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If the files and folders shown in the Solution Explorer are not 'up to date' with the files and folders in your project directory on disk, click the Synchronize button to update the Solution Explorer. The display may become unsynchronized if you add, move or rename files from 'outside' Visual Studio (for example, by using the Windows Explorer or running scripts from a command prompt). The Solution Explorer also has a Synchronize button.

By default, if the Solution Explorer contains more than one project and no project is selected, Synchronize operates on the active project only. If you wish to synchronize a different project, you can do so by selecting a specific project node in the Solution Explorer. You may select multiple projects by CTRL-clicking two or more project nodes. You may then synchronize the selected projects. In multi-language solutions (for example, if you have a mix of Ruby In Steel and C# projects) Synchronize ignores non Ruby In Steel projects.

Setting Synchronization Options

Before synchronizing, you may want to specify certain types of files and directories which you wish to exclude – for example, hidden directories or files with specific extensions. This will avoid cluttering the Solution Explorer by displaying files which you don't intend to edit or directories (such as backup or version-control directories) which form no part of the project. To set these properties, select the Project menu then Properties. In the Properties dialog box, find the Synchronization group. To exclude files with no extension following a dot (such as Rails scripts, for example), set Exclude Files With No Extension to true. To exclude directories and files with the Hidden attribute, set Exclude Hidden Files and Folders to True; to include them, set this property to False. To omit files with specific extensions, enter a semicolon-delimited list of file extensions into the Exclude From Synchronization field, like this:


Note: Certain files names cannot be added to the Solution Explorer (for example, file names containing ampersands '&' are not allowed). If you want to view all the files in the project directories on disk – including hidden files and directories, files with illegal names and files which have been excluded from synchronization, select Project, Show All Files. The Show All Files menu item is a toggle which displays or hides files which are not a part of the project. Synchronization, on the other hand, permanently adds files to the project (though these can be selectively removed by right-clicking in the Solution Explorer and selecting Exclude From Project). 

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