How to: Update a Visual Studio Extension


This article applies to Visual Studio 2015. If you're looking for the latest Visual Studio documentation, see Visual Studio documentation. We recommend upgrading to the latest version of Visual Studio. Download it here

You can update a Visual Studio extension on your system by using Extensions and Updates to install the updated version. If you create an updated version of an extension, you can signify it as updated by incrementing the version number in the VSIX manifest.

Updates are installed when the VSIX manifest of the incoming extension has the same ID as the installed one and a higher Version number. If the Version number is the same or lower, the package cannot be installed. If the ID values do not match, the package that is not yet installed is recognized as a separate extension.

To help prevent conflicts during development, we recommend that you uninstall earlier versions of extensions in progress, and also uninstall or disable any other potentially conflicting extensions.

To update an extension on your system

  1. On the Tools menu, click Extensions and Updates.

  2. In the left pane, click Updates.

  3. In the middle pane, click the update you want to install.

    The version number of the updated extension is displayed in the right pane, together with other information.

  4. At the bottom of the right pane, click Update.

To publish an update of an extension

  1. In Visual Studio, open the solution for the extension you want to update. Make the changes.


    Unsigned all user extensions do not get updated automatically. You should always sign your extensions.

  2. In Solution Explorer, open source.extension.manifest.

  3. In the manifest designer, increase the value of the number in the Version field.

  4. Save the solution and build it.

  5. Upload the new .vsix file (in the \bin\Debug\ folder of the project) to the Visual Studio Marketplace Web site.

    When a user who has an earlier version of the extension opens Extensions and Updates, the new version will appear in the Updates list, provided that the tool is set to automatically look for updates.

    You can enable or disable automatic checking for updates at the bottom of the Updates pane (Enable/disable automatic detection of available updates), which changes the Check for updates setting in Tools / Options / Environment / Extensions and Updates.


    Starting in Visual Studio 2015 Update 2, you can specify (in Tools / Options / Environment / Extensions and Updates) whether you want automatic updates for per-user extensions, all user extensions or both (the default setting).

See Also

Anatomy of a VSIX Package Finding and Using Visual Studio Extensions