In this lesson, you will learn how to download and install Visual Studio. If you already happen to have a version of Visual Studio 2015 installed, you can safely skip these steps and continue on with the next lesson where we build our first web application.

The great news is that you don’t have to spend a single penny to get started in building web applications, or learning C#. With the introduction of the free "Community" version of Visual Studio, you have access to everything you need in order to get started building applications on the Microsoft platform. This free version of Visual Studio is essentially the same package that you would get with the paid Professional edition – giving you access to the full selection of extensions and toolsets. The only differences between the free and paid versions are in the licensing guidelines. Simply put, if you are using Visual Studio within a large team project, or an enterprise business, you are required to purchase the Professional license. Otherwise, as an individual or as a part of a small team you can enjoy all of the benefits found in the paid version by using the free version. It was a great move by Microsoft designed to introduce developers into the fold.

Prepare Your Computer for Visual Studio

Before proceeding with the installation of Visual Studio, you should first make sure that your operating system is up to date by downloading and installing any Windows Updates that are available to you. Keep in mind that you can use Visual Studio on either Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10, but in these lessons we are going to assume that you are running the latest Windows OS (which at the time of this writing would be Windows 10).

Assuming that you’re using Windows 10, there is a way to force Windows to update itself. Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for Updates. Download and install any available updates for Windows before proceeding.


The next step is to open up the Microsoft Edge, or Internet Explorer,
browser and navigate to

This will take you to the download page for the current version of Visual Studio Community. However, it may be even easier to simply type into a search engine and enter the following search terms:

"Download Visual Studio Community"


Once you have downloaded the installer, go ahead and run it. The installer itself is very small but when it runs it will grab everything it needs from Microsoft’s servers in order to completely install Visual Studio locally onto your computer.

You will need to have a Microsoft account to complete the installation process, so if you do not yet have one you will need to sign up for one

You’ll have to sign in one more time with Visual Studio. While there are several editions and versions of Visual Studio available to you, be sure to install the Community edition. You won’t need the extra tools in the paid versions for this course, so I’d recommend simply using Community 2015, as it is all you need at this time.

Typically you leave the Installation defaults as is, though you may wish to change which drive the files are installed on if your primary drive is low on space.

You’ll have to agree to the license terms and the privacy policy, and there is also an option to join the Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program. This is a way for Microsoft to collect telemetry about your use of Visual Studio, in aggregate format, so that they know where to invest dollars going forward.

User Account Control pops up when it is truly ready to install, click yes, and that should complete the process. This will take a few minutes to complete.

Installation Errors

That should cover the entire installation process for all of the tools you will need moving forward. If you happen upon an installation error during this process, you have some options available to you in order to diagnose and resolve the issue. Often simply rebooting your computer will fix the issue. However, if that doesn’t fix the error, first try to find the solution by using a search engine, making sure to include in your search query the exact error message or error code that you encountered.

If your error persists despite all of your web searching, or you feel that your error is best handled by an actual human being, then you may want to ask for help on popular question/answer forums such as:

Keep in mind that there are helpful people in the community who are called "Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals" (MVP’s). They are awarded this title as an acknowledgment of their dedication to helping people, such as you, solve problems. To make their job easier, make sure that your question includes the entire error message, including any numerical codes that are provided. Also, be sure to include the operating system that you’re currently using as well as any other pertinent details. Also, be sure to mention everything you have tried to remedy the problem, so that steps that previously failed are not repeated.

Once your installation has successfully completed, you’ll be ready to move on with the following lessons.

Lessons in this Course