"Add STS Reference" is Missing in Visual Studio 2010

by Larry Spencer Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:11 AM

If you have installed the Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) SDK, and yet the Add STS reference option is not showing when you right-click a project in your Visual Studio 2010 solution, it may be because you installed the SDK when logged in as one user, but are attempting to use it when logged in as another.  It is a known issue of the SDK installer that it only makes the addin available to the installing user. If that might be the cause of your problem, follow these steps to make the addin available to your current user.

  1. Close all instances of Visual Studio 2010.
  2. In a DOS prompt, enter the command CD "%USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio 2010"
  3. Now that you're in your Visual Studio 2010 directory, enter the command MD Addins.  This will ensure that you have an Addins directory.
  4. Navigate to the Addins directory with CD Addins
  5. Copy the addin to the new directory with COPY "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Identity Foundation SDK\v4.0\Visual Studio Extensions\Microsoft.IdentityModel.Tools.VS.VSAddin.Addin".  (If you are on a 32-bit system, the SDK will be in "Program Files" not "Program Files (x86)".)
  6. Restart Visual Studio 2010.
  7. Open a solution.
  8. Right-click on a project. The Add STS reference menu item should be available on the menu.

Tags: ,

All | WIF

Comments (15) -

11/8/2011 1:01:19 AM #

Very nice WIF article... Thank you.

Liam Switzerland

12/8/2011 6:46:45 AM #

I had the same problem. Things worked for me a bit more easily. I just re-installed the SDK by double clicking the installable and then clicking on Repair during the installation process and then re-openend VS2010 and then the option became available. Smile

Ronil Kunte India

12/14/2011 6:08:30 PM #

This is the simplest solution. Thanks for saving my time.

om United States

12/30/2011 11:36:20 PM #

I tried this several times but still option is missing.I am using VS2010 Professional and Windows7.Its coming in Addin-Manager but not on Right Click of project.How i can resolve this?Its too frustrating.....

Atulsirpal India

1/4/2012 9:24:19 PM #

@Atulsirpal  - I'm sorry, but I don't know why the add-in would appear in Addin Manager but not with a right click. Frown  Maybe you could post your question on Stack Overflow or one of the Microsoft forums.

Larry Spencer United States

2/21/2012 4:36:56 AM #

I'm facing the same issue. Tried repair, copying the file, still can't see that option, although I can see it listed in the add-ins manager. Very frustrating.

Naresh India

2/21/2012 4:38:26 AM #

Facing the same issue. The option appears in the list in the add-ins manager, but doesn't appear in the cintext menu. Very frustrating.

Naresh India

4/30/2012 5:02:12 AM #

Thank you very much. It works for me.

Mukthar Syria

5/1/2012 11:49:24 AM #

Thank you so much.  This saved me pulling my hair out.

Gary United States

8/28/2012 11:25:59 AM #

Awesome! good post sorted my problem.


SIMON HART United Kingdom

9/14/2012 4:22:48 PM #

On our server, the Addin(IdentityModel.Tools.VSAddin.Addin) was installed by some one else and was for .net 3.5, I followed the above steps in the post, but the Addin didn't show up in the Add-in Manager nor was it showing up in the context menu.

Wei United States

10/13/2012 2:27:59 AM #

Worked, Thanks Smile

onkar United States

10/17/2012 1:07:06 PM #

Thank you (Obrigado) Smile

Hélio Portugal

12/12/2012 6:17:46 PM #

I too have that issue on Windows 7. I tried everything suggested in this post, but never got the the addin working. VS Says it's installed, but not functional.

I just ended up by calling the following command line:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Identity Foundation SDK\v4.0\FedUtil.exe"

This will do the same as the addin, except pre-fill in the location of your web.config.

Sometimes you just have to punt Smile

Bob Feller United States

1/10/2013 1:06:06 AM #

How about in Visual Studio 2012?

Hector Ou People's Republic of China

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About the Author

Larry Spencer

Larry Spencer develops software with the Microsoft .NET Framework for ScerIS, a document-management company in Sudbury, MA.