MSBuild response files

Response (.rsp) files are text files that contain MSBuild.exe command-line switches. Each switch can be on a separate line or all switches can be on one line. Comment lines are prefaced with a # symbol. The @ switch is used to pass another response file to MSBuild.exe.


The autoresponse file is a special .rsp file that MSBuild.exe automatically uses when building a project. This file, MSBuild.rsp, must be in the same directory as MSBuild.exe, otherwise it will not be found. You can edit this file to specify default command-line switches to MSBuild.exe. For example, if you use the same logger every time you build a project, you can add the -logger switch to MSBuild.rsp, and MSBuild.exe will use the logger every time a project is built.


In version 15.6 and above, MSBuild will search parent directories of the project for a file named Directory.Build.rsp. This can be helpful in a source code repository to provide default arguments during command-line builds. It can also be used to specify the command-line arguments of hosted builds.

Disabling response files

To disable automatically processing the default response files MSBuild.rsp and Directory.Build.rsp in a particular invocation of MSBuild, use the command-line option -noAutoResponse. Any response files referenced explicitly using the @-syntax on the command-line are still processed. See MSBuild command line reference.

See also