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Delete and return keys not working in Visual Studio 2005

Originally posted on my old MSDN blog

I had some strange issues on my laptop with Visual Studio 2005 - the delete and return keys didn't work, which made it somewhat tricky to write code. I even resorted to copy and pasting a new line when writing code, which as you can imagine wasn't very productive.

After much investigation, I solved the problem. I believe it started because I had previously installed an early beta of Visual C# Express, and there were still registry entries and Application Data left over even though I'd uninstalled. What this meant was I couldn't save any VS2005 settings, and this in turn was causing the editor problems.

My solution was:

  • Delete any registry enries to do with Visual C# Express
  • Delete any directories in My Documents related to either "Visual Studio" or "Visual Studio 2005" (obviously be careful with this if you've got any code you want to keep in here)
  • Delete the contents of C:\Documents and Settings\<* user *>\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\8.0
  • In VS2005, go to the Tools -> Import and Export settings… menu and Reset all settings

Other people appear to have had the same problem, but caused by something to do with Auto-hiding of windows capturing the focus when it shouldn't.

Some useful links that might help you if you're experiencing this: