How to Reset User Settings in Visual Studio Code

To reset your user settings in VSCode, all you need is to locate your settings.json file and delete its contents.

Remember to backup your settings.json file. There could be some configurations that you want to add back after the reset.

How to reset VSCode settings.json:

  1. Inside VSCode, press Cmd + Shift + P (Ctrl instead of Cmd on Windows) and search for “settings.json”. There might be more than one file, depending on your setup. Pick the file called Preferences: Open Settings (JSON). It’s the one inside your code/user/ directory (see the video below).
  2. Now under User Settings select and delete everything, except a pair of curly braces { } and save your empty file.

As soon as you hit save, VSCode UI might change a bit (such as the font size, or zoom level), as your previous UI settings are now gone.

Quick video demonstration:

Now you can begin reconfiguring your VSCode from a clean slate.

For example, this is how to change VSCode’s editor font size (just the font size inside code files, not the entire VSCode UI) from the default 12 pixels to 16 pixels:

    "editor.fontSize": 16

Good to know: the settings.json is the code version of your Settings UI. Any changes you make in the JSON file will take place in the Settings UI, and vice versa. The Settings UI might be easier for beginners to configure your VSCode, however, the JSON file gives you more fine-grained control and infinitely more customization possibilities.

Why would you reset your VSCode settings?

Several reasons. Is your VSCode sometimes acting weird? Do you have a bunch of settings and configurations that you’re not quite sure where they came from, or if you even need them anymore? That’s normal.

You probably have a bunch of configurations that you semi-consciously added when you followed a tutorial at some point.

If you haven’t given your VSCode a good cleaning since you started using it the first time, chances are that your current setup could be more efficient and practical than it is right now.

By resetting your VSCode settings.json file, you can now start from a clean slate. You will quickly find out which configurations you actually need in your daily workflow, and then add them, one at a time.

Although it is possible to configure your VSCode settings via the Settings UI window, I suggest that you do it directly in the settings.json file instead. It helps you to become more familiar with JSON, which you need if you want to customize VSCode the way you want to.

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