If you’re developing a multi user app or just want to try your app out on another PC you can use Visual Studios remote debugging feature. You don’t even need to have Visual Studio set up on the remote PC for this to work.

There’s a few things that need to be done so let’s get stuck in.

Remote Tools For Visual Studio

  • Before you do anything you are going to need to find the right remote tools for your version of Visual Studio. Head on over to https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/ and download Remote Tools for Visual Studio.
    Note: If you are using an older version of Visual Studio then click on the Older Versions button. You are looking Remote Tools for Visual Studio xxxx Update y. Where xxxx is your version number and y is the Update version.
  • Run the download to setup and install the Remote Tools on your remote PC. Once installed, start Remote Debugger which you should find in your start menu.
    You may see a message regarding configuration issues, this is usually due to windows firewall. Click on the Configure remote debugging button to make the required changes.
  • Once the Remote Debugger starts you should see a window simular to this:

Remote Debug Your Solution

  • Open your solution in Visual Studio
  • Click the drop down next to Local Machine in your debug toolbar and select Remote Debugging:
  • A Remote Connections window will appear. Wait a couple of seconds and your remote PC should appear in the list:

    If it doesn’t then you will need to add in the IP address of the remote server in the Manual Connection panel.
  • Click on the PC name and then click on the Select button
  • Your Debug toolbar should now look like this:

    Click on Remote Machine to start your app on the remote PC.
    You may have to provide log in details that are the same as the user currently running on the remote PC.
  • Once your solution has compiled you should see confirmation of your connection on the remote PC.
  • If your remote PC has not been setup as a development machine Visual Studio will show a message like so:

    If you look at your remote PC screen you will see that that Settings app has been opened for you and will be displaying the developer settings.
    Make sure Developer Mode is selected.  You will need to confirm that change and wait for Settings to install the Developer Mode package:
    You may have to restart the remote PC.  If you do, once the PC has restarted, launch the Remote Debugger again and run your solution again using the Remote Machine option.
  • Depending upon your app you may have to wait for the Remote PC to install missing frameworks and copy across needed files.
  • You should now see your app running on your Remote PC.

using Remote Debugging

  • All of your break points will still work so make sure to check your code in visual studio if your appears to have stopped working.
  • You can pause and continue your app as normal.
  • If you exit your app, it will still be installed on the Remote PC. This is great if you want to debug locally while testing a multi-user app.