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Free Microsoft Visual Studio Alternatives

The best free alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio is Eclipse, which is also Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 100 alternatives to Microsoft Visual Studio and loads of them is free so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement. Other interesting free alternatives to Microsoft Visual Studio are MonoDevelop, Apache NetBeans, Code::Blocks and VSCodium.

Microsoft Visual Studio alternatives are mainly IDEs but may also be Code Editors or Text Editors. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Microsoft Visual Studio.
This page was last updated Feb 5, 2022
  • Free PersonalProprietary
  • Mac
  • Windows
  • Online
  • .NET Framework

Microsoft Visual Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer...

Learn more about Microsoft Visual Studio

  1. Eclipse is an extensible development platform with runtimes and application frameworks for building, deploying and managing software across the entire software lifecycle.

    Eclipse vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Eclipse is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.

    One is for Java and the other is for C#

    Negative comment almost 6 years ago
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    -37

    Eclipse supports multiple languages, looks good too

    Positive comment over 3 years ago
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    10
  2. MonoDevelop

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • .NET Framework
    • Xamarin Studio

    MonoDevelop enables developers to write desktop and web applications on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It also makes it easy to port .NET applications created with Visual Studio to Linux and Mac OS X maintaining a single code base for all platforms.

    Discontinued

    As of October 2021, the GitHub repository README has been updated to say "This project has not been built nor maintained since January 2020 and has been archived".

    MonoDevelop vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Most users think MonoDevelop is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.

    I've used MonoDevelop extensively for C# work in Linux. It can work with Visual Studio projects, and much of the shortcut key mappings match Visual Studio. Support for WinForms is available, but there is no viable GUI layout tool/functionality available. A pity that there's no XAML/WPF support under Linux....

    Top positive comment  over 4 years ago
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    6

    It is specifically for C# like Visual Studio is mostly used for

    Top positive comment  over 5 years ago
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    6

    Has to be built from source before it'll run on Windows.

    Top negative comment  over 2 years ago
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    8
    gnusensei

    MonoDevelop's GUI designer is admirable, I've tried it and impressed immediately with how easy and straightforward it to design a window by drag and drop. Try to compare it with Netbeans', Eclipse's or CodeBlocks' GUI designer you will know what I mean.

    Positive comment 5 months ago
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    0

    It provides not only the most similar interface but also the most similar tools

    Positive comment about 2 years ago
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    -2

    Monodevelop, even though only for .NET languages (as far as i know) is probably the closest to Visual studio I have tried. Also, GTK# is awesome!

    Positive comment about 2 years ago
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    2

    .NET functionality, good code recommendations

    Positive comment almost 3 years ago
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    0


  3. Development Environment, Tooling Platform and Application Framework.

    Discontinued

    Python plugin for NetBeans (nbPython) has been discontinued since v8.1

    Apache NetBeans vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Most users think Apache NetBeans is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.
    gnusensei

    Netbeans includes built-in GUI designer with drag and drop ability to create desktop applications and they can run on Windows as well as GNU/Linux and macOS.

    Positive comment 5 months ago
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    0
    brandomettout

    Free and Open Source Software. Changing leadership from Oracle to Apache Foundation.

    Positive comment about 5 years ago
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    1

    It's for MS-Windows, MacOSX and Linux too! You can make projects independent of the OS.

    Positive comment over 5 years ago
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    -1
    bigbear

    NetBeans is an IDE, but it doesn't work for .NET languages so it's hard to call it a viable alternative.

    Negative comment over 3 years ago
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    5
  4. Code::Blocks

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD

    Code::Blocks is a free C++ IDE built to meet the most demanding needs of its users. It is designed to be very extensible and fully configurable.

    Code::Blocks vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Most users think Code::Blocks is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.
    gnusensei

    Faster, smaller, and able to make graphical desktop applications by adding GUI designer plugin wxSmith for C++ language and wxWidgets framework. Also, CodeBlocks is cross platform.

    Positive comment 5 months ago
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    0
    DayOS

    It is faster than VS and the plugins make it a little better, but it doesn't look as good visually.

    Positive comment over 1 year ago
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    -1

    Code::Blocks has 0.1% of the functionality of VS. It looks ugly as well.

