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SolutionBackup VisualStudio Addin


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SolutionBackup is a VisualStudio® 2005/2008/2010/2012/2013 addin that creates a ZIP backup of your current solution or project.
The backup will contain only projects source files, excluding .DLL, .EXE, .OBJ, etc.

Creating a backup of current solution or project is easy, and it's done directly inside VisualStudio:

  • right-click on the solution and select "Backup solution..."
  • right-click on a project select "Backup project..."

SolutionBackup main dialog appears, showing the files that will be added to ZIP backup.
Just change destination folder and ZIP filename (if needed) and press Backup to start.


Compared to the creation of a standard ZIP of the solution folder, SolutionBackup has these pros:

  • SolutionBackup includes only source and embedded files of each project, required for its compilation;
    compiler generated files are excluded (EXE, DLL, OBJ, PDB, ILK, ...)
  • backup is created directly inside VisualStudio, no need to close it or stop your work
  • no need of external compression tools, like WinZip or WinRar

With SolutionBackup it's easy to create a backup of your solution on a regular basis or before starting a deep change, making it possible to undo all of the changes in one easy step.

My thanks to guys for their great #ziplib library


Version history 

ver. 3.3.0  (2013-12-03)

  • Added support for VisualStudio 2013 (thanks to Stan for testing it)
  • Fixed 3.2.0 regression (debug message boxes appearing during backup)
  • Improved macro expansion speed

ver. 3.2.0  (2013-11-19) NOTE: removed due to a bug, a fix will be released soon

  • Added support for parametric macro expansion
  • New parametric macro $DATETIME[format] that returns n user formatted datetime value.
    "format" parameter could be any format string accepted by DateTime.ToString() method.
  • New parametric macro $ENVIRONMENT[variableName] that returns the value of an environment variable.
    Parameter "variableName" is the name of the variable to get.
  • Added support for BIDS (Business Intelligence Development Studio) SQLServer projects.

ver. 3.1.0  (2013-10-21)

  • Joined the two path+filename fields (used to compose output archive filename) into a single one, with support for macro expansion.
    Output filename can now be "$(USERPROFILE)\backups" or "$(SolutionDir)\backups\".
  • Fixed help context menu appearing when clicking "..." button
  • Fixed registry location where configuration is stored
  • Fixed adding window location when switching from dual-screen to single screen setup

ver. 3.0.1  (2013-10-07)

  • Fixed tab order of main addin dialog
  • Fixed a typo into completed messagebox

ver. 3.0.0  (2013-10-04)

  • Addin now supports VisualStudio 2005/2008/2010/2012
    VisualStudio.NET (2003) is no longer supported
  • Addin can now backup single projects too
    (by default VisualStudio hides solution if it contains only a single project).
  • Fixed an exception raised when backing up C++ projects (thanks to Frederick Wasti for reporting)
  • Fixed wrong date of files contained into ZIP archive (thanks to Frederick Wasti for reporting)
  • List of files included into ZIP archive is now sorted alphabetically
  • Changed font of files list to Courier
  • Changed setup environment from MSI to NSIS

ver. 2.0.0  (2008-06-17)

  • First .NET 2.0 version, targeting both VisualStudio 2005 and VisualStudio 2008

ver. 1.0.0  (2005-10-10)

  • After some positive feedbacks from my bug-testers, I decided to release first official 1.0 version.

ver. 0.9.4  (2005-08-01)

  • SolutionBackup now manages correctly projects which are outside solution-file folder. Projects on different drives cannot be backed up due to a ZIP file limit (can't store drive info within ZIP archive).
  • Runtime error reports "AutoZIP" as being the program which generates the error, now changed to "SolutionBackup" (damned Cut&Paste...).

ver. 0.9.3  (2005-07-09)

  • Each file existance is checked before adding it to file-list.
  • Added error handling when preparing EMail message.

ver.  (2005-07-08)

  • - file <projName>.<projExt>.user does not exist in VC++ projects, causing a runtime error during backup.
    (thanks to Glenn Symons for this bug report)

ver. 0.9.2  (2005-07-08)

  • Setup created with InnoSetup (--> 0.9.1) experienced some problems on certain conditions, giving COM errors and faulty COM registration.
    Setup is now created with WindowsInstaller. (thanks to Glenn Symons for this bug report)


Description Latest version
Release date 2013-Dec-03 SHA1 4d0f45c906c2f90e150be64e3929a8e002c72da3
Size 152,390 bytes MD5 8d409aba6a625269a3330879acb08949
Description Previous version
Release date 2013-Oct-21 SHA1 0683d92ee20be3259dd1b82d9682b1a35e30d525
Size 150,375 bytes MD5 1986636a955d39cc889270307f608273
Description Last version supporting VisualStudio.NET 2003
Release date 2008-Jun-17 SHA1 55ee03490d334374f79e6bab59701c909fe55a8c
Size 592,575 bytes MD5 7c3542178dc34de70592364b872de8be


This is a great little addin, it will keep my mind at rest when we have to make great changes to the legacy software we come accross frequently.

Thanks for letting me know.

Just released ver. 3.0 with some new features, support for VisualStudio 2010/2012 and a bunch of bug fixes.

Is there an option to add this in VS2013?


I don't have VS2013 to test it with, but it shouldn't be so different from previous versions.

If you could be so kind to do it for me, here you are the steps:

You have another VisualStudio supported version installed

  • install SolutionBackup addin
  • open folder \Visual Studio 20XX\Addins and copy SolutionBackup.Addin file to \Visual Studio 2013\Addins
  • the addin should now load in VisualStudio 2013 too
  • check if everything works as expected and give me a feedback

You don't have another VisualStudio supported version installed

  • we must "trick" setup to let it find VisualStudio 2012
  • check if this registry key exists (VS2013): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\VisualStudio.DTE.12.0
  • create the following registry key (VS2012): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\VisualStudio.DTE.11.0
  • install SolutionBackup addin
  • open folder \Visual Studio 2012\Addins and copy SolutionBackup.Addin file to \Visual Studio 2013\Addins
  • the addin should now load in VisualStudio 2013
  • delete registry key we previously created (VS2012)

Finally check if everything works as expected, give me a feedback and I'll update the setup procedure.

Thanks in advance.


I tried and it works fine with VS2013, I just added:

  >Microsoft Visual Studio>

into SolutionBackup.Addin file.

ooops, you're right, I forgot that step ;)

Thanks for being smarter than me.
I just released a new version (3.3.0) supporting VisualStudio 2013 and fixing other bugs.

Thanks again