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How to: Delay Sign an Assembly (Visual Studio)

When signing an assembly, you might not always have access to a private key. For example, an organization might have a closely guarded key pair that developers do not have access to on a daily basis. While the public key might be available, access to the private key is restricted to a few individuals. In such a case, you can use delayed or partial signing to provide the public key, deferring the addition of the private key until the assembly is handed off.

Delay signing can be enabled in the Signing pane of the Project Designer as follows.

To delay sign an assembly

  1. With the project node selected in Solution Explorer, from the Project menu, click Properties (or right-click the project node in Solution Explorer, and click Properties).

  2. In the Project Designer, click the Signing tab.

  3. Select the Sign the assembly check box.

  4. Specify a key file. For more information, see How to: Sign an Assembly (Visual Studio).

  5. Select the Delay sign only check box. Note that a delay signed project will not run and cannot be debugged. You can, however, use the Sn.exe (Strong Name Tool) with the -Vr option to skip verification during development.