NuGet Package Manager UI

The NuGet Package Manager UI in Visual Studio on Windows allows you to easily install, uninstall, and update NuGet packages in projects and solutions. 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 either References or a project and select Manage NuGet Packages.... (In web site projects, right-click the Bin folder instead.)

    Manage NuGet Packages menu option

  2. The Browse tab displays available packages by popularity. Search for a specific package using the search box on the top right. Select a package to display the package information on the right and to enable 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 select Install. Visual Studio installs the package and its dependencies into the project. You may be asked to accept license terms in the process. When installation is complete, the added 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 either References or the desired project, and select Manage NuGet Packages.... (In web site projects, right-click the Bin folder instead.)
  2. Select the Installed tab.
  3. Select the package to uninstall and select Uninstall.

    Uninstalling a package

Updating a package

  1. In Solution Explorer, right-click either References or the desired project, and select Manage NuGet Packages.... (In web site projects, right-click the Bin folder instead.)
  2. Select 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 select Update.

    Updating a package

  4. For some packages, the Update button is disabled and the package a message appears saying that it's "Implicitly referenced by an SDK". (In some versions of Visual Studio the text may read only "AutoReferenced".) These conditions indicate that the package, such as Microsoft.NETCore.App, is part of a larger framework or SDK and should not be updated independently. (Such packages, of which Microsoft.NETStandard.Library is another example, are marked internally with <IsImplicitlyDefined>True</IsImplicitlyDefined>.) To update the package, you must update the SDK to which it belongs.

    Example package marked as Implicitly references or 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 the projects that are affected by the operations:

    Project selector when managing packages for the solution

Package sources

To change the source Visual Studio uses to obtain packages, select one from the source selector:

Package source selector in the package manager UI

To manage package sources:

  1. Select 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, select +, edit the name, enter the URL or path in the Source control, and select Update. The source now appears in the selector drop-down.

  4. To change a package source, select it, make edits in the Name and Source boxes, and select 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 then select the X button.
  7. Use the up and down arrow buttons to change the priority order of the package sources. Visual Studio searches these sources in the priority order when restoring packages for a project. For more information, see Package restore.


If a package source reappears after deleting it, it may be listed in a computer-wide or global NuGet.Config files. See Configuring NuGet behavior for the location of these files, then edit those files manually to remove the source. Sources can also be managed through the nuget sources command.

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 selected, a modal window displays which the dependencies of a chosen package.

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 selected, removes any dependent packages if they are not referenced elsewhere in the project.

Force uninstall even if there are dependencies on it: when selected, 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 such cases you may need to reinstall those other packages.