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

How do I install it in Visual Studio?

  • 6
    Open it using VSIXInstaller.exe found inside Common7/IDE in your Visual Studio installation.
    – osvein
    Commented Nov 22, 2014 at 13:06

11 Answers 11


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


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: http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/4ec1526c-4a8c-4a84-b702-b21a8f5293ca. Otherwise, the version selecter will tell you it's already installed on all fitting versions.

  • 4
    Double clicking the .vsix didn't work for me either. An error message appeared telling "The requested operation requires elevation". Using "Open with.." solved the problem. Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 16:28
  • This worked like a charm.
    – EvilTeach
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 12:22

How to install Visual Studio Extensions

To summarise, there are three options:

  1. Install via Extension Manager (Tools/Options)
  2. Install via Visual Studio Gallery.com (download and open directly or save then double-click)
  3. Install via "xcopy" into %localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions
  • 2
    The path above isn't quite right. Go to %localappdata%, then to .\Microsoft\VisualStudio\{versionNumber}\Extensions. Commented Jul 22, 2015 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 Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 20:24
  • @GaTechThomas, looking at the date, I suspect that path was for XP, and yours is for Win7+
    – Benjol
    Commented Sep 22, 2015 at 5:33
  • 3
    #3 was the one for me. Instead of using xcopy, I instead renamed the extension to .zip and extracted them to my %localappdata%\Microsoft\VisualStudio\xx.x\Extensions folder.
    – sa_leinad
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 3:18

If all the above options fail, try installing it from the VS Developer command-line. Here's how (on StackOverflow):

How to install Visual Studio Gallery extensions from command line

VSIXInstaller.exe /quiet some_extension.vsix

You can find VSIXInstaller here (on your local PC - depending on the Visual Studio version replace 14.0 by the version you're using):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE

To display the installer dialog(s), remove the /quiet option.


  • To uninstall a VSIX extension, you need to know its vsixID (here is described how to get it), then you can use

    VSIXInstaller.exe /uninstall:vsixID

  • To install/uninstall VSIX files for a specific Visual Studio version, use the switches /skuName:name and /skuVersion:version; you can see all options of the command line tool if you type VSIXInstaller.exe /? in the developer command prompt.

  • Doing this from the VS Developer Command Prompt (Run as Administrator) finally worked.
    – James
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 18:53
  • @James - Thanks for the hint, I have updated the answer.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 7:29

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).

  • You can unzip yourself by changing the extension to .zip. Then you can manually drop it in the extensions folder.
    – Ben Wilde
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 19:55

When I double-click on vsix file, I get an error "The requested operation requires elevation". As a result,

  • I opened cmd as administrator and navigated to the target folder.
  • Type the vsix file name and hit enter.

VSIXInstaller showed up and started to execute the vsix file and I was able to complete the installation of the component. Hope this helps in case someone is having a similar trouble. Cheers


VSIXInstaller in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\Installer\resources\app\ServiceHub\Services\Microsoft.VisualStudio.Setup.Service


The only option that you would see if you have at least one Visual studio version installed is to double click the file. I was able to install to both the Visual studio versions that I have using that.


Just recently Visual Studio stopped opening my VSIX files when clicking Download on the Marketplace website. It kept asking me which application to use to open VSIX files. I was able to install them by browsing for the VSIXInstaller.exe file in the Visual Studio IDE folder, mine was here:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2019\Community\Common7\IDE\VSIXInstaller.exe"


Rename the .vsix file to .zip, extract it to a folder and move it to \AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\"X.X"\Extensions where "X.X" is your VS version.


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.

  • Which version are you referring to? As heavyd pointed out VSIX is only relevant in VS2010 Commented Jan 14, 2010 at 21:42
  • 1
    Visual Studio only looks if you put it in the right place!
    – Benjol
    Commented Apr 22, 2010 at 6:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .