Update existing templates

After you create a template and compress the files into a .zip file, you may want to modify the template. You can do this by manually changing the files in the template or by exporting a new template from a project that's based on the template.

Use the Export Template Wizard

Visual Studio provides an Export Template Wizard that can be used to update an existing template:

  1. Choose File > New > Project from the menu bar.

  2. Select the template that you want to update and continue through the steps to create the new project.

  3. Modify the project in Visual Studio. For example, change the output type or add a new file to the project.

  4. On the Project menu, choose Export Template.

    The Export Template Wizard opens.

  5. Follow the prompts in the wizard to export the template as a .zip file.

  6. (Optional) Place the .zip file in the following directory: %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio <version>\Templates\ProjectTemplates to make it available for selection. You'll need to perform this step if you did not select the option Automatically import the template into Visual Studio in the Export Template Wizard.

  7. Delete the old template .zip file.

Manually update an existing template

You can update an existing template without using the Export Template Wizard, by modifying the files in the compressed .zip file.

To manually update an existing template

  1. Locate the .zip file that contains the template. User project templates are located at %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio <version>\Templates\ProjectTemplates.

  2. Extract the .zip file.

  3. Modify or delete the current template files, or add new files to the template.

  4. Open, modify, and save the .vstemplate XML file to handle updated behavior or new files.

    For more information about the .vstemplate schema, see Visual Studio template schema reference (extensibility). For more information about what you can parameterize in the source files, see Template parameters.

  5. Select the files in your template, and from the right-click or context menu, and choose Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder.

    The files that you selected are compressed into a .zip file.

  6. Put the new .zip file in the same directory as the old .zip file.

  7. Delete the extracted template files and the old template .zip file.