Quick Guide to Debugging and Deploying a Visual Studio 2008 Add-In

Here’s some Craft that I hope can save 30 minutes of your time trying to understand MSDN and/or searching around:

 The problem – You are creating a VS Add-In using the Add_in Wizard. The first time you debug it, it crashes (not very abnormal). The next time you try to debug it, it’s not listed on the Add-Ins list anymore.

 The solution – You need to "register" the add-in again. Before VS 2005, you do this by running regasm.exe. With and after VS 2005, you just need to take care of 2 files: your project’s .addin file and the .dll file.


  1. Ensure that an .addin (which contains a reference to the location of your addin .dll file) is in your VS addins folder (typically there is one such folder at My Documents\Visual Studio 2008\AddIns). Normally, this file is renamed as .addin_ (with an underscore) after a failed debugging of the addin (and if you answered ‘yes’ inadvertently to remove it from the addins list). If that is the case, you can simply remove the underscore from the name to get it working again.
  2. If that alone doesn’t work, open the .addin file (you can use a text editor since it is an xml file) and ensure that it is pointing in the right direction to your addin .dll file.

 Hope this cuts a lot of work for you!

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