How to disable BrowserLink in Visual Studio 2019 (16.0.2)

Published on Sunday, 28 April 2019

TL;DR You can't disable BrowserLink from the UI (even if VS says that it has been disabled) and you have to add <add key="vs:EnableBrowserLink" value="false" /> into the appSettings section.

Looks like you can't just disable BrowserLink from Visual Studio IU, and even if it says that Browser Link disabled it's probably not.

I found that when I tried to run a project that worked fine in VS 2017 (with BrowserLink disabled). After I installed VS 2019 it stopped working and not only in Visual Studio 2019 but in Visual Studio 2019 and even in Rider 2018.3.

If your MVC project HTML markup and CSS looks broken and URLs are too long and have some weird characters like %EF%BF%BD%EF%BF%BD (these characters could look like underscores - _ in Chrome View Source).

It probably means that BrowserLink is enabled and your project doesn't compatible with. So the best way will be to just disable it. But because UI in Visual Studio says that its already disabled I thought that it was something else.

I tried to run it in Rider and in Visual Studio 2019 with different settings. I cleaned all bin folders, reinstall IIS Express, etc. but no luck. Finally as a last resort I tried to add <add key="vs:EnableBrowserLink" value="false" /> into the appSettings and it worked.

My guess that this is a bug in Visual Studio 2019. I'd like to report about that issue but not sure how to do it yet. I'll try to find out. Let me know if you have any suggestions about it.

If you read this hopefully I could save you some time :).

Happy coding!