How to make our assemblies appeared in Add Reference dialog box

I guess most of us may be confronted with a same issue: we can not see our assemblies displayed in Add Reference dialog box in Visual Studio .net.

Generally, an assembly may be used by several solutions, teams, or even companies. When a developer want to add a reference to an assembly for a solution in visual studio, he may prefer finding the assembly in the Add Reference dialog box without having to search for it. But how to implement that? Even if we install the assembly in the Global Assembly Cache(GAC), the issue is not resolved.

Actually, it's very simple to implement the function. The Add Reference dialog box is just path-based and does not enumerate components from the GAC, So we can add the path to the assembly for it. The detailed steps are:

  • Run regedit, and search for the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/.NETFramework/AssemblyFolders
  • Create a sub registry key with any name your prefer, and set the full path to the assembly as its default value.
  • Then you can see your assembly displayed in the Add Reference dialog box.

For more information, please visit How to display an assembly in the Add Reference dialog box.

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