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 Nov 22 '14 at 13:06

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.

  • 3
    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. – Augusto Barreto Mar 27 '17 at 16:28

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. – 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
  • 1
    #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 Jul 5 '18 at 3:18

If all the above options fail, try installing it from the 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.


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 Nov 18 '15 at 19:55

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


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 – BinaryMisfit Jan 14 '10 at 21:42
  • 1
    Visual Studio only looks if you put it in the right place! – Benjol Apr 22 '10 at 6:44

Here are the instructions for Visual Studio Code. 1 step enter image description here

second step enter image description here

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