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How to: Install an Assembly into the Global Assembly Cache

There are two ways to install an assembly into the global assembly cache:

  • Using the Global Assembly Cache tool (Gacutil.exe).

    You can use Gacutil.exe to add strong-named assemblies to the global assembly cache and to view the contents of the global assembly cache.

    NoteNote

    Gacutil.exe is only for development purposes and should not be used to install production assemblies into the global assembly cache.

  • Using Microsoft Windows Installer.

    This is the recommended and most common way to add assemblies to the global assembly cache. The installer provides reference counting of assemblies in the global assembly cache, plus other benefits.

NoteNote

In earlier versions of the .NET Framework, the Shfusion.dll Windows shell extension enabled you to install assemblies by dragging them in Windows Explorer. Beginning with the .NET Framework version 4, Shfusion.dll is obsolete.

To install a strong-named assembly into the global assembly cache using the Global Assembly Cache tool (Gacutil.exe)

  • At the command prompt, type the following command:

    gacutil –I <assembly name>

    In this command, assembly name is the name of the assembly to install in the global assembly cache.

The following example installs an assembly with the file name hello.dll into the global assembly cache.

gacutil -i hello.dll

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