Where does Visual Studio 2017 store its config?

I found the answer in this blog post:

See how empty is the regular HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0 key on my machine and notice that there is no 15.0_Config key:


Instead, the VS 2017 private registry is stored in your AppData folder:


Fortunately, you can use regedit.exe to load a private hive. You need to select the HKEY_USERS node, and click the File > Load Hive… menu. You select the privateregistry.bin file, give a name to the hive (I entered “VS2017PrivateRegistry”) and now you can see the 15.0_Config key populated as usual (note: use File > Unload Hive when done):

Private registry

Using this guide, I was able to load the private registry, do the changes from the SO answer mentioned earlier, unload the hive and start VS 2017 with the Dark Theme!

EDIT: I had to slightly modify the PowerShell script I used to edit the registry, here is the updated version if anyone is interested:

EDIT2: Now modified to include the loading of the private registry automatically as well, including a garbace collection to allow unloading the hive:

NOTE: You have to find your own correct path for the user name (C:\Users\Geir) and VS version (15.0_8165452c).

New-PSDrive HKU Registry HKEY_USERS

reg load 'HKU\VS2017PrivateRegistry\' "C:\Users\Geir\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_8165452c\privateregistry.bin"

$HighConstrastTheme = "HKU:\VS2017PrivateRegistry\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_8165452c_Config\Themes\{a5c004b4-2d4b-494e-bf01-45fc492522c7}"
$DarkTheme = "HKU:\VS2017PrivateRegistry\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\15.0_8165452c_Config\Themes\{1ded0138-47ce-435e-84ef-9ec1f439b749}"

Remove-Item -Path $HighConstrastTheme -Recurse
Copy-Item -Path $DarkTheme -Destination $HighConstrastTheme -Recurse


reg unload 'HKU\VS2017PrivateRegistry'

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