Managing NuGet Packages Using the Dialog

This topic describes how to find, install, remove, and update NuGet packages using the Manage NuGet Packages dialog box. To use this dialog box, you must have a solution open in Visual Studio. As an alternative, you can install packages using PowerShell commands. For more information, see Using the Package Manager Console.

Note, for managing packages within multiple projects in the solution at the same time, skip to the section on Managing Packages for the Solution.

Finding a Package

In Visual Studio Solution Explorer, right-click the References node and click Manage NuGet Packages.... (Note, in a Website project, right click on the Bin node.)

Manage NuGet Packages menu option

Click the Online tab to display the list of available packages.

Manage NuGet Packages Dialog Online tab

Browse through the list, or search for a package using the search box at the top right of the dialog box. For example, to find the logging package named ELMAH, enter "elmah" or "logging".

Long lists are divided into pages. Use the paging links at the bottom to move from page to page.

When you select a package, an Install button appears, and a description is shown in the right-hand pane.

Package Sources

NuGet can display packages from multiple package sources. To add a package source, click on the Settings button in the dialog to launch the Options dialog. Make sure the Package Sources node is selected in the dialog.

Package Sources Dialog

Type in the name of a source as well as its URL or folder path (a folder containing NuGet package files is a valid package source) and then click the Add button.

Package Sources Dialog with a custom source

The package source will be listed under the All node. Click on the package source to view packages from that source. The All node displays an aggregated view of packages from all package sources.

Manage NuGet Packages Dialog with a custom package source

If you want to temporarily disable a package source, just uncheck the package source in the dialog. This is useful if a package source is temporarily down for some reason and you need to keep it from being included in the aggregate feed.

Package Sources Dialog with a disabled source

Installing a Package

To install a package, select it and then click Install. NuGet installs the selected package and any other packages it is dependent on. Files are copied to the solution, references might be added to the project, the project app.config or web.config file might be updated, etc.

You might be asked to accept license terms.

License Acceptance dialog box

When the installation completes, the Install button turns into a green check mark to indicate that the package was installed correctly.

Green check mark indicating elmah is installed

In Solution Explorer, you can see references that Visual Studio has added for the installed library or libraries.

Elmah reference in Solution Explorer

If your app.config or web.config file required changes, those have been applied. The following example shows some of the changes for ELMAH.

Web.config changes for elmah

A new folder named packages is created in your solution folder. (If your project does not have a solution folder, the packages folder is created in the project folder.)

packages folder

The packages folder contains a subfolder for each installed package. This subfolder contains the files installed by the package. It also contains the package file itself (the .nupkg file, which is a .zip file that contains all of the files included in the package).

elmah folder in packages folder

You can now use the library in your project. IntelliSense works when you enter code, and library features such as the ELMAH logging information page work when you run the project.

elmah IntelliSense

elmah Error Log page

Removing a Package

Open the Manage NuGet Packages dialog and make sure the Installed Packages tab is selected to display the list of installed packages.

Manage NuGet Packages Dialog showing installed packages

Select the package you want to uninstall and then click Uninstall to remove the package.

The following package elements are removed:

  • References in the project. In Solution Explorer, you no longer see the library in the References folder or the bin folder. (You might have to build the project to see it removed from the bin folder.)
  • Files in the solution folder. The folder for the package you removed is deleted from the packages folder. If it is the only package you had installed, the packages folder is also deleted.)
  • Any changes that were made to your app.config or web.config file are undone.

If other packages were installed because they were dependencies of the package that you removed, you might want to remove them also.

If a package has dependencies, NuGet prompts offering the choice to remove the package's dependencies.

Removing dependent packages

Updating a Package

Open the Manage NuGet Packages dialog and make sure the Updates tab is selected to display the list of packages that have newer versions available.

If any packages have updates available, they will be listed in the center pane. The following screenshot shows a newer version of jQuery available.

Manage NuGet Packages Dialog showing updates available

Select the package you want to update and click Update to update the package to the latest version.

If a package includes release notes, they will show up in place of the description in the right pane.

Managing Packages for the Solution

In the previous section, we looked at managing packages for a single project. In NuGet 1.4 and above, the Manage NuGet Packages dialog can also be launched at the solution level in order to install/uninstall packages in multiple projects at the same time.

Just right click on the Solution and select Manage NuGet Packages. You can also launch this dialog from

Manage NuGet Packages Solution level menu

The dialog looks the same as it does when launched from a project, but notice the title bar indicates that the scope of the dialog is the solution.

Manage NuGet Packages Dialog for the solution

The key difference is that each operation lets you select which projects it applies to.

Installing Online Packages

When the Online tab is selected, clicking the Install button allows selecting the set of projects to install the package into.

Manage NuGet Packages Project Selection

Managing Installed Packages

When the Installed tab is selected, clicking the Manage button allows toggling whether or not the package is installed for each project.

Manage NuGet Packages Project Selection

Updating Packages

When the Updates tab is selected, clicking the Update button allows selecting the set of projects to install the update into.

Manage NuGet Packages Project Selection