Visual Studio Addins – Deactivate and Remove an Add-In

Short post this one, but its something I needed to do during the course of developing a Visual Studio Add-In, so thought I’d note it down.

Along the way there were several test add-ins I developed as proofs-of-concept and to demonstrate that items could be added to different menus within the IDE. However, the Visual Studio IDE itself doesn’t appear to offer any easy way of removing add-ins once they have been integrated.

This is especially annoying when the IDE appears to lock the DLL for the particular plugin you are currently working on, preventing you from compiling any changes.

The ‘Add-in Manager’ (under Tools–>Add-in Manager) isn’t all that effective, and certainly doesn’t remove it. So what can we do?

Fortunately, there is an MSDN article to hand that explains exactly how to do this: How to: Deactivate and Remove an Add-In.

The steps (taken from this article) are as follows:

  1. Delete the .addin XML registration file for the add-in that you want to remove.

    The default location is ..\Users\username\ Documents\Visual Studio 2010\Addins\.

  2. At a Visual Studio command prompt, type devenv /resetaddin Namespace.ClassName, where Namespace is the name of your add-in project and Classname is its class name, for example, devenv /resetaddin MyAddin1.Connect.

Although this is very simple, it baffles me as to why there is not a simple option available in Visual Studio to do this.

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