dotnet add package

This article applies to: ✔️ .NET Core 2.x SDK and later versions


dotnet add package - Adds a package reference to a project file.


dotnet add [<PROJECT>] package <PACKAGE_NAME>
    [-f|--framework <FRAMEWORK>] [--interactive]
    [-n|--no-restore] [--package-directory <PACKAGE_DIRECTORY>]
    [--prerelease] [-s|--source <SOURCE>] [-v|--version <VERSION>]

dotnet add package -h|--help


The dotnet add package command provides a convenient option to add a package reference to a project file. After running the command, there's a compatibility check to ensure the package is compatible with the frameworks in the project. If the check passes, a <PackageReference> element is added to the project file and dotnet restore is run.

For example, adding Newtonsoft.Json to ToDo.csproj produces output similar to the following example:

Writing C:\Users\me\AppData\Local\Temp\tmp95A8.tmp
info : Adding PackageReference for package 'Newtonsoft.Json' into project 'C:\projects\ToDo\ToDo.csproj'.
log  : Restoring packages for C:\Temp\projects\consoleproj\consoleproj.csproj...
info :   GET
info :   OK 79ms
info :   GET
info :   OK 232ms
log  : Installing Newtonsoft.Json 12.0.1.
info : Package 'Newtonsoft.Json' is compatible with all the specified frameworks in project 'C:\projects\ToDo\ToDo.csproj'.
info : PackageReference for package 'Newtonsoft.Json' version '12.0.1' added to file 'C:\projects\ToDo\ToDo.csproj'.

The ToDo.csproj file now contains a <PackageReference> element for the referenced package.

<PackageReference Include="Newtonsoft.Json" Version="12.0.1" />

Implicit restore

You don't have to run dotnet restore because it's run implicitly by all commands that require a restore to occur, such as dotnet new, dotnet build, dotnet run, dotnet test, dotnet publish, and dotnet pack. To disable implicit restore, use the --no-restore option.

The dotnet restore command is still useful in certain scenarios where explicitly restoring makes sense, such as continuous integration builds in Azure DevOps Services or in build systems that need to explicitly control when the restore occurs.

For information about how to manage NuGet feeds, see the dotnet restore documentation.



    Specifies the project file. If not specified, the command searches the current directory for one.


    The package reference to add.


  • -f|--framework <FRAMEWORK>

    Adds a package reference only when targeting a specific framework.

  • -h|--help

    Prints out a short help for the command.

  • --interactive

    Allows the command to stop and wait for user input or action (for example, to complete authentication). Available since .NET Core 2.1 SDK, version 2.1.400 or later.

  • -n|--no-restore

    Adds a package reference without performing a restore preview and compatibility check.

  • --package-directory <PACKAGE_DIRECTORY>

    The directory where to restore the packages. The default package restore location is %userprofile%\.nuget\packages on Windows and ~/.nuget/packages on macOS and Linux. For more information, see Managing the global packages, cache, and temp folders in NuGet.

  • --prerelease

    Allows prerelease packages to be installed.

  • -s|--source <SOURCE>

    The URI of the NuGet package source to use during the restore operation.

  • -v|--version <VERSION>

    Version of the package. See NuGet package versioning.


  • Add Newtonsoft.Json NuGet package to a project:

    dotnet add package Newtonsoft.Json
  • Add a specific version of a package to a project:

    dotnet add ToDo.csproj package Microsoft.Azure.DocumentDB.Core -v 1.0.0
  • Add a package using a specific NuGet source:

    dotnet add package Microsoft.AspNetCore.StaticFiles -s

See also