Codelens in Visual Studio Community Edition

Codelens in Visual Studio Community Edition


2 min read

One of my favorite things in Visual Studio has always been CodeLens. It's this beautiful little feature that tells you what's referencing a piece of code and where it is as well as if it has any associated tests.

From what I remember it was only available for the paid tiers of Visual Studio for the longest time. A lot of developers complained that CodeLens was missing from Express, which was an even more limited edition of Visual Studio before Community became a thing.

I hadn't thought about CodeLens outside of a work environment because I just never needed it on the smaller side-projects I made at home. As I've been making larger and larger projects for myself and the community I started to miss having the ability to quickly find where some of my functions or models were being referenced or if they had test coverage.

I mentioned that to someone tonight and they told me that we've had CodeLens in the Community since 2017.


After looking around the settings, sure enough, I found that it came with CodeLens installed but turned off by default.

All you have to do to activate it is:

  • Click Tools > Options
  • Toggle open Text Editor
  • Toggle open All Languages
  • Click CodeLens
  • Click Enable CodeLens
  • Then click OK

Ta-da! ๐ŸŽ‰

Now you have CodeLens and can start getting better insights into your project like this:

Number of references a model named Settings Model has

Number of tests a method named Set Settings has