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VS2017 Local Help

📢 PUBLIC Page 1123:0/0 | edit | anon 2017-12-24 10:33:21

Dec 23 2017

VS2017 defaults to online help, requiring a constant and fast internet connection. This works if I am downtown but a PITA everywhere else. Enabling local help in VS2017 is inexplicably complicated.

  1. Visual Studio must be launched as admin!
    VS stores the content in a shared folder, requiring admin privileges. However, the admin user must also be the user who installed VS or the content installer will fail. I need to temporarily add my user to the local administrators group while downloading and installing local help content.
  2. Start BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service)
    Windows10 has deprecated BITS in favor of the Delivery Optimization service, and BITS is normally disabled. However, VS2017 still uses BITS and it needs to be changed to "Manual" and started before launching the local help content manager.
  3. Local help needs to be enabled as a feature.
    Tools > Get Tools and Features ...
    Individual components > Help Viewer
  4. Installing Help Viewer will add local help to the Help menu.
    Help > Add and Remove Help Content
  5. Select the content to install.
  6. Click "Update"
    VS must be running as admin and BITS must be running.
    Pay attention to the status line for error messages.
    Make sure the progress bar is updated with "Download package x of y"
    The first half of the progress bar is downloading which is 90% of the time.
  7. No content is installed until all selected items are downloaded.
    It is better to install a few items at a time.

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