SharePoint 2013. Where is my dll?

Sometimes it is a lot handier to just update one of the dll’s in the GAC rather than go through the pain of deploying an entire SharePoint solution. In fact it’s one of the key features that makes the CKSDEV Visual Studio plugin so valuable. Not best practice, to copy directly to the GAC, but very handy in a dev environment.

.NET 4.0 has a new gac location

Today, I wanted to quickly update a dll from a custom SharePoint solution. I was baffled when I could not find the dll in the assembly ( “c:windowsassembly ” ) folder.

Turns out that starting from .NET 4.0 and up there is a new ‘GAC’ folder in town. It is now located in “c:windowsmicrosoft.netassembly“. You can simply browse to that directory with Windows Explorer and view all the folders.  The new GAC folder does not hide version information (=folders) anymore like the old one did.


They introduced this new folder to avoid issues between CLR 2.0 and CLR 4.0 , the GAC is now split into private GAC’s for each runtime.  The main change is that CLR v2.0 applications now cannot see CLR v4.0 assemblies in the GAC.

So keep in mind there are two folders now. One for .NET versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and one for .NET versions 4.0 and up.

For more information on installing dlls in GAC

More information about the GAC