How to: Restore Add-In Commands to the Menu

Visual Studio add-ins are deprecated in Visual Studio 2013. You should upgrade your add-ins to VSPackage extensions. For more information about upgrading, see FAQ: Converting Add-ins to VSPackage Extensions.

While debugging an add-in, occasionally some command information may be lost, and you may need to recover it.

When you create an add-in by using the Add-in Wizard and then run it, another instance of Visual Studio starts, allowing you to test and debug the resultant add-in. Depending on the options you chose, one or more commands for the add-in are placed on one or more menus, such as the Tools menu. When you finish debugging the add-in and then close this second instance of Visual Studio, the command information is saved.

If, during this process, the command information is lost and your commands disappear from the menu or toolbar, the following procedure demonstrates how to restore the commands.


The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. These procedures were developed with the General Development Settings active. To change your settings, choose Import and ExportSettings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Customizing Development Settings in Visual Studio.

Restoring Add-In Commands to the Menu

To restore add-in commands to the menu

  1. Exit all instances of Visual Studio.

  2. Make sure the value of the <CommandPreload> tag in the .Addin XML registration file is set to 1.

  3. Restart Visual Studio.

From now on, when you run Visual Studio, the add-in's commands are on the menus.


If you create a setup project for your add-in, it will build and install faster if you modify it to exclude the .NET Runtime redistributable merge module.

See Also


How to: Create an Add-In


Add-In Registration