Thoughts on Software

Unsupported Project Type: Why won’t my Visual Studio project load?

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One of Visual Studio’s least helpful habits is that when you open a solution and one of the projects cannot be loaded, it simply gives you the unhelpful message the the project is of an unsupported type. Great. So what to do next?


The basic problem is that you are missing an indeterminate something that Visual Studio requires to load that project. For example, if the project type is MVC 3, you need MVC 3 installed on the machine you are opening the project on. Unfortunately, Visual Studio won’t tell you which project type it can’t load …


There are a couple of steps required to resolve this:

  1. Find out which project type is missing
  2. Install the missing software and reload


The information as to which project type is missing can be discovered from the .csproj file for the non-loading project. First, open the project in Notepad or similar and look for the ProjectTypeGuids tag:



This tag contains the Project Type GUIDS: ie, the identifiers which tell us what project types might be causing our exception. Now we need to work the friendly names for each GUID. I generally use this article as a starting point as it contains many of the common GUIDs:


Search through this page for each GUID in turn:

{E3E379DF-F4C6-4180-9B81-6769533ABE47} = ASP.Net MVC 4
{349c5851-65df-11da-9384-00065b846f21} = Web Application
{fae04ec0-301f-11d3-bf4b-00c04f79efbc} = Windows (C#)

In this case, the culprit is likely ASP.Net MVC 4 and sure enough, I had MVC 1, 2 and 3 installed but not 4 and so the fix is simply to download and install MVC 4.







Written by andrewlocatelliwoodcock

April 22, 2014 at 16:19

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