IntelliSense Crash in VS 2010 RC when using UI Automation

IntelliSense Crash in VS 2010 RC when using UI Automation

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There is now a patch available for this issue in the VS 2010 RC.  If you're experiencing frequent crashing when IntelliSense pops up or is dismissed, please download this patch to see whether it resolves the issue.  This bug has also been fixed for VS 2010 RTM.

Shortly before the Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate (RC) was released, the Visual Studio team discovered a significant VS crashing bug on machines using UI Automation (UIA).  This bug will only affect a certain group of users, but for those users it renders the IDE very unstable.  We’d also like to stress that this issue has already been fixed for VS 2010 RTM.

Who is affected?

Only machines with the Visual Studio 2010 RC and an application or device actively using UI Automation 3.0 APIs are affected.  This includes but may not be limited to RC users who are using screen reader software, multi-touch drivers, or tablet PCs.  Furthermore, the issue applies most commonly to customers using UIA on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008; impact on prior operating systems should be minimal.

What are the symptoms of this bug?

If you are experiencing this issue, you’ll see Visual Studio crashing frequently during rapid typing in the editor while IntelliSense is popping up and/or being dismissed.

What is the Visual Studio team doing to fix this?

There is a patch available for this issue in the VS 2010 RC.  We also have a fix for this bug checked in for VS 2010 RTM.  You won’t need a workaround for the final release, and you’ll be able to use the RTM build on machines with UIA without experiencing these crashes.


If you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to post in the comments below.  If you’re experiencing crashes without UIA or in scenarios without IntelliSense, the root cause is likely different, so we’d encourage you to collect a crash dump if possible and file a Connect bug so we can investigate.

Brittany Behrens
Program Manager, Visual Studio Editor Team

clip_image002I’m Brittany, a Program Manager on the Visual Studio Editor team.  Some of you may recognize me from Connect bugs or as the main voice of @VSEditor on Twitter, and I’m responsible for a variety of Editor features.  I love hearing from customers, so please let me know what you think!

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  • Hi Brittany, with the TabletService disabled I'm seeing the same side-effects as you describe for the registry hack above.

  • I ran into an issue with a smart tag crashing VS and filed a bug for it.  The crashdump is uploading now.  I was alble to consistently reproduce it for 30 minutes and then it started working after unsuccessfuly trying to recreate it in a new fresh project.  I've also had several other seemingly random crashes.  My tablet pc input service was not started at all.

    I was able to get a crashdump of the smart tag issue and I am in the process of uploading it.

  • i have a wacom tablet.

    is this issue related to the problem where i cannot select anything in the IDE using the mouse or pen - including menu items from context menus?

    i get a mouse cursor with an arrow (the resizing arrow you get when dragging to get a split view) and it wont let me select any text or context menu items

  • The TabletService is disabled and was not started ever. I have turn off even Aero under Windows 7, but the VS 2010 RC continue to crash every 2-5 min. when the intellisense is popping up.

  • There might be multiple tablet services you need to disable.  I had two that I had to disable and VS is no longer crashing on intellisense for me.

  • I'm using Windows Server 2003 SP 2.

    I'm experiencing a lot of crashing whenever IntelliSence dialog tries to open.

  • the Hotfix did not resolve my issue.  I don't know if it is an issue, but I'm running the 64bit version of Windows 7


  • Tip for anybody using a Wacom pen (may or may not also apply to a tablet PC or touchscreen) :

    Don't use the pen to resize splitters - such as the one between the solution explorer and the main C# window. You'll end up with a C# window that won't accept any mouse input.

    Instead use another input device such as a trackpad or the mouse supplied with the Wacom tablet OR temporarily change the pen to mouse mode. I made a video demonstrating the problem and how easy it can be reproduced.

    (excuse my verbose demonstration - it was late but its <2 mins)

    @scottgu put me in touch with someone at MS and they are being very helpful and responsive in this issue so far. Thanks!

    Related connect issue:

  • Hi Brittany

    I have installed this patch, and my visual studio is still crashing constantly. I am running Windows 7 Ultimate.

    I believe the patch has not worked, and it is getting rather frustrating.



  • @Ross:

    I'm sorry to hear that.  What's the scenario that's causing these frequent crashes (typing, invoking IntelliSense, using tooltips, something else)?  Also, have you installed the second RC patch that became available last week?  If not, I'd recommend downloading and installing it.  You can find the patch at and more information at

    - Brittany

  • VS 2010 RC + the two patches has the following problem on my system: I cannot open any file at all. The file itself is displayed as a tab, but the editor does not appear. Once I click on the tab VS dies. The startscreen is fine as is the project view. I have reported that crash via the "Error Reporting" system, but any ideas are welcome. It must have something to do with the other software on this computer or it's software history, but I have so far not been able to find out what causes this behaviour. VS 2008 SP1 is working fine on this (Windows XP SP3, latest patchlevel) system and I have so far not found any other program exhibiting this behaviour.



  • Hi Brittany,

    I can't even get the RTM version of 2010 to install on my tablet PC. It's a pretty recent model, the HP TM2, which does include multi-touch drivers. Anyway, after hours and hours of install attempts, it fails when installing the VC 9.0 Runtime...Spent the entie weekend trying to find a fix, but failed. Reinstalling the RC worked though, and I continue to search for a solution. I'm new to programming...taking a WPF class right now...and need a stable environment. The RC is fine, but I would like to get this resolved and I'm totally stumped. Any help, or a direction to where I can get some, would be greatly appreciated.

  • @Clifford:

    For RTM installation issues (tablet or otherwise), the Visual Studio Setup and Installation forum is your best bet.  They're experts in diagnosing and helping with install failures.  Here's the link:

    - Brittany

  • I am wondering if you can share the root cause of this issue?

    I have a WPF app that has the exact same crash that happens on the second tooltip popup...

    I use System.Windows.Interactivity to attach Interaction.Triggers to my controls (a la Silverlight)

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