The Problem

When I came into work this morning Visual Studio 2017 was hanging on the Start Page. It wasn't being populated and I couldn't get anything to work with it. After doing some Googling and talking with my colleagues it looked like the issue was an extension I had installed was causing the error as they had no issue with getting VS to start.

My solution

I saw in this link that an extension may be the culprit in this case. I saw that starting VS in Safe Mode might allow me to get into the Extensions and Updates Manager. In order to start I ran the following command from a command prompt with elevated privileges

devenv.exe -SafeMode

This needs to run from the same folder as the VS executable file which was C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Professional\Common7\IDE on my machine.

When in Safe Mode I was able to open the the Extension and Updates in the Tools menu. I looked through the list of extensions to see if any updates had been released over the weekend because I didn't have any issues on Friday.

Sure enough I found that a new version of VS Live Share - Preview was released yesterday 03/02/2019. I clicked the uninstall button and was notified that the extension wouldn't be uninstalled until I closed all open sessions of VS. VSIX opened and uninstall the extension.

I was able to start Visual Studio once this had been completed.

Notes

I also tried resetting the settings in Visual Studio before I was able to uninstall the extension. This didn't work for me this time but it may be of use for someone else in a similar situation.

You can reset the settings by running the following command from an elevated prompt from the location

devenv.exe /ResetSettings

This also needs to run from the same folder as the VS executable file which was C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Professional\Common7\IDE on my machine.

I also found this link useful when investigating this problem.