Managing Projects in Visual Studio 2005 & 2008

One of the first tasks I tried when I installed Visual Studio 2008 was to open a Visual Studio 2005 project.  I was prompted with the following:


This concerned me, because I wanted to open the project in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008.  My findings are as follows:

  • Solutions (once converted) can not be opened in Visual Studio 2005
  • Projects (once converted) can be opened in either IDE


  • Thanks for posting this, I ended up just playing with everything individually so I wouldn't have to convert my project. Now I can safely convert since I am not using a solution in my current project.

  • Well... you could copy the VS 2005 solution and run one solution in Visual Studio 2008 and the other would be Visual Studio 2005 only.

  • Yeah, I found the same thing. It's very bad news that solutions became "broken" for VS2005 after conversion. Now every time I want to commit my code to version control system, I should rollback several pieces of XML. Weird

  • You'll have problems with "Web Application Projects". Because the converted project will replace the line specifying the MSBuild task for Web Application Projects from something like 8.0 in 9.0. The only way to use this project on a machine only running vs 2005 is to copy the new msbuild-folder (9.0) to the pc running vs 2005

  • Have you tried opening the solution file and changing the version from 10.0 to 9.0?

  • Brian,

    I actually do not mind if the solution file has to be different. The projects are what I cared about. As Zack Owens commented about, I simply have two solution files: one for visual studio 2008, the other for visual studio 2005. The projects are the same in both.

  • Two links that are helpful on this topic are:

  • Thanks for the post. I just installed Visual Studio 2008 and of course I heard that 2008 will open 2005 project files fine. So I was concerned it asked me to convert. Now that I know the conversion will make the project work with both 2005 and 2008, I'll start converting some of our less important projects and see how it goes.

  • Thank you for your encouragement to help me move back and forth.
    I did try graye's utility above but found it was expecting the commercial varieties of VS while I use the free Express editions.
    However, making the same changes with a direct manual edit, now allows me to move back to 2005, when and as required.

  • Yep, I recently fixed that issue in my ProjectConverter source code so that it now works correctly for the Express Editions

  • When I open a 2005 project in VS 2008. I could see the conversion screen for a split second then it goes away. How can I fix this. Because I am not able to convert my projects anymore.

  • i am a fresher in dot net field.i hav worked in a group for a project in vs2005.i want to run it in

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