One of the biggest workflow stoppers I have when developing UWP apps is visual studio itself. The XAML designer has always been very slow but it also gets in the way when debugging and general coding.

You can disable the XAML designer and this makes a massive difference but it’s also nice to still be able to visually see your pages while coding. The answer is to use Blend. It actually has a better XAML designer than visual studio (the built in storyboarding is awesome) and you can have both open at the same time.

First let’s disable the XAML Designer in visual studio:

  • Click on Tools -> Options
  • Scroll the options list right down to the bottom where you will see XAML Designer. Click on this and untick Enable XAML Designer
  • Click OK and restart visual studio
  • You can still edit your XAML markup but with the designer gone visual studio is back to acting like it’s normal self again

If you need to visually edit your XAML then open your project in Blend. It’s totally safe to have you project open in both IDE’s at the same time.
If you have a multi-monitor set up it’s great working on your XAML in Blend in one screen and your actual code in visual studio on the other.

Some points to remember:

  • I like to always run my code from visual studio not blend. So make sure you always remember to click on Save in Blend first