Adding the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit to Visual Studio

Published September 9th, 2011


This is an update to a quite older post that used to be on my blog. Looking over Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools I noticed there was still traffic coming in to view the older post and receiving a 404 error instead of the information they were looking for. So I decided to sit down update what I remeber to be a very outdated post going back to the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta days with a more recent up to date version including instruction for manual installation as well as installation using NuGet which wasn’t around for the original post. Anyways enough babling onto the reason you may be here which is how to add the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit to both Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2008.

If you are using Visual Studio 2010 the easiest way to install the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit is by using NuGet. If you are using Visual Studio 2008 you will need to follow the manual installation instructions further down this post. Of course if you are using Visual Studio 2010 you may also use the manual instructions as well if you wish.

Installing Using NuGet (Visual Studio 2010 and Newer)

Fist off you will need to make sure you have the NuGet Package Manager installed. If you do not have NuGet installed you can download it here. Once you have installed NuGet you have two choices as to how to install the ASP.NET AJAX Control Kit. You can install it via either the NuGet Package Manager Console or via the NuGet GUI.

To use the NuGet Package Manager Console...
start Visual Studio 2010. Once Visual Studio 2010 is opened open the solution in which you wish to use the toolkit. Now that you have your solution open click on "Tools > Library Package Manager > Package Manager Console" at the top of Visual Studio 2010. This will open up the Package Management Console within Visual Studio 2010. Next at the Package Management Console command prompt, "PM>", type the following and press enter.

PM> Install-Package AjaxControlToolkit

Once the Package Management Console command has completed the toolkit will have been successfully added and referenced within your solution and is ready to be used.

If you wish to use the NuGet GUI...
as before start Visual Studio 2010 and open the solution in which you wish to use the tookit. Click on "Tools > Library Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages…" at the top of Visual Studio 2010. Once the GUI is openclick on the "Search Online" textbox at the top right hand corner and type "ajax" then hit the enter key. Look through the list of packages found in the center of the GUI for "AjaxControlToolkit", click on it then click "Install". The toolkit will now have been added to and referenced within your solution and is ready to be used.

Installing Manually (Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2008)

To install the ASP.NET Ajax Control Toolkit manually into either Visual Studio 2010 or Visual Studio 2008 you will fist need to download the latest version of the toolkit from the project download page which can be found here. You will find the binary downloads for both frameworks 3.5 and 4.0 are available. Download the one you wish to use and extract the files somewhere on your hard drive remebering the path to where you extracted the files.

Next you will need to add the toolkit to your toolbar within Visual Studio. To do so right click on an empty portion of your toolbar and click on "Add Tab". This will add a new tab to your toobar. Next name the toolbar something like "ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit". Next right click on your newly created tab and click on "Choose Items..". Make sure the ".NET Framework Components" tab is selected then click on "Browse…". Browse to where you extracted the toolkit files to earlier and open the file named "AjaxControlToolkit.dll" then click "OK". You should now have available to you the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit controls within your Toolbox.