Managing Your Revit Add-ins: A Must Have Application

These days, there are typically several Revit add-ins in any power user’s toolbox. Whether you use Revit add-ins to help you manage data, batch process tasks, or automatically model elements, there is no doubt that Revit has an ecosystem of productivity tools built around it.

If you tend to rely on several Revit add-ins, there may come a time where you need an easy way to temporarily disable them without uninstalling. The ability to disable Revit add-ins in this fashion can help speed up the time it takes to launch Revit as well as help identify which add-ins are problematic.

The good news is that one of our favorite clients, Stantec, has open-sourced their Revit add-in manager which grants users the power of enabling and disabling Revit add-ins on the fly. I prefer this Revit Add-in Manager over the one provided by Autodesk in their SDK because it is a standalone application, meaning you don’t need to run Revit to manage your add-ins.

Download the Revit Add-in Manager

Before we continue, it is worth noting that although you will be downloading a Visual Studio solution, you won’t need to understand C# or how to use Visual Studio to run the Revit Add-in Manager application.

Perhaps someday I’ll propose that Stantec hosts the Revit Add-in Manager code on GitHub in true open source fashion, but as of now Boost Your BIM has shared the Visual Studio solution as a zip file on Bit Bucket. Simply download the zip file and unzip it to any location on your machine.

No Installation Needed

Being as this is a lightweight application, you won’t need to run an installer. You can simply double-click the exe file to run the Revit Add-in Manager.

Navigate to \AddInManager\bin\Debug. For reference, the full path on my machine after extraction is:  C:\Users\Jay Merlan\Downloads\BoostYourBIM-stantecaddinmanager-03365f381880\BoostYourBIM-stantecaddinmanager-03365f381880\AddInManager\bin\Debug.

In this folder, you’ll find a lonely file called AddInManager.exe. Double-click that file to run the Revit Add-in Manager.

How to Use the Stantec Revit Add-in Manager

Revit add-ins

I love the simplicity of this tool.

Immediately upon launching, you’ll see a list of every single Revit add-in that is installed on your machine. The interface is really straightforward and easy to understand, but let’s cover the two most important features.

1) Filter Revit Add-ins by Revit Version

Revit add-ins

At the very top of the Revit Add-in Manager application window, a dropdown menu allows you to filter the list of Revit add-ins by the version of Revit. This proves extremely helpful for navigating through the Revit add-ins for the several Revit versions that you most likely have installed.

2) Enable or Disable Revit Addins

Revit add-ins

Select any Revit add-ins that you don’t have a use for. Note that you can select multiple Revit add-ins by holding down the control key or shift key on your keyboard while clicking. Once you’ve selected the Revit Add-ins that you would like to disable, click the “Enable / Disable” button in the lower right corner of the window. You’ll notice that the “Enabled” column now read “no” for the Revit add-ins that you’ve disabled.

Launch Revit and you’ll discover that the Revit add-ins that you’ve chosen to disable no longer load.

Revit add-ins

How The Stantec Revit Add-in Manager Works

Even under the hood, this application is actually rather simple. If you navigate to your add-ins folder (C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\2019), you’ll notice that the Revit add-ins that you’ve disabled now have a new file extension, *.disabled. The Revit Add-in Manager has simply changed the file extension from the default *.addin, so Revit no longer sees the file as an add-in and does not load it. Simple!

Revit add-ins

This means that you can easily re-enable the Revit add-ins, with or without the Revit Add-in Manager application itself. If you no longer have the Stantec Revit Add-in Manager, simply rename the file and revert the “*.disabled” file extension back to “*.addin”.

Thank you, Stantec.

A special thank you goes out to Stantec for sharing this simple, yet useful, application with our industry. I hope that it will help you maintain control over the many Revit add-ins that you currently have installed, especially if you only need to temporarily enable or disable them.

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