I installed Visual Studio 2015 Express, but I can't find a shortcut icon anywhere. It also does not show up in Start menu Apps or via Search. I also see nothing in folder C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE

I need the executable to create a shortcut, so not the name to start it via the Run command prompt.

  • If the executable is not there, be sure you installed it. It seems like you did install it, but an error occured and the installation was rolled back. Try running the installer again and see if it tells you that its installed and wants you to modify the current installation or that it will do a new install (in which case it simply is not installed). – LPChip Aug 19 '15 at 14:06
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    how about C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE? – Chin Aug 19 '15 at 14:06
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    Which version of Express 2015 did you install? There's Express for Desktop, Web, or Windows. – MC10 Aug 19 '15 at 14:56
  • Turns out it was installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\VWDExpress.exe, I never changed anything during installation...strange it's not in C:\Program Files – Flo Aug 19 '15 at 18:15
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    @Flo - It isn't in C:\Program Files because Visual Studio 2015 is NOT a 64-bit program. The process itself which is ran, when you launch it, is a 32-bit process. Here is a Stackoverflow question from 2010 with answers from, some very smart people, one even links to the justification for not having a 64-bit IDE.. If it changed ( I have not checked ) in 5 years I don't know, I can just tell by where its installed, you have a 32-bit installation – Ramhound Nov 19 '15 at 23:26

It should be wherever you chose as the installation directory. I just ran the install and this was the default location.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0


To be sure, I installed all 3 versions of Visual Studio Express 2015. Here are their executables.

  • Express 2015 for Desktop = VSWinExpress.exe
  • Express 2015 for Web = VWDExpress.exe
  • Express 2015 for Windows = WDExpress.exe


They are all located in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE directory.

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Please type devenv command from in the run program, it will launch installed visual studio.

I also faced exact same issue after installing VS 2015 on my Win 7 machine. But before installing it, I uninstalled all previous version of VS hence devenv launched most updated VS which is VS 2015.

Hope this one is hopeful.

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The explanation can be found here.

The Visual Studio Application icon/shortcut does not appear anymore in the VS folder.

  • In Windows 7, you can find it on the top of the "All Programs" list in the Start Menu.
  • In Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, it should appear in the "V" grouping in the menu.
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  • Don't you think that if Flo couldn't find VSE shortcut in Start Menu through search there is no shortcut in the Start Menu? Besides question is about a executable location, not a shortcut location... – g2mk Dec 30 '15 at 10:07
  • If I search "Visual Studio", in the Start Menu, it does not appear either. However the shortcut exists as "VS Express for Desktop". Since Flo wants to find the executable location in order to create the shortcut, finding the shortcut may also be a solution. – user539135 Dec 31 '15 at 12:45

Easy way to find it: Select a project's solution --> open with --> in the drop down list, you will probably find the version of vs exe you want to find. Then open task manager and locate the location of the VS exe you are running at the moment. There you go :)

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  • Works for me. To clarify: Run the program you want to know the location of, in this case Visual Studio 2015 Express. Doesn't matter HOW you start it running, as long as it is running. Then launch Task Manager, right click on the program, select "Open file location". (On Windows 10 - exact steps might be different on other Windows versions.) – ToolmakerSteve Oct 29 '16 at 15:45

You may be having a problem with the fact that Windows 10 can only handle 512 installed applications in its start menu. Do a search for "Windows 10 512 apps" and you will find a lot of discussion about the problem. To see how many apps you have - Run Windows Powershell and enter the command "Get-StartApps | measure".

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try C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe

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  • There are existing answers that successfully answer the question. Your answer does not add anything. Please read existing answers before posting to make sure your answer is worth posting. – music2myear Jun 19 '17 at 18:31

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