Use copy local = true for Project and File References

- J.D. Meier, Jason Taylor, Alex Mackman, Prashant Bansode

Every reference has an associated copy local attribute. Visual Studio determines the initial setting of this attribute (true or false) when the reference is initially added. It is set to false if the referenced assembly is found to be in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC); otherwise, it is set to true.
You should not change this default setting.

With copy local set to true, the Visual Studio build system copies any referenced assembly (and any dependent downstream assemblies) to the client project’s output folder when the reference is set. For example, if your client project references an assembly named Lib1, and Lib1 depends on Lib2 and Lib3, then Lib1, Lib2, and Lib3 are copied to your project’s local output folder automatically by Visual Studio at build time.

Additional Resources

  • For more information about project and file references, see “Project References” at [url:

Last edited Jul 26, 2007 at 9:56 AM by prashantbansode, version 2


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