Do things right in VSCode

Here are some settings that I change when I install VS Code on a new computer.

Change these by searching for them in the settings UI (Ctrl-comma on Windows or ⌘-, on Mac). Or open the JSON and paste them in; access the JSON from the command palette (Ctrl-Shift-P) by searching for Preferences: Open Settings (JSON).


Please save my files.

"files.autoSave": "onFocusChange",


Please format my files. This only works on files associated with an installed formatter extension.

"editor.formatOnSave": true,

goodbye minimap

My screen is too small to want this miniaturized representation of my file at the right.

"editor.minimap.enabled": false,

goodbye activity bar

Those buttons on the left, I can get to them from the menu. Give me real estate.

"workbench.activityBar.visible": false,

Another thing to know, especially when you have the activity bar off: the Explorer window (or Debug, or Extensions, or whichever you have open) toggles with Ctrl-B (or ⌘-B 0n Mac).

Explorer window opens with Ctrl-Shift-E (⌘-shift-e on a Mac).

window title

I like the title of my window to be only the filename. And I think this gives some indication of whether it needs saved.

"window.title": "${dirty}${rootName}",

open projects in their own window

At a command line (outside VSCode), when I type code . please open a new VSCode window. Do not add this folder to an existing, open project.

"window.openFoldersInNewWindow": "on",

Also, make it big.

"window.newWindowDimensions": "maximized",

stop it with popping stuff up all the time

Especially when live coding, I don’t want stuff popping up on my cursor all day. It bothers me.

 "editor.quickSuggestions": {
        "other": false,
        "comments": false,
        "strings": false,

no carriage returns please

On Windows, when creating a new file, please don’t use carriage returns in the line endings. We don’t need those anymore.

"files.eol": "\n",

all together now

Here are all of them in one cut-and-paste-able block for my next settings.json.

    "files.autoSave": "onFocusChange",
    "editor.formatOnSave": true,
    "workbench.activityBar.visible": false,
    "editor.quickSuggestions": {
        "other": false,
        "comments": false,
        "strings": false,
    "window.openFoldersInNewWindow": "on",
    "editor.minimap.enabled": false,
    "window.title": "${dirty}${rootName}",
    "window.newWindowDimensions": "maximized",
    "files.eol": "\n",