How to: Manage Files in the Miscellaneous Files Folder

The Solution Explorer can display a folder for files that are useful but which you do not want to permanently associate with a project or solution. The Miscellaneous Files folder tracks the usage of these files, and enables you to quickly open miscellaneous files that you have recently used.

For example, you can create and edit files using the Visual Studio editors without creating a project. Or you can work on files that you want to use temporarily, such as creating files for development notes while you work on your solution. For information about files you to permanently associate with a solution, see Solution Items.


If you want the folder for miscellaneous files to appear in the tree view of Solution Explorer, you need to select that option explicitly.

You can create a new file or edit an existing file. If the file is not associated with an open solution or project, the file appears in the Miscellaneous Files folder.


Some of the files that do not appear in the Miscellaneous Files folder are files that you cannot modify within the IDE, such as .zip files and .doc files. The IDE will not track files that can only be modified through an external editor.

To display the Miscellaneous Files Folder

  1. On the Tools menu, select Options.

  2. In the Options dialog box, expand the Environment node and choose Documents.

  3. Select Show miscellaneous files in Solution Explorer.

  4. Specify the number of documents you want to appear in the folder.


    If you leave the value at zero (0), then the folder only displays files that are currently open and not those that you have closed.

You can edit and save a miscellaneous file in Visual Studio or you can disassociate it from your solution by removing it from Solution Explorer. However, to physically delete it from storage you need to use Windows Explorer.

To create a miscellaneous file

  1. On the File menu, choose New and then choose File.

  2. In the New File dialog box, select a Category from the left pane.

  3. From the right pane, choose a Template and then choose Open.


    If you want to use a different editor than the current default editor, you can change or add an editor. For more information, see How to: Change or Add a Default Editor.

  4. Enter the contents you want saved in the file, and then save it.

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