How to Download & Install


In order to use Visual Studio to complete your class assignments you will need to have full administrative access to the computer you will be installing and using it on (no tablets or other mobile devices will work). If you do not already have Visual Studio installed on your computer you can download the latest complimentary version, currently called Community from

Installing Visual Studio Community from

Please note: Microsoft changes the free Visual Studio install procedures all the time. These instructions represent the procedures required at the writing of this tutorial. If you have problems downloading or installing the Visual Studio program, contact your instructor or the CIS Webmaster ( via email for assistance.

In order to download the free version of Visual Studio for use in the Internet Authoring classes complete the following steps (ONLY Download Visual Studio NOT Visual Studio CODE!!!):

Download box for Windows users.
Download box for Mac users.
  1. Open a Web browser and type in the address bar and press Enter (Return on a Mac).
  2. Click or tap on the purple box that reads "Download Visual Studio" or "Download Visual Studio for Mac" depending on the operating system of the computer you want to download and install Visual Studio on. For Windows users, click or tap Community 2019 or latest version from the drop-down list that appears. The download of the Visual Studio installer program should begin immediately.
  3. Locate the downloaded file and double-click it to begin the installation process.
  4. A security warning may appear, if it does - click the Run or OK button.
  5. A Visual Studio Installer screen will appear on your computer screen. Click the check box to accept the license agreement, make sure you have enough free storage space (10-14 GB) available on your computer, and then click on the Continue button that appears.
  6. The next screen should be the Workloads screen. View Installing Visual Studio Workloads then scroll back up to the next step in these instructions.
  7. Once you have selected the correct workloads for the class(es) you are enrolled in, click the Install button at the bottom right of the Workloads screen.
Figure 2: Video Studio Installer running the installation process.
  1. The Visual Studio setup should install itself unattended from that point forward. Once the installation is complete, you may get a screen asking you to install cross-platform features, just click the Skip button on this screen.
Figure 3: The Reboot required screen.
  1. If this is a new installation of Visual Studio you will most certainly get a Reboot screen next, click the Restart button on the Reboot required screen that appears. Once you computer has rebooted, skip down to First Time Opening Visual Studio.
  2. If a Reboot screen does not appear, Click Start Visual Studio..on the next screen you'll see a message that Visual Studio is being prepared for first use. Once that step is completed, Visual Studio should appear on you screen.
  3. The next screen should have a big Launch button at the bottom of it. Click Launch to open Visual Studio.
  4. Once you close Visual Studio, in order to re-open it, check for Visual Studio 2019 on your Start Menu on Windows computers and in the Application folder on Mac computers.
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Installing Visual Studio Workloads

Read the text below for course specific installation info. If you run into problems downloading and/or installing Visual Studio, you might try the Microsoft Web-based tutorial titled Install Visual Studio.

When installing Visual Studio, on the Workload tab, you will need to choose which "workload(s)" you want included in your Visual Studio installation as shown in the figure below. Review the table below to learn which workloads you will need installed in order to complete your CIS coding classes.

Showing the Visual Studio Installer, options for Visual StudioSelecting the .NET Framework templates needed for CSIS 115A and CSIS 786.
This image shows the Workload tab used by the Visual Studio Installer. The workloads boxed in purple each have a letter which is used in the table below to identify which workloads are need for which CIS classes. Depending on the class you are in select the appropriate workload(s) for your class when installing Visual Studio. You can change which workloads are installed by re-running the installer. Click on image to view it larger.

Course Requirements for Visual Studio Workloads

Below is a mapping of MSJC's CIS courses which use Visual Studio and the workload you will need installed to complete the assignments in that class.

Course Number Workload Requirement
CSIS 111B Include the .NET desktop development (A) workload.
CSIS 113A and CSIS 123A Include the Desktop development with C++ (B) workload.
CSIS 113C and CSIS123C Include the .NET desktop development (A) workload
CSIS 115A, CSIS 125A, and CSIS 786 Include the ASP.NET and Web development (C) workload.
CSIS 116E and CSIS 126E Include the Python development (D) workload.

Additional Selections for CSIS 115A, CSIS 525, and CSIS 786

In Visual Studio 2022 (and most likely later versions), you will need to go to the Installation Details box to the right of the workloads in the Visual Studio Installer and expand the ASP.NET and Web Development grouping to manually select the .NET Framework templates needed for the CSIS 115A and CSIS 786 classes (see image below).

How to Modify Workloads After Installation

This video demonstrates how to modify Visual Studio Workloads using the Video Studio Installer.
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First Time Opening Visual Studio

 No matter which option you choose for accessing the Visual Studio IDE, the first time you run the program there will be a couple of dialog boxes that pop up asking you to make some choices.

These are the choices you will need to make before getting access to the Visual Studio program:

  1. Do you want to use a Microsoft account while using Visual Studio.
    This will synchronize your Visual Studio environment across multiple devices when logged-in with your Microsoft account (MSJC student email accounts are Microsoft accounts!)
  2. What environment settings you prefer

Using a Microsoft Account

 Image of the screen you will see the first time you open Visual Studio.

The first dialog box you will see is asking you if you want to login using a Microsoft Live account. Making this choice will allow you to sync your preferences and options settings between multiple devices should be using Visual Studio on more than one computer, like home and the classroom.

Rumor has it that your MSJC email account is a Microsoft Live account and will work for this purpose. However, experience has shown that it seems to work for some student email accounts and not others. Your professor and MSJC take no responsibility for your outcome here - that responsibility belongs completely to Microsoft.

If you want to try using your MSJC email account for logging into Microsoft each time you open Visual Studio, then click on the Sign In button, otherwise click on Not now, maybe later.

Environment Settings

 Image of the Environment Settings screen you will see when opening Visual Studio for the first time.

The second dialog box you will see after opening Visual Studio for the first time is the Environment Settings dialog box. Near the top of the dialog box you will see a Development Settings drop-down list box, click on the down arrow to open it and view the available choices. Depending on the class you are taking, one of two choices will be best suited for your needs:

  1. Visual C#
  2. Web Development

If you are in the CSIS 111B, CSIS 113C, or CSIS 123C classes, choose Visual C#. If you are in CSIS 115A or CSIS 125A, then choose the Web Development option, not the Web Development (Code Only) option. Choose the Web Development option even if you are in the CSIS 125A Web Development Level 2 class. I know this is essentially a JavaScript class, but you will want to be able to create HTML and CSS files in addition to JavaScript files, so Web Development is still your best choice here. Note: no matter which option you choose you can always change your development environment later from the Visual Studio Tools —> Options —> Environment —> General options screen.

Once you have selected your Development Settings, you may also want to change the default choice of how your Visual Studio program environment will look. Choose a Color Theme to your liking; once again, you can change this later if you want.

Image dsiplaying the Visual Studio Development Environment choices.

After you have made your selections, click the Start Visual Studio button. From there the program should load and be ready for you to create your first Web development or Programming assignment.

Video Lecture

View this video to learn more about running Visual Studio for the first time.
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Learning More About Using Visual Studio

There are some additional configuration options that you might want to make which will make things a little easier for you; topics like:

  • Learning about the Web One Click Publish toolbar
  • How to open the Solution Explorer window
  • Changing views in the Document window
  • Setting the HTML (Web Forms) editor as the default editor for HTML files
  • How to configure split view
  • How to create a new programing project
  • How to open an exisiting Visual Studio project
  • How to open a Website in Visual Studio
To learn about these topics, please read the Visual Studio Basics tutorial.

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