Share via

Install a Visualizer


Starting with Visual Studio 2022 version 17.9, visualizers can now be written in .NET 6.0+ that run out-of-process using the new VisualStudio.Extensibility model. We encourage visualizer authors to reference the new documentation at Create Visual Studio debugger visualizers unless they want to support older versions of Visual Studio or want to ship their custom visualizers as part of a library DLL.

After you have created a visualizer, you must install the visualizer so that it will be available in Visual Studio. Installing a visualizer is a simple process.


In UWP apps, only the standard text, HTML, XML, and JSON visualizers are supported. Custom (user-created) visualizers are not supported.

To install a visualizer for Visual Studio 2019

  1. Locate the DLL that contains the visualizer you built.

    Typically, it is best if both the debugger-side DLL and the debuggee-side DLL specify Any CPU as the target platform. The debugger-side DLL must be either Any CPU or 32-bit. The target platform for the debuggee-side DLL should correspond to the debuggee process.


    The debugger-side visualizer is loaded in the Visual Studio process, so it must be a .NET Framework DLL. The debuggee-side can be either .NET Framework or .NET Standard depending on what process is getting debugged in Visual Studio.

  2. Copy the debugger side DLL (and any DLLs it depends on) to either of the following locations:

    • VisualStudioInstallPath \Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers

    • My Documents\ VisualStudioVersion \Visualizers

  3. Copy the debuggee side DLL to either of the following locations:

    • VisualStudioInstallPath \Common7\Packages\Debugger\Visualizers\ Framework

    • My Documents\ VisualStudioVersion \Visualizers\ Framework

    where Framework is either:

    • net2.0 for debuggees running the .NET Framework runtime.
    • netstandard2.0 for debuggees using a runtime that supports netstandard 2.0 (.NET Framework v4.6.1+ or .NET Core 2.0+).
    • netcoreapp for debuggees running the .NET Core runtime. (supports .NET Core 2.0+)

    A debuggee-side DLL is necessary if you want to create a standalone visualizer. This DLL contains code for the data object, which can implement methods of VisualizerObjectSource.

    If you are multi-targeting the debuggee-side code, the debuggee-side DLL must be placed into the folder for minimum-supported TFM.

  4. Restart the debugging session.


The procedure is different in Visual Studio 2017 and older. See the previous version of this article.