If you are a Dynamics CRM developer using the Visual Studio CRM Developer toolkit you may have come across this issue where sometimes the “Connect to Dynamics CRM” option disappears. This is quite problematic as without it there is no way to browse the CRM explorer pane and make changes using the interface

if you don’t see your CRM Explorer window try to <Ctrl>Q and type ‘CRM Explorer’ you may get lucky and will provide a way for you to browser CRM again.

Recovering the Menu Option

Normally you would see the following option under Tools:


If that disappears then you have a problem! Perhaps it is just me that has been unlucky but this has happened to me a few times across different CRM solution projects. It  has happened across the following scenarios:

  1.  You create a new CRM Package/Solution but when prompted fail to provide CRM credentials. You then save the solution without a CRM connection. The next time you open that solution there will be on option to connect under tools.
  2. If you change the CRM connection and the values you provide are not valid. You then save the Solution, re-open and the option disappears.
  3. You open a solution that was created in an earlier version of Visual Studio, make changes and then save the solution.

The only way I have found to recover from these scenario’s is to manually edit the Solution file outside of Visual Studio. Normally, when you right click on a project within Visual Studio you can select to “unload the project” doing so allows you to manually edit the project.cs file directly which you have to do sometimes to correct issues with .NET framework versions or perhaps to add specific directives to handle different types/targets for compilation.

However, for solution files, you don’t get that option, so just a case of opening it up in Notepad. I would ensure the solution is closed within Visual Studio just to be extra safe and not encounter access violations.

Once you are in the solution file,

Scroll to the very bottom and add the following:

GlobalSection(CRMSolutionProperties) = preSolution

SolutionIsBoundToCRM = True


Save the file.

The next time you open up Visual Studio you should see that the menu option has been restored and you can connect to CRM again.

I know you are thinking Sweet.


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