How to work around IDE freezes in Visual Studio 2019 when switching between Build configurations

After updating to the latest Visual Studio version (16.3., followed by 16.3.1), two of our solutions at work with custom Build configurations all of sudden began to hang when switching between them.

After a lot of project unloading, deleting our custom configurations back and forth and project file modifications, we finally found a workaround to continue our work by browsing other/similar issues to ours in the VS feedback forums. The freeze of the solution is caused by a feature that is meant to fasten up solution loading: parallel project initialization.

It seems to be an issue that some others already had with 16.2.x versions, so it may be a regression (as it is flagged as fixed).

The workaround

The workaround is pretty easy, just follow these simple steps:

  • Open Tools / Options in Visual Studio 2019 and find the Projects and Solutions node
  • Unselect ‘Allow parallel project initialization’
  • Click ‘OK’ and close the solution

After that, we need to delete the .vs folder of Visual Studio 2019 within the local solution folder. This folder contains a SQLite DB that corresponds with some behind the scenes stuff for the parallel project initialization (and more).

Now open the solution – switching between Build configurations should now work again.

As always, I hope this post is helpful for some of you.

Until the next, happy coding!

Posted by msicc

.NET Dev at day & night, Geek. Father of 2 teenagers, husband of a fantastic wife. Founder of MSiccDev Software Development. Opinions are mine.


Thanks for sharing this! Nothing else fixed it and it was such a pain…


Thank you for sharing this solution!

Sorry where do you find the .vs folder? Thank you!

.vs is hidden by default. click properties, enable show hidden files and folders – voila

Pretty damn sure this just fixed my issue.
You are a freaking hero, this has been driving me nuts.

Kevin Hollingshead

Funny, i just enabled parallel processing to speed up slow loads. If they had more accurately described it as “non-working parallel processing” I would have been able to avoid a bad decision. 🙂

Thank you!!! So nice to just get a straightforward answer that works.

Thank you, Msicc

i was not able to load my solution and after i uncheck th parallel option. my solution load very fast !

Paul Houston

Dear God, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I was going crazy with a time sensitive project. Youi saved me.

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