After installing Visual Studio 2017, my LINQ To SQL .dbml definitions open in a XML editor instead of the built in designer.

How do I configure VS to open .dbml in Designer mode instead of XML editor?

  • do you have any other versions of VS on that box? – Frank Thomas Mar 28 '17 at 14:47
  • Yes I do have a Vs 2013 and dbml open in designer mode. – Drag and Drop Mar 28 '17 at 15:02
  • I've had issues with some designers when installing multiple versions of VS. For instance, when I installed 2012 next to 2010, all my DB designers started failing (much as you describe). The two versions used a pair of dlls of differant versions stored in the same location. Even uninstalling 2012 did not fix it; I had to copy the dlls from a coworkers box who had not installed 2012 in order to get 2010 working again. – Frank Thomas Mar 28 '17 at 15:23
  • 2
    FYI: The same problem exists in VS 2019. Also the solution provided by Coxy works equivalently – marc40000 Jun 7 '19 at 13:04
  1. Quit devenv
  2. Launch Visual Studio Installer
  3. Modify VS2017
    enter image description here
  4. Click on the Individual components tab and scroll down to LINQ to SQL tools (within Code tools group.)
    enter image description here
  5. Click Modify.
  6. Launch devenv again and you should be able to open .dbml in the designer we all love to hate.
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  • 8
    Thanks. I used the quick launch (CTRL+Q), typed linq to sql and found it. – Lanklaas May 15 '18 at 9:36

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