Question: Can you upgrade Visual Studio 2012 RC to Visual Studio 2012 RTM?

Short Answer: Yes.

 

Long Answer

I’ve had several folks ask me about upgrading VS2012 RC to RTM recently.  I thought it would be a good idea to review the upgrade paths.

 

In case you have been living in a cave, we have launched VS2012 RTM already:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/zainnab/archive/2012/08/20/visual-studio-2012-and-windows-8-are-now-available.aspx

 

Many people think you have to uninstall the RC but that isn’t true.  You can find the full compatibility and upgrade information here:

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/products/compatibility

 

 

Here are the verbatim pieces most relevant to upgrading with non-RTM information removed for clarity:

===

Upgrade paths

When following the supported upgrade paths, your Visual Studio source, solution, and project files will continue to work; however, you should expect to make some changes to sources. While we cannot guarantee binary compatibility between releases, we will do our best to document significant changes to assist you with updates.

  • Supported:
    • Upgrade from .NET 4.5 Beta to Release (RTM)
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 2012 RC to Release (RTM) (same edition only - e.g., Professional RC to Professional RTM)
    • Upgrade from .NET 4.5 RC to Release (RTM)
  • Not supported:
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 11 Beta to Release (RTM)
    • Upgrade from Visual Studio 2012 RC to Release (RTM) (mismatched editions - e.g., Ultimate RC to Professional RTM)
    • Upgrade to .NET 4.5 Release (RTM) or Visual Studio 2012 Release (RTM) on prerelease versions of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012

===

 

 

Finally

On the off chance that you have to uninstall the RC you can find the instructions here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2744926

 

Pay particular attention to the uninstall order if you have multiple VS2012 versions installed.  Here is the order (top first, bottom last) to uninstall from the KB article:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012 Release Candidate
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Premium Release Candidate
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Professional Release Candidate
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 Release Candidate
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express for Web Release Candidate