Missing .Net Framework 2.0/3.0/3.5/4.0 option(s) in the dropdown list when creating a new project in Visual Studio 2010 on any Windows system


This is applicable to both 32 bit and 64 bit machines, running Windows 7/Vista/Server2008/Server2003/XP.


The option for.Net Framework 4.0 in the dropdown list when creating a new project in Visual Studio 2010 is not shown



You may have noticed a folder under Program Files called "Reference Assemblies". This folder contains those assemblies that are shipped with the .Net Frameworks which are useful for referencing during the design and build of new components.

The exact location of this folder is-

"%ProgramFiles%\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5" for a 32 bit system, and "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\v3.5" for a 64 bit system

Under this we can find corresponding subfolders for .Net frameworks version 3.5 and version 4.0. These folders with all their .dlls and .xmls need to stay intact. These folders should not be moved or renamed.

If you find any of the .Net framework option(s) missing, navigate to the above locations and see if the folders are missing. The folders may have been relocated accidently. You need to manually move the folders to this location; a reinstallation of all .Net frameworks and Visual Studio may not help if ‘program files’ has been remapped.

To take a look at the issue first hand, I renamed the folder for .Net Framework 4.0 as shown below-


This renaming of the ‘v4.0’ folder caused the .Net Framework 4.0 in the dropdown list to disappear as shown under-





Renaming the folder for the 4.0 framework gets the option back in the dropdown.

Content by : Ritwik Sinha