Reference Assistant for Visual Studio 11


Removes unused references from C#, F#, VB.NET or VC++/CLI projects in the Visual Studio 11

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by Slava Lishnevsky | September 09 2016

Doesn't work, removes everything, apps stopped working.

by Masoud Haghi | April 23 2016

Looks like a great extension for Visual Studio to remove the unused and unwanted libraries from the projects and make the solution size small for production. Haven't tried with new projects like MVC5 yet to see whether the libraries it remove is unused and not necessary, but the concept of this extension is awesome and necessary for the projects.
If you are having issue to make it work for Visual Studio 2013 or the newer ones, you can refer to the following blog which explains how to fix the issue and make it work.

by Kibblewhite | February 19 2015

It removes required references, does not work as intended.
Seem that lots of other people are having the same issue ever since August 2012? It is now 2015 and it is still not working.

by WAFFAW | August 25 2014

It doesn't seem to work well with MVC4. It listed references that are clearly needed to work with MVC and razor pages.

by pilugr | May 05 2014

by Mad Gnome Labs | March 03 2014

This extension removed DOZENS of references it identified as unused... Not really sure what checks it does to verify, but I can assure you it those checks are WRONG! Crippled a very large solution. Good thing I took pictures to backup. Hours wasted. DO NOT USE THIS EXTENSION.

EX: Removed items like ~ System.Web. {Helpers, Providers, Razor, WebPages}
and Web.Optimization / System.Data and System.Data.Entity

from a MVC 4 WebApi~ Razor View

by Tanyo Ivanov | December 09 2013

Please release version for Visual Studio 2013.

by seri-freedom | October 28 2013

Please,Also need it for vs 2013.

by NickGK | May 21 2013

by Woon Cherk | April 28 2013

Does not work well with NUGET.

by dirq | February 19 2013

Woah. Bad. I tried using it in a .NET 4 web app. It gets 1 star for having a dialog, without which my project would have messed up. Pretty much every reference it said could be removed, I knew was used. So, no dice for this extension. Uninstalled.

by oasik | February 19 2013

I was hoping to use it with my MVC project, but unfortunately it removes references that are needed. Therefore I cannot recommend it :(

by Mustafa Gamal | February 13 2013

it is not working, in mvc it removes references to razor engine, which breaks the project

by ash2093 | January 31 2013

Keep up the good work.

by Matthias Friedrich | September 12 2012

Works great; except for web-projects, but this might be related to "hidden" references defined by web.config files or views, which are probably hard to find. I give five stars as a motivator to keep up the good work (-:

by grundt | August 23 2012

Great idea, and the extension functions just fine when it comes to identifying and removing references.
Unfortunately, it identifies some references as "unused" when in fact they are used.
At least that was my experience in VS2012, for a newly created ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Application project

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  • Visual Studio 2013
    3 Posts | Last post September 03, 2014
    • So, the manifest file in this extension has a typo, which is why it wont install in VS2013. Change the vsix file to .zip, unzip it, edit the manifest file for the installationtargets from "[11.0,12.0)" to "[11.0,12.0]" and save it. Select all the files and zip it up. Rename the zip file to .vsix again and install.
    • Quite right. Go ahead and follow that advice, VS 2013 users-- and thank thatdude.
    • I get this error when i follow the above steps, any idea?
      9/3/2014 4:30:10 PM - Microsoft VSIX Installer
      9/3/2014 4:30:10 PM - -------------------------------------------
      9/3/2014 4:30:10 PM - Initializing Install...
      9/3/2014 4:30:10 PM - Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InvalidExtensionPackageException: The file is not a valid VSIX package. ---> System.IO.FileFormatException: File contains corrupted data.
         at MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipIOEndOfCentralDirectoryBlock.FindPosition(Stream archiveStream)
         at MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipIOEndOfCentralDirectoryBlock.SeekableLoad(ZipIOBlockManager blockManager)
         at MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipArchive..ctor(Stream archiveStream, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Boolean streaming, Boolean ownStream)
         at MS.Internal.IO.Zip.ZipArchive.OpenOnStream(Stream stream, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Boolean streaming)
         at System.IO.Packaging.ZipPackage..ctor(Stream s, FileMode mode, FileAccess access, Boolean streaming)
         at System.IO.Packaging.Package.Open(Stream stream, FileMode packageMode, FileAccess packageAccess, Boolean streaming)
         at Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InstallableExtensionImpl.ReadVSIXManifestFromPackage(Stream vsixStream, CultureInfo preferredCulture)
         --- End of inner exception stack trace ---
         at Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InstallableExtensionImpl.ReadVSIXManifestFromPackage(Stream vsixStream, CultureInfo preferredCulture)
         at Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.InstallableExtensionImpl..ctor(String path, CultureInfo preferredCulture)
         at VSIXInstaller.App.InitializeInstall()
         at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.InnerInvoke()
         at System.Threading.Tasks.Task.Execute()
  • Visual Studio 2013
    1 Posts | Last post March 02, 2014
    • Hi, 
      Will you have Visual Studio 2013 support anytime soon?
  • Supporting removal of unused references solution wide?
    1 Posts | Last post October 04, 2013
    • Hi there,
      I've just downloaded this and really like it. But one thing that wld be really handy is to be able to remove unused references for all projects in a solution.
      Is this something you are considering?
  • Are you going to support wpf project ?
    1 Posts | Last post October 03, 2013
    • Are you going to support wpf projects ?
  • If a DLL depends on another DLL #2, does this tool know NOT to remove #2?
    2 Posts | Last post June 07, 2013
    • For example, my Azure Web Role uses Application.dll, and application.dll requires paypal_base.dll.  Does this tool know NOT to remove paypal_base.dll, or will it remove paypal_base.dll, and a runtime exception will occur when application.dll code runs?
    • No, it does not know to leave the secondary dependency. I just verified this in a project of mine. My project only references "First.dll" and "First.dll" only references "Second.dll" and this tool wanted to remove "Second.dll"
      I've heard resharper handles unused references more accurately.