Nima Rostami Nima Rostami - 3 months ago 16
C# Question

Get List of Zero Reference Codes in Visual Studio

In visual studio 2013 the number of references of a special Code(method, property, field,...) is shown by Code Lens.
I want to get unused (zero reference) Codes in visual studio. Is there any way to get them?

I mean below reference:



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Answer

Probably the best (read: easiest) way to achieve what you are after is to use the build-in code analysis tool with Visual Studio to find and take you directly to dead code and unused members.

To this effect, I simply created a new code analysis ruleset file (Via File->New->File, making sure General in the left pane was selected and scrolling down to find Code Analysis Rule Set, giving it a filename, then searching for and selecting the below rules). See below for the contents of the ruleset file that you can simply copy, and paste into a new file with the extension .ruleset to use.

Given a ruleset file, one can right click on a project file in the Solution Explorer panel, and select Properties. In the project properties windows, click on the Code Analysis tab in the left panel, and then click Open to browse to the .ruleset file's location. If you go to the properties of a solution file (as opposed to a project file), you can set the code analysis file for each project in the solution in one place (under Code Analysis Settings, and using the drop-down there to select the ruleset file. NOTE: You must have previously have browsed to the ruleset file for it to show up in the drop-down in this properties window, however).

Then you simply run the code analysis on the projects/solution (Via Analyze->Run Code Analysis On Solution -OR- Alt+F11) and it will come back as warnings, any unreferenced methods or unused members it finds. It will even find methods that are referenced by a method, whom itself has no references elsewhere.

Be careful however, as one of the ways code analysis for dead code can steer you wrong, is if the reference is 'hidden' is by only ever calling the method via delegates, and of course, reflection.

The rules to detect dead code, specifically, are:

  • Private methods that are not called from any other code (CA1811)
  • Unused local variables (CA1804)
  • Unused private fields (CA1823)
  • Unused parameters (CA1801)
  • Internal classes that are not instantiated from any other code (CA1812).
  • Dead code in bitwise-OR limited switch (C6259)

Below is the contents of the .ruleset file that can be had by following the steps above, for your conveinence. You can simply copy the below XML, paste it into notepad++, save somewhere with the extension .ruleset, browse for and use as explained above:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RuleSet Name="Dead Code Rules" Description=" " ToolsVersion="12.0">
  <Rules AnalyzerId="Microsoft.Analyzers.ManagedCodeAnalysis" RuleNamespace="Microsoft.Rules.Managed">
    <Rule Id="CA1801" Action="Warning" />
    <Rule Id="CA1804" Action="Warning" />
    <Rule Id="CA1811" Action="Warning" />
    <Rule Id="CA1812" Action="Warning" />
    <Rule Id="CA1823" Action="Warning" />
  </Rules>
  <Rules AnalyzerId="Microsoft.Analyzers.NativeCodeAnalysis" RuleNamespace="Microsoft.Rules.Native">
    <Rule Id="C6259" Action="Warning" />
  </Rules>
</RuleSet>

Hope this helps you, and don't forget to select the best answer.

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