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Trying and failing to update Visual Studio? You aren't alone

The progress bar of lies reborn as a cheery 'Checking' message

Microsoft Visual Studio appears to be having a bad Wednesday with users of the development suite forced to jump into Microsoft's feedback forum to complain about prolonged problems with the software's installer.

The issue manifests itself when the installer attempts to pull files from wherever Microsoft has stashed them. Rather than the usual progress bar of optimism, users have found themselves staring at a "Getting things ready…" or "Checking for updates…" while the backend seemingly twiddles its thumbs.

Problems were first reported on Twitter at around 07.30 UTC, and the annoyance is palpable. Eight hours and counting yet normal service has still not resumed.

A few users have managed to kick things off, only to be presented with an "An installation file didn't download" error.

Some assumed the issue is with their installation, and so uninstalled and attempted to reinstall the software, then finding themselves stuck once again, except this time without even an out-of-date IDE they can use.

It's not a great look for Microsoft. Earlier this week the company boasted: "We are continuously improving the Visual Studio update experience so that it's as easy and effortless as possible," with the addition of an Update All button on the installer.

A single click should have been all it took to do the magic: "So, you can quickly kick off the updates, go for a cup of tea, and when you return, all of your installations will have been updated with the latest goodness that Visual Studio has to offer."

Instead, users are forced spend quality time wondering just why the app has disappeared.

Microsoft has yet to make an official comment on the matter, however, developers have taken matters into their own hands, with some suggesting a tweak to the hosts file, while others have fired up VPNs to help the installer get to where it needs to go.

Obviously, extreme caution must be exercised when playing with Windows' internals.

The issue appears to be regional, with users across Europe and the Middle East registering complaints, including devs The Reg has spoken to. In addition, some developers have reported success on one device but failures on another.

As for Visual Studio's own service status page, at time of writing everything was green, and users were greeted by a cheery: "Everything is great, no active events at the moment" as they glumly pondered how to recover after an uninstallation.

Visual Studio Status

Click to enlarge

"Lies, damned lies and cloud service status dashboards," quipped one user.

The Register contacted Microsoft to find out what had befallen Visual Studio's servers and will update should the company respond. ®

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