Visual Studio Copy Project

I would like to make a copy of my project. I would rather not start doing it from scratch by adding files and references, etc. Please note that I don't mean copy for deployment. Just plain copy.

Is there a tool in VS to do this? I am using VS 2008


If you want a copy, the fastest way of doing this would be to save the project. Then make a copy of the entire thing on the File System. Go back into Visual Studio and open the copy. From there, I would most likely recommend re-naming the project/solution so that you don't have two of the same name, but that is the fastest way to make a copy.

Just create a template;

From your project chose: Project - Export Template

The wizard will let you define

  • Template name
  • Template Description
  • Icon
  • Preview image

Then it zips up your project into 'My Exported Templates' directory. You also have the option to make your template available when you create a new project.

When you use your template to create a new project, the namespace will be correct for 'your_new_project_name' throughout every file, all references correct, everything perfecto :)

You can send the .zip file to anybody, and they must copy (not unzip) the .zip file into Templates\ProjectTemplates directory for them to use too.

I made an ASP.NET MVC template with folders, layout page, viewmodels etc arranged just how I like them.

NOTE: If you have an empty folder in your project, it WON'T be added to the template, so I just added an empty class appropriate to each folder, and a sample picture for images folder.

I guess if this is something you do often, there's a little (non-free) utility that promises to do it for you: I haven't used it, so not sure how good it is:

There is also this project on CodePlex:

I will probably give the codeplex project a try, and if it doesn't work I'll manually rename everything and edit the sln file.

It is highly NOT ADVISABLE to copy projects at all because the some config files formed internally like .csproj, .vspscc etc. may (and most probably will) point to references which belong to previous solutions' location and other paths/locations in system or TFS. Unless you are an expert at reading these files and fixing references, do not try to copy projects.

You can create a skeletal project of the same type you intend to copy, this creates a proper .csproj, .vspscc files. Now you are free to copy the class files,scripts and other content from the previous project as they will not impact. This will ensure a smooth build and version control (should you choose to be interested in that)

Having said all this, let me give you the method to copy project anyhow in a step-wise manner:

  1. Go to the project you want to copy in solution explorer and right-click.
  2. Now select 'Open Folder in File Explorer' (Assuming you have the solution mapped to a local path on your disk).
  3. Select the Projects you want to replicate as whole folders(along with all dependencies,bin .vspscc file, .csproj file)
  4. Paste them in your desired location (it could be your same solution folder or even another solution folder. If it is within the same solution folder, then you would be required to rename it, also the .csproj and other internal files to the new name).
  5. No go back to Visual Studio, Right-Click on Solution > Add > Existing Project...
  6. Browse and select the Project file (.csproj file) now from the location you placed it in and select 'open'
  7. This file now appears in the solution explorer for you to work.

You may now have to resolve a few build errors probably with duplicated/missing references and stuff but otherwise it's as pristine in logic and structure as you expected it to be.

I follow these steps and I use the development tool called Resharper ,which is awesome by the way:


  1. Copy the existing project folder to the destination you want
  2. Go to source control and with right click just to the root folder you want and pick "Add items to folder...".Then, a wizard will come up to choose the files to copy (there is no need for some files and the wizard guides you for that reason by default).
  3. Change the name of the solution file (*.sln)
  4. Change the names of the sub-projects if exist.
  5. Use Resharper to change the binding namespaces name (I will automatic do the dirty job with safety).The alternative way is to manually change all namespaces with the new name.
  6. The same action with method names.
  7. Check solution's properties if you want to change.

That's it. You are ready!!!

The best way is actually to create a new Project from scratch, then go into the folder with the project files you want to copy over (project, form1, everything except folders). Rename the files (Except for form1 files) for example: I copied Ch4Ex1 files into my Ch4Ex2 project but first renamed the files to Ch4Ex2. Copy and paste those files into the Solution Explorer for the new project in Visual Studio. Then just overwrite the files and you should be good to go!

Old thread but I hope it helps anyone looking for this answer!

I have a project where the source files are in in a folder below the project folder. When I copied the project folder without the source folder and opened the copied project, the source files are not missing but found at the old location. I closed the project, copied also the source folder, and re-opened the project. Now, the project magically references the copied source files (both the new path showed up on "save as" and a change in a file has been saved in the copied version).

There is a caveat: If not both old and new project folders are below a used library folder, the above-mentioned magic discards also the absolute reference to the library and expects it under the same relative path.

I tried this with VS Express 2012.

My solution is a little bit different - the computer that the package resided on died and so I was forced to recreate it on another computer.

What I did (in VS 2008) was to open the following files in my directory:

                  - <package name>.djproj
                  - <package name>.dtproj.user
                  - <package name>.dtxs
                  - <package name>.sln
                  - Package.dtsx

When I did this a popup window asked me if the sln file was going to be a new solution and when I clicked 'yes' everything worked perfectly.

After trying above solutions & creating copy for MVC projects

For MVC projects please update the port numbers in .csproj file, you can take help of iis applicationhost.config to check the port numbers. Same port numbers will cause assembly loading issue in IIS.

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