Visual Studio Tooling for migrating NuGet Packages.config to PackageReference

Visual Studio Tooling for migrating NuGet Packages.config to PackageReference

Like project or assembly references to the projects, NuGet PackageReferences manage NuGet dependency directly within project files rather than using a separate package.config file. This helps to manage all your project dependencies consistently from a single place. If your project running with Packages.config, and you want to migrate to PackagesReference, you can now take help of Visual Studio Tooling Support.  Visual Studio now have an out of the box support for migrating existing projects based on packages.config to PackageReference node options.

Consider you have following project with set of Nuget packages references in packages.config file.

Existing Solution with Nuget Package Config

To migrate this project from the packages.config format to the PackageReference format you can follow these steps in Visual Studio 2017 Preview 3

  • Open the solution in Visual Studio


  • In Solution Explorer, right-click on the References node or the packages.config and then select Migrate packages.config to PackageReference option

Migrate Config To References

  • Select the respective options for migration and dependencies and review the packages compatibility issues

Migration Window


Tip : Keep Track of your active files inside Solution Explorer – A Quick Visual Studio Tip

Finally, click on OK. Visual Studio will take care of the migration. Post migration you can review the changes on the references node for all the nugget packages.

Migration Completed

Overall migration would also  produce a migration report with the list of packages, and issues ( if there are any).

Migration Reports

You can read more about the overall process and detailed over here 

Hope this helps.

Subscribe To Newsletter For your Daily Development Tips and Tricks  

 Best Tips & Tricks on Microsoft Technology Platform 

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Abhijit Jana

Abhijit runs the Daily .NET Tips. He started this site with a vision to have a single knowledge base of .NET tips and tricks and share post that can quickly help any developers . He is a Former Microsoft ASP.NET MVP, CodeProject MVP, Mentor, Speaker, Author, Technology Evangelist and presently working as a .NET Consultant. He blogs at , you can follow him @AbhijitJana . He is the author of book Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide.