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Is there a way to look at all the applications installed on a users computer and determine which, if any, are utilizing the .NET framework? My problem is that I want to upgrade our users computers from .NET 4.0 to 4.5. In order to do this I am required to also re-test all the installed applications that are built for 4.0. I know that it is backward compatible and a 4.0 application should run fine on 4.5 but I can't get away with that statement alone. And nobody can tell me why 4.0 was even put onto the computers so I don't know if any of the applications that are currently there require it. I don't have the capability to uninstall 4.0 and run all the applications to see which ones fail either. Any suggestions? Are there tools I can use to look at all the applications?

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migrated from Mar 21 '13 at 17:43

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Asked before:… – Pete Mar 20 '13 at 16:30
The .NET frameworks can be installed side-by-side. So you can leave .NET 4.0 and install .NET 4.5 next to. The applications will load the required runtime version. I see no need to ininstall .NET 4.0 unless I misunderstand your question. – Jakob Christensen Mar 20 '13 at 16:30
I didn't realize the 4.0 and 4.5 sit side by side. I thought that 4.5 replaced 4.0 as an update to it. This makes things much easier for me. This solves my problem. Thanks. – Ben Mar 20 '13 at 16:41
@Ben : you didn't realize 4.0 and 4.5 could sit side by side because they can't. It's an in-place update. See this post for all the compatibility issues you may encounter:… – Falanwe Mar 20 '13 at 17:24
@Falanwe: Good find. You learn something every day :-) – Jakob Christensen Mar 20 '13 at 17:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It looks like Hans Passant's answer may provide some assistance. Essentially he explains how to write a script to enumerate all executables and determine which version of .NET, if any, they require.

Jakob's right though. There's no need to uninstall 4.0 when the frameworks can run side by side without negative impact. Thanks Falanwe.

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.Net 4.0 and .Net 4.5 cannot run side-by-side, they share the same version number! See this post for détails:… – Falanwe Mar 20 '13 at 17:33
Thanks Falanwe! Do you know if all minor framework upgrades are in-place updates? – FreeAsInBeer Mar 20 '13 at 19:09

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