Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Projects built with ASP.NET MVC are what are known as "flavored projects." This means that instead of being an entirely new project type, ASP.NET MVC projects merely extend a different kind of existing project type. Specifically, the projects extend the Web Application Project type.

If you try to open a flavored project and don't have that particular flavored project system installed, you get to see this little slice of heaven:

Visual Studio error message: The project type is not supported by this installation

If you select "OK" then Visual Studio will continue, but the project will not be loaded:

Solution Explorer: Project unavailable

Well, then, what do you do to continue? All you have to do is edit the project file to remove the flavoring. Right-click on the project, and select "Edit MyProjectName.vbproj".

image

This will launch Visual Studio's project file editor (with Intellisense, in case you didn't know!). Towards the top you'll see a list of project types associated with this project, each one represented by a GUID.

  <ProjectTypeGuids>{603c0e0b-db56-11dc-be95-000d561079b0};{349c5851-65df-11da-9384-00065b846f21};{F184B08F-C81C-45F6-A57F-5ABD9991F28F}</ProjectTypeGuids>

The first GUID there (the one that starts with "603c") is the one used by ASP.NET MVC projects. Remove that GUID so you end up with:

  <ProjectTypeGuids>{349c5851-65df-11da-9384-00065b846f21};{F184B08F-C81C-45F6-A57F-5ABD9991F28F}</ProjectTypeGuids>

Save the project file and close it.

Now reload the project:

image

And you'll be able to work on the project once again. The only thing you won't be able to use is MVC project-specific features such as the "Add View" menu option.

I find myself doing this very often since my work machine is always in a bizarre state with respect to ASP.NET MVC and I often don't have the project type installed. This is much faster than trying to install MVC just so I can inspect a project.

Published Tuesday, January 20, 2009 5:00 AM by Eilon
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Comments

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Friday, June 5, 2009 4:54 AM by Orif

Thank you man! It solved my problem.

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Monday, November 30, 2009 12:56 PM by mcgurk

Had to do this one twice so far on the same project....  Thanks!

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 5:57 PM by dr43058

The add a view OR add a controller dialog is not showing at all! Do you know why. I have Resharper installed on my computer, which might be in effect, masking those options but I dont' think so. Please help, dannyrosales@live.com

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 4:10 AM by Sergey Prokhorenko

Thanks, your post was the only help I've found after I encountered this error during upgrade to VS2010RC. I wonder if this should be mentioned in VS2010 notes somewhere... I think many people use ASP.NET MVC v1.

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 5:15 PM by Andy

Thanks, Eilon. Just upgraded to the latest version of ASP.NET MVC2. This is exactly what was required to get the project loading in Studio.

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Friday, May 28, 2010 2:10 PM by Ranjith

Perfect worked for me. Thanks alot

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:05 AM by Rajchandar

Nice Post...

Definetly would have saved lot of time for many people (including me).

Thanks a lot :)

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:37 PM by Eric Fickes

Thanks for posting this Eilon.  I just used this technique to fix a VS 2008 ASP.NET MVC project.

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Thursday, June 30, 2011 5:48 PM by Bastiaan

Hey. Thanks for posting this. It helped me alot to get a downloaded solution from CodePlex working in VS2010.

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Thursday, August 11, 2011 5:53 PM by David

This did not work for me, and furthermore in the "ProjectTypeGuids" element I didn't see a guid starting with 603c.  I'm using VS 2010.

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:05 PM by Eilon

@David

The ProjectTypeGuids used by each version of MVC are different.

MVC 1: {603c0e0b-db56-11dc-be95-000d561079b0}

MVC 2: {F85E285D-A4E0-4152-9332-AB1D724D3325}

MVC 3: {E53F8FEA-EAE0-44A6-8774-FFD645390401}

The other two GUIDs represent Web Application and Class Library project types ({349c5851-65df-11da-9384-00065b846f21} and {F184B08F-C81C-45F6-A57F-5ABD9991F28F}).

Thanks,

Eilon

# re: Opening an ASP.NET MVC project without having ASP.NET MVC installed: The project type is not supported by this installation

Saturday, December 10, 2011 10:07 AM by tjanovsky

ASP.NET MVC4 Project Guid is {E3E379DF-F4C6-4180-9B81-6769533ABE47}