This tip is for Visual Studio .NET 2003. Although it will work in Visual Studio 2005, there are easier ways to save your favorite window layouts – which is a tip to be told at another time.
There are four different window layout states
These states are saved to %appdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\devenv.xml upon shutdown.
I was asked earlier this week in email how to get rid of the Object Browser when it appears every time you launch VS. The answer is to close the Object Browser (or whatever tool windows you want to close or open whenever the shell is launched) and shut down the shell. The state is written out to devenv.xml, so the next time you launch, you get the desired configuration.
Same is true for the other different window layouts for Full Screen, Debugging and File view. Set the desired state, shut down, and when you relaunch, you’ll have your desired configuration. If you ever need to get back to the original configuration, delete %appdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\7.1\devenv.xml.