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I just downloaded a VSIX file from the Visual Studio Gallery.

How do I install it in Visual Studio?

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Open it using VSIXInstaller.exe found inside Common7/IDE in your Visual Studio installation. – Spookbuster Nov 22 '14 at 13:06
up vote 43 down vote accepted

VSIX is a Visual Studio extension installer. You must have Visual Studio 2010 or newer in order to install them, but you should be able to install it by double-clicking the .vsix file. Alternatively you should be able to install it from within the VS Extension Manager (Tools->Extension Manger)

See more about VSIX files at Quan To's Visual Studio Extensibility blog

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How to install Visual Studio Extensions

To summarise, there are three options:

  1. Install via Extension Manager (Tools/Options)
  2. Install via Visual Studio (download and open directly or save then double-click)
  3. Install via "xcopy" into %appdata%\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions
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The path above isn't quite right. Go to %localappdata%, then to .\Microsoft\VisualStudio\{versionNumber}\Extensions. – GaTechThomas Jul 22 '15 at 23:33
@GaTechThomas - this helped me install NuGet package manager on a Win 7 machine where I didn't have admin rights; thanks. VSIX installation was not working otherwise – transistor1 Sep 18 '15 at 20:24
@GaTechThomas, looking at the date, I suspect that path was for XP, and yours is for Win7+ – Benjol Sep 22 '15 at 5:33

The above answers didn't help me; I couldn't install it through the extension manager and there was not default application for .vsix. However, I needed to open it (right click > Open with...) with Microsoft Visual Studio Version Selector and it worked.

Small update: For VS 2013, you need the corresponding version of NuGet: Otherwise, the version selecter will tell you it's already installed on all fitting versions.

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Did you know that the VSIX is nothing more than a ZIP file. After double clicking on it, the VS selector prompts you for each installed version of Visual Studio to install it too. This is where vs picks an arbitrary folder name and unpacks the content to the %AppData%\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio##\Extensions folder. So Benjol was partially correct save for unpacking the files from the VXIS(again which is a Zip).

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You can unzip yourself by changing the extension to .zip. Then you can manually drop it in the extensions folder. – Ben Wilde Nov 18 '15 at 19:55

I think you just reload Visual Studio after downloading the VSIX. During the launch Visual Studio looks for the VSIX file and incorporates all the required changes.

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Which version are you referring to? As heavyd pointed out VSIX is only relevant in VS2010 – BinaryMisfit Jan 14 '10 at 21:42
Visual Studio only looks if you put it in the right place! – Benjol Apr 22 '10 at 6:44

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