    Negative comment almost 2 years ago
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    -1
  5. This repository contains a build file to generate FLOSS release binaries of Microsoft's Visual Studio Code - Open Source ("Code - OSS") project, the open source core of the proprietary Visual Studio Code.

    VSCodium vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    pros, cons and recent comments

    its the same but without the useless features that cause more harm than good

    Positive comment over 1 year ago
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    2


  6. SharpDevelop

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • .NET Framework

    #develop (short for SharpDevelop) is a free IDE for C#, VB.NET and Boo projects on Microsoft's .NET platform. It is open-source, and you can download both sourcecode and executables.

    Discontinued

    Unfortunately SharpDevelop has been discontinued. It is still a viable alternative for VS for versions until 2016, but it doesn't support C# 7.0 as VS 2017 does. See details: http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/WhatsNew.aspx

    SharpDevelop vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Almost everyone thinks SharpDevelop is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.

    It's very similar to it and size is very low! { Visual Studio - up to 3 GB / sharp Develop - Only Up to 15 MB in size }

    Top positive comment  over 5 years ago
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    6
    lordunknown

    It's small, lightweight, specialized on .NET development (but C++ is available too), supports designing both WinForms and WPF and has NuGet support. Perfect IDE for lightweight C# developing (if you don't need to handle a team of 10000 employees working on 5 big projects)

    Top positive comment  almost 5 years ago
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    4

    Only to a certain extent. Lacking many features and is no longer updated.

    Positive comment over 3 years ago
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    0

    free and lightweight for commercial use

    Positive comment almost 5 years ago
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    0

    N0 messy azure , no complex licensing

    Positive comment almost 5 years ago
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    0

    Very similar IDE for C# and VB.NET.

    Positive comment over 5 years ago
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    0
  7. Qt Creator is a cross-platform C++, JavaScript and QML integrated development environment which is part of the SDK for the Qt Framework.

    Qt Creator vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Qt Creator is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.

    Found everything in Qt Creator for Linux that is in VS for Windows.

    Top positive comment  over 5 years ago
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    3

    At first, intelligent search ib QtCreator is much better than the Microsoft's IntelliSens. Hot keys combinations are more simple and more intuitive. It looks for me more simple and intuitively clear at all.

    Top positive comment  over 5 years ago
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    3

    It has A lot of really use full tools and you can install many extensions and even support for other programming languages then python,c++ etc

    Positive comment over 2 years ago
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    1
    ichimitch

    Does not support C# as they believe "it is not widely used enough" pfft

    Negative comment over 3 years ago
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    -5

    For C++ development, QT Creator is a lot less bloated. It is fast and has all the necessary features. There is just too much unnecessary crap in VisualStudio making it slow as hell when running on a slightly older machine and also takes up gigs of disk space.

    Positive comment about 6 years ago
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    3
  8. IntelliJ IDEA is an integrated development environment (IDE) written in Java for developing computer software. It is developed by JetBrains, and is available as an Apache 2 Licensed community edition, and in a proprietary commercial edition.

    IntelliJ IDEA vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    This alternative is disputed. IntelliJ IDEA is still a legitimate alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio, but it might have issues that some users think are important.

    This is only designed for Java not .net.

    Negative comment over 4 years ago
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    10
  9. Python and Django IDE with refactorings, code completion, on-the-fly code analysis and other features, including version control integration, deployment, integration with issue trackers, and remote debugging.

    Some users think PyCharm is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio, some don't.
  10. Lazarus

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Mac
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • BSD
    • OpenSolaris

    Lazarus is a cross-platform IDE for the Free Pascal compiler. It tries to offer a Delphi-like programming experience through its own 'Lazarus Component Library' and supporting many platforms like Windows, OSX, Linux, BSD, Android, iOS and more.

    Lazarus vs Microsoft Visual Studio opinions
    Most users think Lazarus is a great alternative to Microsoft Visual Studio.
    gnusensei

    Lazarus GUI designer is nice and easy to use. Drag and drop works without much hassles about layouting.

    Positive comment 5 months ago
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    0

    Open Source done entirely in an independent language very like TurboPascal (Delphi).

    Positive comment over 5 years ago
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    5

    Because of license agreement, you can create unlimited codes by using Lazarus but VS has limits in license agreement

    Positive comment almost 2 years ago
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    2

    I like Lazarus and Free Pascal

    Positive comment over 4 years ago
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    1
Showing 10 of 75 alternatives