Visual Studio UI Toolbox disappeared

I can’t recall if it was right after the initial installation, or if I hit any whatever key-combination to hide it, or closed it by mistake: The UI toolbox in my Visual Studio 2012 was not visible. First, I did not care because I didn’t needed it. But the point in time came when I needed it – and still it was not there. Neither a ‘Toolbox’ item in the View menu.

I searched the internet, did a repair, did a toolbox rebuild, reset the window layout, and was close to un- and reinstall it. Then, after searching again, I found a posting for VS 2008 SP1. It says one can use the CTRL+ALT+X key to show the toolbox window. Fortunately, the key combination worked for VS 2012 too! The toolbox window was back again 🙂 This saved me several hours of non-productive installation time.

Soon, I added the Toobox command to the ‘View / Other Windows’ menu to make sure I will not lose it again.

And in case you need to rebuild the toolbox content, you can do this:

1. Close Visual Studio;

2. Open the “c:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0″ folder and remove all the .TBD files;

3. Start regedit;

4. Find the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\ToolboxControlsInstaller_AssemblyFoldersExCache” and “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\11.0\ToolboxControlsInstallerCache” keys;

5. Remove everything from these keys leaving them empty;

6. Run Visual Studio again and wait until it recreates all items in the toolbox. This might be a lazy rebuild, started when you open a UI control in the editor.

(found this list here: