Visual Studio Code gains extension-less JavaScript debugging

Jack Wilkinson


Debugging JavaScript in Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s free-to-use code editor, has become that little bit easier and simpler, thanks to the latest update.

Previously, developers using Visual Studio Code to debug JavaScript would likely have had to use either the Chrome Debugger or the Microsoft edge Debugger extension, due to the lack of a native JavaScript debugging feature. But as of the latest update, Visual Studio Code now comes packed with native JavaScript debugging, removing the need to install an additional extension.

What’s more, the debugging experience has been made simple and easy. Starting a new debugging session is as easy as pressing F5 or clicking the debug option in the menu and selecting “Run and debug.” The command palette also allows you to quickly access the built-in debug functionality.

When choosing to debug, you will be presented with an option to choose from the following debuggers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. Node.js.

Alternatively, the option to install an extension is still available, should you still require this option.

Using Edge will provide an additional benefit of showing an Inspect option, which will launch Microsoft Edge’s Developer Tools right within Visual Studio Code. This will enable you to complete a number of actions from within your code editor instance, including inspecting the DOM, adjust CSS, and audit network requests – all whilst staying within your code editor.

So if you’re using Visual Studio Code for JavaScript development, we recommend updating to get this latest functionality, which will allow you to uninstall any previous JavaScript debugging extensions you had installed, and create a more seamless experience.