Remove Unused References with Visual Studio 2013

My favorite reference removal tool, Reference Assistant, only target Visual Studio 10 (2010) and 11 (2012), according to the description.

To install it in VS 2013, you need to follow the tips given on the Q&A tab of the assistant’s page on the Visual Studio Gallery:

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.

If you follow those instructions literally,

  • rename the .vsix to .zip
  • unzip the .zip
  • edit the extension.vsixmanifest file
  • replace every instance of
InstallationTarget Version="[11.0,12.0)"


InstallationTarget Version="[11.0,12.0]"
  • save the file
  • zip all files
  • rename the .zip to .vsix

then the modified vsix can be installed in VS2013.

When I first tried it (by not following exactly), I simply dragged the .vsixmanifest file out of the .zip, edited it, and then moved it back into the .zip using Windows Explorer, I actually received the error message reported in the Q&A:

The file is not a valid VSIX package.
---> System.IO.FileFormatException: File contains corrupted data.

Good to have the tool in the latest version of VS as well 😉

5 thoughts on “Remove Unused References with Visual Studio 2013

  1. Pingback: HowTo: Remove unused references and using clauses in Visual Studio | George Birbilis @zoomicon

  2. Pingback: Remove Unused References with Visual Studio 2017 | devioblog

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