for downloading your Visual Studio software (and more…)
Step 1: Register/Sign in at
the MSDN ELMS system.
- If you haven’t already set up an account...
Go to the sign-in page at our online (Microsoft Imagine) store. ← (That’s
a link – click on it ☺)
You can’t sign in yet; you need to create an account. Click on the
…and follow the on-screen directions to get everything set up. You do have
an account, and your Username is your student ID number on its own (as used to
log into the computers in class).
- Once registration is complete, you should be signed in. If not, sign in
- See the plethora of software available for download? When you are
done grinning, proceed with the instructions below.
- Note: You can download a
newer system for your computer if you like (Windows 10; or Windows 8.1 or
7 if you prefer an earlier version). Visual
Studio 2015 does not work on XP or Vista - it requires Windows 7 SP1 or
higher. For Windows 10, choose the “multiple editions”
version, not the “education” one at the top of the list. If you
do decide to update your system, take care of that before installing
Visual Studio. The download instructions below are written for Visual
Studio, but they apply to any product you decide to download. You’re
welcome to take advantage of this opportunity to update / beef up your
system for free.
- Mac / Boot Camp
peoples: This is the easy place to get the Windows system disc(s) you need.
Step 2: Download Visual
- Important – you want
Visual Studio 2015, (not 2012,
- By default, you should see software in the “Featured”
category displayed towards the bottom of the browser window. Click on
“Visual Studio 2015” in that list.
- “Visual Studio Community 2015” should be expanded at
the top of the list that pops up. While you could choose that version, I recommend “Visual Studio
Enterprise 2015 with Update 3” a little further down the page. Find
that, click on the “+” next to it to expand, and click “Express
- In the dialog that comes up (or on the receipt page that shows up
if you’re slow to click), click download, and a more detailed
download list will show up. You want to download the one shown below. Do not choose the web installer.
- Note: If
anything goes differently, or you need to come back later to download, you
can always get to all products you’ve ordered by selecting “Your
Account/Orders” in the dropdown menu below your ID that displays near
the top right whenever you’re logged into the store.
Step 2a: Get the download
into useable form
- The file you download is an ISO disk image. I normally recommend
that you burn that image to a DVD, and if you have a dual-layer DVD burner
on your computer, this is what you should do. (This image is too big for older / single-layer DVDs, so if that’s
your situation, look at the next solution below). Right-click on the
ISO file, and choose “burn…” If that option isn’t
available, you might have alternate burning software installed on your
computer. Open that software and choose the option labeled “burn
image” or something similar. Burning
a DVD gives you an install disk that you can use if you get a new computer
or have to reformat your current computer.
If you can’t burn a DVD, (or if you simply prefer to take a different
recommend doing the following: Install 7-Zip,
(it’s simple, reliable, free). Right-click on
the disc image (.iso) file, select 7-Zip/Extract
Files… and extract the full contents of the disc to any folder/location
you want. Open that folder with the extracted files, and double-click the vs_enterprise.exe
file to start setup. (vs_community.exe if you selected that version instead)
Step 3: Install Visual
Note: this installation is known
to sometimes take a long time. Leaving it to run overnight isn’t a bad
- Before starting the install of Visual Studio, it’s a good
idea to use Windows Update to make sure your computer is up to date. In
any system, Windows 7 and beyond, click on the start menu, type
“windows update” launch the program and check for updates. (Reminder: VS 2015 does not work with
Vista or XP - you need to update if that’s what you have).
- Do a default install if you have reasonable amounts of disc space; click
“custom” and remove all languages other than C# if
you’re tight on space. You can always install extra features later
if/when you need them.
- If at any point you
are prompted to “insert disc…” (pretty
sure this is unlikely these days) and you didn’t burn the image to DVD, look for a button labeled
“Browse” or something similar. Click on that button, and
navigate to the location on your hard drive or USB drive where you put the
files you extracted (see step 2a above).
- When installation completes, click Launch.
- If settings… dialog comes up: choose Visual C# Development
Settings, and whatever you want for help (I suggest Minimum local help documentation). Click “Start
- Exit Visual Studio
Updates, updates, updates; and final configuration.
- Windows Update – check for and install updates. Repeat until
no updates found.
- Launch Visual Studio
- In the Tools menu, select Extensions and Updates à take care of any
updates that are crying out for attention.
- After installation (and restart probably), Launch Visual Studio again!
Tools/Extensions and Updates à click on Updates tab
and deal with any additional updates you see listed. Repeat until no
- In the Tools menu, select Options…
On the left side, click on Text Editor to expand it, and then click C#
and then Tabs.
§ Indenting: Smart
§ Tab size: 4; Indent size:
4; keep tabs
software / accessing earlier orders:
- You have access to a ridiculously large amount of software via our
online store. Browse to your heart’s content! Note that in the
“Featured” category on your home page I’ve highlighted some
products you might be interested in.
- Note: You have 24 month access to download / licensing details for
all products you get from our store:
While logged in to the store, click on “Your Account/Orders”
near the top of the window.
Click on the applicable item, and you’ll be back to what you saw
when you first went through checkout. Note that there’s a download link
and (if needed) a product key.
I strongly recommend that you save archives of your
downloads, and record all product keys, before your 24 month window runs