Dotfuscator Community

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac noVisual Studio Code

PreEmptive Protection - Dotfuscator provides comprehensive .NET application protection that easily fits into your secure software development lifecycle. Use it to harden, protect, and prune desktop, mobile, server, and embedded applications to help secure trade secrets and other intellectual property (IP), reduce piracy and counterfeiting, and protect against tampering and unauthorized debugging. Dotfuscator works on compiled assemblies without the need for additional programming or even access to source code.

PreEmptive Protection - Dotfuscator

Why protection matters

It's important to protect your intellectual property (IP). Your application's code contains design and implementation details, which can be considered IP. However, applications built on the .NET Framework contain significant metadata and high-level intermediate code, making them easy to reverse engineer, just by using one of many free, automated tools. By disrupting and stopping reverse-engineering, you can prevent unauthorized IP disclosure, as well as demonstrate that your code contains trade secrets. Dotfuscator can obfuscate your .NET assemblies to hinder reverse-engineering, while maintaining original application behavior.

It's also important to protect the integrity of your application. In addition to reverse-engineering, bad actors may attempt to pirate your application, alter the application's behavior at run time, or manipulate data. Dotfuscator can inject your application with the capability to detect and respond to unauthorized uses, including tampering, third-party debugging, and rooted devices.

For more information on how Dotfuscator fits into a secure software development lifecycle, see PreEmptive Solutions' SDL App Protection page.

About Dotfuscator Community

Your copy of Microsoft Visual Studio includes a copy of PreEmptive Protection - Dotfuscator Community, free for personal use. (This free version was previously known as Dotfuscator Community Edition or Dotfuscator CE.) For instructions on how to install the version of Dotfuscator Community included with Visual Studio, see the Installation page.

Dotfuscator Community offers a range of software protection and hardening services for developers, architects, and testers. Examples of .NET Obfuscation and other Application Protection features included in Dotfuscator Community are:

  • Renaming of identifiers to make reverse-engineering of the compiled assemblies more difficult.
  • Anti-tamper to detect the execution of tampered applications and terminate or respond to tampered sessions.
  • Anti-debug to detect the attachment of a debugger to a running application and terminate or respond to debugged sessions.
  • Anti-rooted device to detect if the application is running on a rooted Android device and terminate or respond to sessions on these devices.
  • Application expiration behaviors that encode an "end-of-life" date and terminate expired application sessions.

For details on these features, including how they fit into your application protection strategy, see the Capabilities page.

Dotfuscator Community offers basic protection out-of-the-box. Even more application protection measures are available to registered users of Dotfuscator Community, and to users of PreEmptive Protection - Dotfuscator Professional, the world's leading .NET Obfuscator. For information about enhancing Dotfuscator, see the Upgrades page.

Getting started

To begin using Dotfuscator Community from Visual Studio, type dotfuscator into the Search Box (Ctrl+Q).

You can also get the latest version of Dotfuscator Community from the Dotfuscator Downloads page on

Full documentation

This page and its subpages provide a high-level overview of Dotfuscator Community's features, as well as instructions for installing the tool.

See the full Dotfuscator Community User Guide at for detailed usage instructions, including how to start using the Dotfuscator Community user interface.