Visual Studio: How to fix missing blank solution template

Visual Studio - missing blank-solution when creating new project template

Visual Studio allows us to create a blank solution when creating a new project. But it seems that for some users, the blank solution is missing from the list of templates. In this tutorial, we are going to learn two different solutions to this problem. First, we will manually create a .sln solution file, and in the other solution, we will install a component using Visual Studio Installer.

Missing project templates

When any project template is not in the list of available templates in Visual Studio, it usually means that some required workload is not installed. At the bottom of the list of available templates, we can click on the "install more tools and features" link to open the Visual Studio Installer and install the missing workload.

Visual Studio - list of templates - install more tools and features link

However, this is not the case with the blank solution template.

The blank solution project type is the only template that doesn't need any workload, so it should always be available in Visual Studio even if no workloads were installed. Still, it appears that sometimes the problem of a missing blank solution does happen.

Since the solution template only creates a single .sln file and is text-based with only about 10 lines, it's pretty easy to create a solution template manually.

Solution 1 - Creating solution template manually

When we create an empty solution in Visual Studio 17.3.5, the .sln file will have the following content:

Microsoft Visual Studio Solution File, Format Version 12.00
# Visual Studio Version 17
VisualStudioVersion = 17.3.32922.545
MinimumVisualStudioVersion = 10.0.40219.1
Global
	GlobalSection(SolutionProperties) = preSolution
		HideSolutionNode = FALSE
	EndGlobalSection
	GlobalSection(ExtensibilityGlobals) = postSolution
		SolutionGuid = {151C66BF-4E59-4867-9573-C6FD1BF6827A}
	EndGlobalSection
EndGlobal

We need to make two changes to the code above:

  • Line 3 - VisualStudioVersion

    The first few lines of .sln file provide information on the version of Visual Studio. The VisualStudioVersion definition contains the build version of Visual Studio that created the solution.

    Note that the build version is not the same as the Visual Studio release version. Check the Visual Studio build numbers and release date page for the correct build number.

  • Line 10 - SolutionGuid

    In line 10, we have SolutionGuid which contains a unique GUID. Every new blank solution contains a different GUID, so we can use an online GUID generator to create a GUID value for the SolutionGuid={} definition.

Note: To learn more about other definitions inside the solution file, check out this MSDN page.

After saving those changes, If we double click on the solution file, the Visual Studio should open with the empty solution in Solution Explorer.

Visual Studio - Solution Explorer with blank solution.

Solution 2 - installing or reinstalling a component

One solution that I have seen mentioned on the web is to try to install the ".NET Framework project and item templates" component. I haven't encountered the problem of missing a blank solution myself, but a commentator confirmed that this works.

If the .NET Framework project and item templates component is already installed, then try to uninstall and then reinstall the component.

Check Installing ASP.NET .NET Framework article on how to install this component.

I would like to thank Drew commentator for the confirmation of this solution.

Conclusion

Sometimes, the blank solution is missing in Visual Studio when creating a new project template. In this article, we learned how to create a new blank solution manually and we also mentioned another solution which involves installing the ".NET Framework project and item templates" component.

2 Comments

  1. Drew
    November 1, 2022
  2. Seong-jin Yun
    November 25, 2022

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