Mailbag: Can I install Windows Phone Developer Tools without the Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone edition?


I already have Visual Studio 2010 Professional installed, and I would like to use it for Windows Phone development.  The Windows Phone Developer Tools installs Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, which I don’t intend to use.  Is there a way that I can install the Windows Phone Developer Tools without installing this express edition?


No, there is not a version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that does not include the Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone edition.  That means that you will always have to download and install the express edition in order to develop Windows Phone applications or games.  You cannot eliminate the download size or the install time.  However, most of the files that are a part of the express edition are also a part of the professional and higher editions, so there is only minimal extra disk space taken up by the express edition after installation completes.

There are a couple of important notes to keep in mind related to this express edition:

  1. Because it includes a Visual Studio 2010 express edition in its installer, if you install the Windows Phone Developer Tools after you install Visual Studio 2010 SP1, you must re-apply Visual Studio 2010 SP1 afterwards.
  2. Even if you do not intend to use the express edition, it will be available on your computer after Windows Phone Developer Tools installation completes, and double-clicking on a .sln file may cause it to open in the express edition instead of in the professional or higher edition.  There is some information in this blog post about how to force a .sln file to open in the professional or higher edition instead of in the express edition.
Comments (4)

  1. MarcelDevG says:

    Will there be an updated version of the phone tools? Which does not depends on the Express version?

    And what about Blend, I understood that there is also a special version of blend?

    So far I've been afraid to install the tools on my main development machine, but I really want to….


  2. Hi MarcelDevG – There isn't anything I am able to announce about packaging changes for the Windows Phone Developer Tools.  In the meantime though, I don't think there is anything you need to be afraid of regarding installing the Windows Phone Developer Tools on your computer.  Please let me know if you give it a try and run into any issues.

  3. Russell Williams says:

    Typical Microsoft, havent got a clue.  Just think everyone wants the whole package when all they want is the basic tools to add onto their exisiting visual studio install.

  4. Naresh says:

    Microsoft is already late in Mobile arena. And I am just felt depressed, to start Windows Phone development is a pain. I live in India and the internet connection speed is awful. 633mb of VS2010 SP1 needs to be reapplied after a 529mb of Windows Phone tools again, I just think why bother when it takes 4 hours for download and updates and cost me 1gb+ download on a 6gb monthly download limit. It is PAIN…

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