NuGet Package Manager UI

The NuGet Package Manager UI in Visual Studio allows you to easily install, uninstall, and update NuGet packages in projects and solutions.

NOTE: This topic covers the Package Manager UI for Visual Studio on Windows only. For the experience in Visual Studio for Mac, see Including a NuGet package in your project.

In this topic:


If you're missing the NuGet Package Manager in Visual Studio 2015, check Tools > Extensions and Updates... and search for the NuGet Package Manager extension. If you're unable to use the extensions installer in Visual Studio, you can download the extension directly from

In Visual Studio 2017, NuGet and the NuGet Package Manager are automatically installed when you select any .NET-related workloads; you can also install it individually by checking the Individual components > Code tools > NuGet package manager option in the Visual Studio 2017 installer.)

Finding and installing a package

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click References (or Bin in a Website project), or the desired project, and select Manage NuGet Packages....

    Manage NuGet Packages menu option

  2. On the Browse tab, browse the list or search for a specific package using the search box on the top right. Selecting a package displays the package information on the right and enables the Install button along with a version-selection drop-down.

    Manage NuGet Packages Dialog Browse tab

  3. Select the desired version from the drop-down and click Install. This installs the package and its dependencies; you may be asked to accept license terms in the process. When installation is complete, the new packages appear on the Installed tab. Solution Explorer also shows the added packages, which you can now use in your project.

    References in Solution Explorer

Uninstalling a package

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click References (or Bin in a Website project), or the desired project, and select Manage NuGet Packages....
  2. Click on the Installed tab.
  3. Select the package to uninstall and click Uninstall.

    Uninstalling a package

Updating a package

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click References (or Bin in a Website project), or the desired project, and select Manage NuGet Packages....
  2. Click on the Updates tab to see packages that have available updates.
  3. Select the package to update, select the desired version from the drop-down on the right, and click Update.

    Updating a package

  4. If the Update button is disabled and the package is marked as AutoReferenced as shown below, it means that it's part of a larger framework or SDK and should not be updated independently. (These packages, such as Microsoft.NETCore.App and Microsoft.NETStandard.Library, are marked internally with <IsImplicitlyDefined>True</IsImplicitlyDefined>.). To update the package, update the SDK to which it belongs.

    Example package marked as AutoReferenced

Managing packages for the solution

NuGet 1.4+

  1. Select the Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solution... menu command, or right-click the solution and select Manage NuGet Packages...:

    Manage NuGet packages for the solution

  2. When managing packages for the solution, the UI lets you select which projects will be affected:

    Project selector when managing packages for the solution

Package Sources

The NuGet Package Manager UI allows you to easily switch between package sources using the package source selector:

Package source selector in the package manager UI

To manage package sources:

  1. Click on the Settings icon in the Package Manager UI outlined below or use the Tools > Options command and scroll to NuGet Package Manager.

    Package manager UI settings icon

  2. Select the Package Sources node:

    Package Sources options

  3. To add a source, click the + button, edit the name, enter the URL or path in the Source control, and click Update. This will make it appear in the selector drop-down.

  4. To change a package source, select it, make edits in the Name and Source boxes, and click Update.
  5. To disable a package source, clear the box to the left of the name in the list.
  6. To remove a package source, select it and click the X button.
  7. Use the up and down arrow buttons to change the priority order of the package sources.

Package manager Options control

In the Package Manager UI there is a small, expandable Options control (shown here both collapsed and expanded):

Package manager options

The following sections explain these options.

Show preview window

When checked, a modal window displays which dependent packages will be loaded with the package you have chosen.

Example Preview Dialog

Install and Update Options

Dependency behavior configures how NuGet decides which versions of dependent packages to install:

  • Ignore dependencies skips installing any dependencies, which typically breaks the package being installed.
  • Lowest [Default] installs the dependency with the minimal version number that meets the requirements of the primary chosen package.
  • Highest Patch installs the version with the same major and minor version numbers, but the highest patch number. For example, if version 1.2.2 is specified then the highest version that starts with 1.2 will be installed
  • Highest Minor installs the version with the same major version number but the highest minor number and patch number. If version 1.2.2 is specified, then the highest version that starts with 1 will be installed
  • Highest installs the highest available version of the package.

File conflict action specifies how NuGet should handle packages that already exist in the project or local machine:

  • Prompt instructs NuGet to ask whether to keep or overwrite existing packages.
  • Ignore All instructs NuGet to skip overwriting any existing packages.
  • Overwrite All instructs NuGet to overwrite any existing packages.

Uninstall Options

Remove dependencies: when checked, removes any dependent packages if they are not referenced elsewhere in the project.

Force uninstall even if there are dependencies on it: when checked, uninstalls a package even if it's still being referenced in the project. This is typically used in combination with Remove dependencies to remove a package and whatever dependencies it installed. Using this option may, however, lead to a broken references in the project, in which case you may need to reinstall those other packages.