Rob Kraft's Software Development Blog

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How to tell Visual Studio 2010 to open files in the correct window when you double-click

Posted by robkraft on April 28, 2011

I tend to tolerate minor annoyances in order to focus on more important tasks I want to accomplish. Recently though I finally got tired of my documents opening in the wrong window in Visual Studio when I double-clicked on them. Generally this occurs when I do a find across all files, and the find results pane is docked in a shorter window at the bottom of Visual Studio 2010. When I double-click on one of the lines in the Find Results pane, it opens the intended document in the same lower window, not the larger window on top where I generally view the source code I am interested in. It took me a little while to resolve this and to tell Visual Studio to open the windows in the top pane instead of the bottom pane. The fix is simply to select ‘Reset Window Layout’ from the Windows menu in Visual Studio 2010. I guess that menu option could also be called “Make Visual Studio open documents correctly again.”. I don’t know why my window layout began misbehaving in the first place.


18 Responses to “How to tell Visual Studio 2010 to open files in the correct window when you double-click”

  1. Jordan said

    Thanks so much. This was annoying the crap out of me and your fix worked. Great post!

  2. Alek Karpov said

    Thank you so much. That was really annoying and the fix helped !!

  3. Pitbull lover said

    Thanks a lot … I was feeling the same way… FRUSTRATED!

  4. Hong said

    Thank you. This problem was driving me crazy.

  5. Anil said

    Thank you. I was getting annoyed with the same and wanted to fix it. Glad that I looked at your post first 🙂


  6. Matthias said

    Many thanks. It was troubling me too.


  7. Bill said

    You are a legend! This has been slowly driving me mad but I thought it was going to be one of those frustratingly hard things to fix so I’ve been putting it off. Found your solution first up on google. Job done. Cheers

  8. Suresh said

    Thanks a lot. Really you saved my time.

  9. Andreas said

    Thank you!
    This finally annoyed me enough to google for a result, so I found your solution, and it worked perfectly!

  10. c c said

    Thank you! That was very annoying. Not sure how that happened in the first place.

  11. Daniel said

    It was driving me nuts! NuuuUUTs! I tell you. War has been started over less!

  12. Frank Bakker said


  13. SS said

    Using your suggestion, I found the weirdest thing. After resetting Window Layout, when I went back to the search results and double-clicked to test it, it worked on half of them and didn’t on the other half. Our code had the same method name defined twice in a total of 4 files so somehow it was opening one implementation in the top window and the other method’s implementation in the second window. Somehow it is aware of class hierarchy and is linking related classes to one pane??

  14. OZen said

    Thanks! The menu option is named poorly…

  15. steph said

    OMG, I had this problem on Visual Studio 2012 (upgraded from 2008). after only 10 minutes search on google came accross this solution. Saved me from getting insane.

  16. Björn said


  17. Sparky said

    Very helpful, thanks! Was having in this problem in VS 2013.

  18. Vladimir Romanovskiy said

    Thank you so much,
    this time the option Reset Window Layout saved me in the VS2017 when code windows for some unknown reason had begun to open in Solution Explorer not in usual Editor Window tabs.
    Your trick still helps!

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