The AddIn Manager application was developed to be a small tool that can enable / disable addins, set load options, and do the dreaded ResetAddin that, sometimes, is just necessary. Additionally, it enables you to explore all the locations where Visual Studio searches for addins.
For me, the AddIn Management in Visual Studio 2005 is broken; the Search and Load mechanism is more complex and less transparent than ever, and the advertised functionality like enabling addins, and controlling their load time often doesn't work. As SP1 doesn't seem to change that, I decided to publish this article.
This tool certainly isn't perfect (the UI is particularly horrible) but it gives back full control over your addins - whether you create them or "just" use them.
It was developed with and tested for VS 2005. It should work for VS 2002 and VS 2003 too - I played around with some stale VS2003 registry entries, too, but that doesn't count as testing, does it?
Caution: This is the result of a long night's hack and aimed at power users. While I never had any problems with it, there is certainly potential for screwing up things. You need to restart Visual Studio after making changes. Also, when Updating or uninstalling an Addin, make sure you haven't disabled it, as this would leave some stale files, and may confuse this poor little tool.
You can enable/disable individual addins using the checkboxes, and also some - not all - of the search paths and registry hives.
When you enable/disable an addin or a folder, it gets renamed in a way that Visual Studio will no longer recognize (but will still be there).
Note that not all checkboxes work, as I couldn't find a way to show them - only at selected items. (I guess they could be hidden by fiddling with the state image list, but that's a job for another day).
Publisher: Peter Chen
Tags: Visual Studio Addin, Enable Addin,