Custom Themes in Visual Studio

Julius Huck
3 min readDec 11, 2018

Built-in Themes

There are 4 themes built-in in Visual Studio (Light, Dark, Blue, Blue (Extra Contrast)). You can change the theme under Tools > Options > Environment-General.

And under Tools > Options > Environment-Fonts and Colors you can change the font of the code editor and the colors for different texts (e.g. plain text, selected text).

Studiostyl.es

When you don’t want to set all the colors manually you can to go on Studiostyl.es where you can get complete themes for free. Currently (Apr 2019), you can find over 4800 free themes there.

On Studiostyl.es

  1. Find a theme that you like
  2. Click on it — you can see some examples of the theme applied to different programming languages, HTML, etc.
  3. Select your Visual Studio version — when you have a version newer than 2015, select Visual Studio 2015)
  4. Download the scheme — you get a .vssettings file

In Visual Studio:

  1. Tools > Import and Export Settings
  2. Import selected environment settings > Next
  3. No, just import new settings, overwriting my current settings > Next
  4. Browse and select the downloaded .vssettings file > Select the theme from the treeview >Next
  5. Select Fonts and Colors — the settings file should not contain more than fonts and colors > Finish > Close

Another tip is to set the build in Visual Studio theme to Dark. Because most of the themes on Studiostyl.es are made for the dark theme. You can do this after importing or before importing the .vssettings file.

Create a Custom Theme

When you can not find a theme that you like you can easily create your own themes or edit an existing theme with the Scheme Editor. The instructions on how to use the editor are provided on top of the page.

Reset to Default Theme

  1. Tools > Import and Export Settings
  2. Import selected environment settings > Next
  3. No, just import new settings, overwriting my current settings > Next
  4. Select Default Settings-General > Next
  5. Uncheck All Settings > Select All Settings-Options-#101-Fonts and Colors > Finish > Close

The theme in the thumbnail of this post is the Son of Obsidian theme.

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Julius Huck

I love constructing new ideas and turning them into reality. Full stack perfectionist developer and (web) designer. Be a creator not a consumer ✌️