Setting Visual Studio to target Windows Phone 7 emulator by default

This week I have been diving back into my Windows Phone 7 projects, and I installed the January (February, really) 2011 WP7 update as well as the Caliburn.Micro MVVM project template. (Caliburn.Micro is amazing, incidentally.)

After I created a new Windows Phone project, I noticed that Visual Studio’s default debugging target had changed. Instead of firing up the Windows Phone emulator by default like it used to, Visual Studio tried to connect to my phone, which naturally wasn’t connected, resulting in the following error message:

Zune software is not launched. Retry after making sure that Zune software is launched.

This was really annoying. Every time I restarted Visual Studio, I had to remember to change the target back to the emulator. Or more accurately: I had to wait for Visual Studio to fail to deploy to my phone and prompt me with the error, then change the target.

A search through the options came up empty, so I turned to Stack Overflow, where user Martin pointed me to the answer:

When you install the January 2011 Update, the default deployment target for Windows Phone Projects in Visual Studio changes to Windows Phone 7 Device. You can change the default target to Windows Phone 7 Emulator by using the following steps:

  1. Close all Visual Studio and Windows Phone Emulator instances.
  2. Delete the contents of %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Phone Tools\CoreCon.
  3. Restart Visual Studio.

I’d also noticed this issue crop up in Bob Tabor’s Windows Phone 7 Development for Absolute Beginners Series. At one point he growls about needing to fix that setting when he gets the Zune error message for the n-th time in a row. That series was recorded on an earlier version of the tools, so maybe this is a bug that has resurfaced. Glad it’s so easily addressed.

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