Adding Assemblies to the Visual Studio “Add Reference” Dialog

06 Nov

Original Article here, Published with permission by C#411.

When you attempt to add an assembly reference to a Visual Studio project, the Add Reference dialog appears with a list of registered global assemblies in the .NET tab.

Add Your Assembly to Visual Studio

Unfortunately, adding your assembly to the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) does NOT make it automatically appear in the Visual Studio list of installed assemblies; you must add your assembly manually as follows:

  1. Run regedit to edit the Windows Registry.
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\.NETFramework\AssemblyFolders key.
  3. Right click on the AssemblyFolders key, then select New > Key. Enter the name of your assembly (without the .dll extension).
  4. Double click on the key’s (Default) value. The Edit String dialog will appear. Enter the full path of the folder where your assembly resides. Note that all assemblies in that folder will appear in the Visual Studio list.
  5. IMPORTANT! You must exit and restart Visual Studio to see your assembly in the Add Reference dialog.

Multiple Versions of Same Assembly

Note that if you add multiple versions of the same assembly to the GAC, and you want all versions to appear in the Visual Studio list of installed assemblies, you have two options:

  1. Provide a different name for each version of the assembly, such as MyLib1.0.dll and MyLib2.0.dll, or
  2. Store each version of the assembly in its own folder, and add each folder to the registry as shown above.

Posted by on November 6, 2008 in Dotnet/C#


9 responses to “Adding Assemblies to the Visual Studio “Add Reference” Dialog


    November 6, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    It’s not nice to reproduce an entire article and hotlink to the image on our site, even though you did provide a link back. Instead, you should cite just the opening paragraph with a link to my site to read the rest of the article.

    Thank you,
    Tiwebb Ltd.

  2. uuvv

    November 8, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Hi Tiwebb,

    I fully understand your concern. But you know I have noted where this article originates, the reason why I would like to reserve a backup is that there is no guaranee that your blog is always up. If you can assure that, I will remove the entire blog item from my blog.

    BTW: this is the 1st time that I encount this interesting phemonemon. The blog is to promote our knowledge, why care so much? Most importantly, I have NOTED this VERY CLEALLY at the most top of this page. And everyone can read it and know this is your contribution.

    My blog is mostly a reference note for myself, so I hope it is accessible at most time, instead of having to visit another link elsewhere. Hope you can understand this.

    If you still feel uncomfortable, I shall remove it from my blog. Let me know your response.

    Have a nice day!

  3. xinyustudio

    November 8, 2008 at 11:45 am

    The image is removed. Hope you are happy with this. 🙂


    November 9, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Although you seem like an honest person, by reproducing copyrighted works in their entirety, you are actually running what we call in this business a “splog” or “spam blog.” A splog is a blog that steals content from other web sites, then aggregates and republishes all or some of the content on its own blog.

    It takes from 30 minutes to 8 hours for us to write, fact-check, review and edit each article. Then you come along in 5 seconds of copy & paste and reproduce the entire article on your site. And of course it’s not just you. If we do not vigorously defend our copyrights, another 1000 people will follow and steal our work.

    Splogs are bad because they effectively steal a significant portion of our original blog’s search engine ranking, web traffic and ad revenue. Here is an article that discusses splogs and how they hurt original authors:

    Hotlinking images is even worse, as you not only steal our original image, you are also stealing our bandwidth to show our stolen image on your site.

    Here are a few “Fair Use” tips on publishing others’ work:

    * Publish only a short excerpt, usually no more than 1-2 paragraphs
    * Provide credit and/or link back to the original source
    * Do not use more of the work than is needed to make your point
    * Do not harm the commercial value of the work, so that viewers no longer need to click through to the original work to gain the bulk of its value

    Again, you seem honorable, so we have not yet reported your site as a splog nor asked WordPress to terminate your site due to copyright infringement. Instead, we ask that you follow the fair use rules and include just a few sentences of our article with a link to read the rest of the article on our original site.

    Thank you,
    Tiwebb Ltd.

  5. uuvv

    November 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    I am very sorry to hear this. I would like to borrow your words and patterns: you ‘seem’ to be very kind and considerate.

    Some of your words are too aggressive, for instance, “you seem honorable, so we have not yet reported your site as a splog nor asked WordPress to terminate your site due to copyright infringement. ”

    Please, do so immediately, if you like. I will not yield to any threadtening words. You can do what ever you like, it is your right. Looking forward to being banned by WordPress.

    “It takes from 30 minutes to 8 hours for us to write, fact-check, review and edit each article. Then you come along in 5 seconds of copy & paste and reproduce the entire article on your site. ” This is not true. You overestimate your own efforts while belittled others. If you look at the conents of my blog, you will notice that I, also took much time in writing blog items. But I don’t mind others citing my blog contents, as long as they provide the origins.

    Final words to your guys, do not care too much about your interest. My blog is not commercial, there is no interest in it. You definitions of “splog” does not apply on me. I personally hate those guys like you. You have learned many words from dictionaries, did you type every words by saying this is from xx page in the dictionary yy?

    So do what you like, I am waiting for you.

  6. Tiwebb Ltd.

    November 11, 2008 at 12:31 am

    We are sorry our words upset you. Our copyrighted content is stolen on a daily basis, sometimes by honest people who don’t know that it’s stealing to copy others’ work, and sometimes by criminals looking to make easy money by stealing other people’s property. Obviously you are not the latter since you have not commercialized your site.

    We provide many websites full of useful information that’s free for everyone to consume. We simply ask that others don’t republish our copyrighted material on their websites without our permission.

    So once again, we are asking respectfully that you remove our copyrighted content from your website.

    Thank you,
    Tiwebb Ltd.

  7. Timm

    November 13, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Hi Paul, I’m president of Tiwebb Web Publishing company. Our legal department has made me aware of your situation.

    Upon review of your website, I can see that you’re not a thief and are just publishing programming information for the common good. I’m also a programmer (see my blog at and so I can respect that.

    I would be glad to grant you permission to publish this article in its entirety if you please change the opening line to “Published with permission by C#411” with a link to the original article.

    I’ve also instructed our legal team to try to approach professional thieves differently from honest civilians. I apologize for their negative tone with you.

    You mentioned in an earlier message that we should not care too much about our interests. Well, we are a small company whose business is web publishing, so our investors expect us to care very much about our interests. Therefore, we are legally and morally obligated to pursue and prevent copyright violations. I hope you understand.

    If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via the email address provided.


  8. xinyustudio

    November 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Hi, Timm,

    Really glad to hear that. I have updated this blog as per your request.

    I am currently a postdoc research fellow, and within my research, I am very serious about the plagiarism problem so wherever possible, I must note the origin of the knowledge it is from, as such I have put the source of this article on the very top. I was indeed offended by your staff and the word “steal”, and luckily, not all of you are the same as “”, who has very bad manner and doesn’t know how to communicate. I found his/her attitude rather unfriendly, and I also think I am not doing things wrong.

    Anyway, I like your blog and am ready to review any mistakes or make remedies. I hope all of your members are happy with this. Let me know if you are satisfied with such updates.


  9. blade irons

    February 13, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Hurrah! After all I got a weblog from where I know how to genuinely
    obtain valuable data concerning my study and knowledge.


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