in SlickEdit to be effective. I REALLY miss the auto-save-on-loss-of-focus feature, though, especially for Web work where I’m constantly Alt-Tabbing between Studio and a Browser to make/view changes. This package saves me countless keystrokes per day. Thanks again!

  5. Been using the AutoSave plug-in for a while now, I really depend on it.

    However, I did a clean install of Win10 with VS2013, and when trying to install AutoSave I get this error:
    “The extension ‘CBExtensionPkg’ requires a version of the .NET Framework that is not installed”

    Which version is this exactly? Or maybe its possible to update to work with the newer version?


    • Hi,
      I have VS2013 Pro installed on my Win8.1 computer that I upgraded to Win10.
      I uninstalled the plugin and reinstalled from the repository w/o issue.
      I’ll to build with a previous version of the framework and let you know what I find.

      • I still have the same error I’m afraid.

        FYI: On my clean Win 10 install + VS2013 + VS2015 install, the .NET frameworks that are installed seem to be 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2 and 4.6.

        (I have my win10 on my small SSD, so I’m a bit reluctant to install additional frameworks for one plugin. Though I’ll transfer it to a bigger SSD in the future probably)

        • The extension is built with .Net 4.5 as the target framework.
          Is there any way to get more detailed error information? I installed the extension on an Azure VM (WinServer 2008, VS2015) w/o a problem. I don’t have any fresh Win10 instances to test on, unfortunately. It would be nice if an Azure Win10 VM was available…
          I just added VS2015 Express as a target to the extension, but I doubt that will make any difference for you.
          The version number of the recently updated extension is 1.9.3.*.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you human? * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Protected with IP Blacklist CloudIP Blacklist Cloud