Update help content in Visual Studio 11 Dev Preview to point to proper MSDN queries


When Microsoft released Visual Studio 11 Developer Previews (express or ultimate), the REST help query service for VS 11 was not yet deployed, therefore when you hit F1, you are sent to the dev10 (VS 2010) help service, rather than the correct VS 2011 service.

In the meantime Microsoft have now deployed the proper Visual Studio 11 help service on MSDN.

Thankfully, we can update our Visual Studio installation to use this new help service via a simple registry tweak :)

NOTE: If any of the keys are not available in your registry hive, feel free to create them.

For Visual Studio 2011 Express Developer Preview

For 32-Bit:

  1. Launch your registry editor (hit WIN+R, type regedit, hit enter)
  2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VSWinExpress\11.0\Help]
  3. Add a string value called OnlineBaseURL
  4. Set it’s value to http://msdn.microsoft.com/query/dev11.query?appId=Dev11IDEF1&l=

For 64-Bit:

  1. Launch your registry editor (hit WIN+R, type regedit, hit enter)
  2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VSWinExpress\11.0\Help]
  3. Add a string value called OnlineBaseURL
  4. Set it’s value to http://msdn.microsoft.com/query/dev11.query?appId=Dev11IDEF1&l=

For Visual Studio 2011 Ultimate Developer Preview

For 32-Bit:

  1. Launch your registry editor (hit WIN+R, type regedit, hit enter)
  2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\Help]
  3. Add a string value called OnlineBaseURL
  4. Set it’s value to http://msdn.microsoft.com/query/dev11.query?appId=Dev11IDEF1&l=

For 64-Bit:

  1. Launch your registry editor (hit WIN+R, type regedit, hit enter)
  2. Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\Help]
  3. Add a string value called OnlineBaseURL
  4. Set it’s value to http://msdn.microsoft.com/query/dev11.query?appId=Dev11IDEF1&l=
Since Visual Studio caches this key upon launch, you will need to close visual studio and re-open it for the change to take effect.
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