How to: Manage Files in the Miscellaneous Files Folder

Solution Explorer can display a Miscellaneous Files folder for files that you do not want to permanently associate with a project or solution, but you still want to track and be able to open quickly.

For example, you can create and edit files by using the Visual Studio editors without creating a project. You can also work on files that you want to use temporarily, for example, files in which you keep development notes while you work on your solution. For information about files that you want to permanently associate with a solution, see Solution Items.


If you want the folder for miscellaneous files to appear in the tree view of Solution Explorer, you must select that option explicitly.

You can create a file or modify an existing file. If the file is not associated with an open solution or project, the file appears in the Miscellaneous Files folder.


Some of the files that do not appear in the Miscellaneous Files folder are files that you cannot modify in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), for example, .zip files and .doc files. The IDE does not track files that cannot be modified in the IDE.

To display the Miscellaneous Files folder

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, expand the Environment node and select Documents.

  3. Select Show miscellaneous files in Solution Explorer.

  4. Specify the number of documents you want to appear in the folder.


    If you leave the value at zero (0), then the folder only displays files that are currently open.

You can edit and save a miscellaneous file in Visual Studio or you can disassociate it from your solution by removing it from Solution Explorer. However, to physically delete it from storage, you must use Windows Explorer.

To create a miscellaneous file

  1. On the File menu, click New and then click File.

  2. In the New File dialog box, select a Category in the left pane.

  3. In the right pane, select a Template and then click Open.


    If you want to use a different editor than the current default editor, you can add an editor or change one. For more information, see How to: Change or Add a Default Editor.

  4. Enter the contents you want in the file, and then save it.

See Also


How to: Change or Add a Default Editor


Documents, Environment, Options Dialog Box


Miscellaneous Files

Solutions as Containers

Other Resources

Solution Explorer