We’ve just released a new extension on the Visual Studio Gallery called PerfWatson. Have you ever seen this dreaded error message?

Microsoft Visual studio is waiting for an internal operation to complete. If you regularly encounter this delay during normal usage, please report this problem to Microsoft.

Well, now you actually can report these problems to Microsoft…automatically. Here’s a description of the extension from the Visual Studio Gallery page:

“We’re constantly working to improve the performance of Visual Studio and take feedback about it very seriously. Our investigations into these issues have found that there are a variety of scenarios where a long running task can cause the UI thread to hang or become unresponsive. Visual Studio PerfWatson is a low overhead telemetry system that helps us capture these instances of UI unresponsiveness and report them back to Microsoft automatically and anonymously. We then use this data to drive performance improvements that make Visual Studio faster.

Here’s how it works: when the tool detects that the Visual Studio UI has become unresponsive, it records information about the length of the delay and the root cause, and submits a report to Microsoft. The Visual Studio team can then aggregate the data from these reports to prioritize the issues that are causing the largest or most frequent delays across our user base. By installing the PerfWatson extension, you are helping Microsoft identify and fix the performance issues that you most frequently encounter on your PC.”

I’d strongly encourage you to install PerfWatson if you’re frustrated with seemingly random UI hangs in Visual Studio. This extension won’t fix the issues, but it will help us see where the real-world responsiveness issues are to help improve future releases.