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CodeLens Freezes Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate

CodeLens Freezes Visual Studio – This year has been quite a hectic year for me. I started a new job in January and being challenged every day is as rewarding as it is fun. I really enjoy learning something new and getting to grips with new technologies gets my heart racing. Ok, so I know that sounded REALLY geeky. As my development tool of choice, I use Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate. Unfortunately, for the past four months Visual Studio has been frustrating me and driving me nuts! It keeps on freezing and locks up my laptop totally.

CodeLens Freezes Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate

Will the real culprit please stand up? First a bit of background: My problems with Visual Studio Ultimate freezing always seem to happen during a build and debug (or start without debugging). I mainly work on Web Applications, and this issue caused me to sit with an unresponsive laptop. I would have to do a hard reboot at least 6 times a day. Strangely enough the most freezing and laptop lockups would happen in the afternoon.

I tried everything to trace the cause. I tweaked Visual Studio for speed. I disabled ReSharper (sorry folks). I changed the version of IIS used in debugging to the 64-bit version. Nothing seemed to help. It resulted in me having to keep the Windows task manager open the whole time on a second monitor in case I needed to kill unresponsive processes. These were always the browser used for debugging and Visual Studio. As soon as the browser became unresponsive, I noticed that a cascading problem would occur. One after the other, all my open apps would become unresponsive. Outlook, Skype, Toggl and even the Task manager itself. The Memory utilization in task manager would report 99% utilization and the CPU utilization wasn’t doing any better either. My i7 Dell laptop with 8 GB RAM was now dead.

The resolution

During another freeze this afternoon, I managed to kill Visual Studio and the browser used for debugging. I noticed though that my laptop was still strangely unresponsive. I managed to scroll down the running processes and noticed a particular process hogging almost 500 MB RAM. This process was called Microsoft.Alm.Shared.Remoting.RemoteContainer.dll (32bit). I Googled it and stumbled on this article. This process my dear friends is CodeLens, and this particular issue seems to present itself when there are many projects in your Visual Studio solution. If you are experiencing the same issues, switch off CodeLens (Tools -> Options -> Text Editor -> All Languages -> CodeLens). I love the functionality that CodeLens provided me, but if I have to choose between a freezing laptop every time I debug a web app and the minor inconvenience of not having CodeLens, the choice is obvious.

I hope that this will help someone somewhere in the world. The issue caused by CodeLens is an extremely frustrating one and it will only be addressed in Visual Studio 2015.

Update:

After a few days working with Visual Studio 2013 with CodeLens turned off, I have not had a single issue with it locking up my laptop.

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Dirk Strauss
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.

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