Performance and Polish with NuGet 5.9

Jon Douglas

Getting started with NuGet 5.9

NuGet 5.9 is included in Visual Studio 16.9 and .NET 5.0 out of the box. You can also download NuGet 5.9 for Windows, macOS, and Linux as a standalone executable.

NuGet 5.9 is one of many releases in our .NET unification journey. Our NuGet tooling helps developers discover new .NET packages to use for their .NET applications, while making package management easier during your daily development.

NuGet 5.9 Highlights

There are many important improvements in NuGet 5.9:

Floating Versions in Solution-Level Package Manager

We heard that there were challenges when specifying floating versions in your projects, and you will now see the requested version and what version was ultimately resolved. We hope this improves your experience using floating version notation with NuGet.

Requested version in solution level Package Manager

Content Hash & Source Details for Packages

One challenge we’ve heard from you is knowing where your package is coming from & the specific contents of that package. Fear not, we’ve now added additional improvements into the global package folder & installation logs so you can check exactly what package source & content hash was restored by NuGet.

You can now view this information in the contents of the respective .nupkg.metadata file of the package you’re interested in.

Additionally, when installing a package, you’ll see the same information to ensure the right package was restored at install time.

Update Package Context Menu Action

We heard that you wanted the ability to quickly update packages within the solution explorer. In this release, you can now right click on package(s) you’d like to update.

This will then automatically select the packages in the package manager for you to update.

Visual Studio Package Manager Improvements

In NuGet 5.9 & Visual Studio 2019 16.9, we have continued to improve the performance of managing your project’s packages. Here is a small list of the improvements we’ve made so far that was benchmarked against the OrchardCore project that contains over 150 projects, and what you can expect soon.

  • 16.7 – We made it instantaneous to switch between the installed & update tabs.
  • 16.8 – We improved the performance of updating packages (upgrading/downgrading) to be up to 14x faster.
  • 16.9 – We improved the performance of uninstalling packages to be up to 5x faster.
  • 16.10 (Upcoming) – We improved the performance of installing packages to be up to 7x faster.

We believe with these changes, that managing your dependencies in Visual Studio will be faster than ever and we’re excited for you to try them out by updating to the latest version of Visual Studio.

New & Polished Icons in Package Manager

We’ve heard that a number of icon choices in Visual Studio didn’t quite make sense to you. In this release, we’ve improved a number of different areas.

First, we’ve changed the “Manage NuGet Packages…” context menu to have an official NuGet icon.

Next, when a package is on the latest version, many users found a down-arrow to be confusing as to whether an update is available, so we reverted a change to bring back the old green checkmark confirming you’re on the latest version of the package.

Finally, we improved the experience of deprecation icons to be a bit more reliable & appear where you need to see them the most.

Known Issues

NuGet 5.9 includes support for .NET 5, and therefore requires you to be using the same minor version of tooling.

It is advised to ensure that you are on the same version of tooling in your environments. Visual Studio 16.9, MSBuild 16.9, and .NET 5.0 require NuGet 5.9 or later.

One such way of ensuring you have the same version of tooling being used in your environments is to use MSBuild, Visual Studio, or the dotnet CLI. You can get started with NuGet restore in each of these scenarios in the following way:


NuGet 5.9 is a great release that brings a refined experience to everything package management. We’ve added a bunch of exciting quality of life improvements while also bringing you a more performant package management experience.

We’re excited to see you use NuGet 5.9 & include it in your toolset to build amazing things with .NET.

For more details on NuGet 5.9, see our official release notes.


Your feedback is important to us. If there are any problems with this release, check our GitHub Issues and Visual Studio Developer Community for existing issues. For new issues within NuGet, please report a GitHub Issue. For general NuGet experience issues, let us know via the Report a Problem option found in your favorite IDE under Help > Report a Problem.

Additionally, to see what is coming next to NuGet, view our public proposals or create your own proposal. Be sure to leave your feedback on existing issues & pull requests!


Discussion is closed. Login to edit/delete existing comments.

  • Christophe MOMMER 0

    Hi Jon,
    This is great news. With NuGet at the heart of how .NET works now, it’s great to see performance improvements.

    Is there any plan to support NuGet packages update by configuration constraint ?
    I mean, in CSPROJ, I have some ItemGroup with Condition that references some version of a package, and another version of the same package in another ItemGroup with another Condition.

    Actualy, I have to update the manually by editing CSPROJ. Will Visual Studio be updated to support this scenario ? (with a dropdown for choosing constraint)

    • Jon DouglasMicrosoft employee 0

      It’s definitely something we’re looking into. If you want to create an issue on NuGet/home with a specific scenario, that will help us understand what type of package update flow you’re after & let others upvote it!

  • Christopher Mire 0

    Will the bug fixes be back ported to nuget version used by core sdk 3.1.x? I think thats 5.8? We are LTS 3.1, and I know guidance is to use latest SDK, but we trying to keep our tooling in sync. This means running nuget.exe 5.8.1, core sdk 3.1.x, VS2019 16.8. There is no specific issue affecting us, just wondering if plan to backport to version of nuget used by in support LTS versions of SDK.

    • Jon DouglasMicrosoft employee 0

      They will not. 3.1.X relies on 16.7 tooling which would represent 5.7. 5.0.X is the first version that relies on 16.8+ tooling & will continue to be iterated on until .NET 6 is released to which NuGet will have a 6.0 release alongside.

      In short, the Visual Studio/MSBuild minor versions should align with NuGet.

  • Hristo Hristov 0

    wincpprt is provided as NuGet package? When will it be possible to install it systemwide as Windows SDK extension and not be bothered to install it for each new project?
    I use CMake as a build system and NuGets don’t fit well in the C++ context yet. References don’t work for C++.

    • Jon DouglasMicrosoft employee 0

      I am not sure. Perhaps reach out to the C++ team for more information & context. I believe vcpkg or conan may help with your context.

      Additionally NuGet has the following spec in progress:

  • Anil Kumar 0

    Floating Versions will allow me to not update NuGet package for every minor & bug fix update. Thanks.

    • Jon DouglasMicrosoft employee 0

      Glad to hear it!

  • Mariusz 0

    Nice to see constant improvements to nuget.

    Can you share more info about the progress of ?
    Seems like a long time passed since I’ve read there are plans to support it in Visual Studio GUI.
    When can we expect Visual Studio to support such solution wide management of nuget versions?

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