Yellow exclamation point next to a project reference in Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 after conversion to a newer version of the IDE

When you convert a solution to a new version of the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE you can see yellow exclamation points next to some project references. When you build the solution you also get errors like the following:

Error, The type or namespace name '...' could not be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)
Error, Metadata file '....dll' could not be found

The yellow sign tells you that the referenced project is not compatible with this project.

Visual Studio References Yellow Exclamation Point


Even if you remove the reference and add it again the exclamation mark stays there.

When you convert a solution to a newer version of the IDE in Microsoft Visual Studio make sure all projects target the same framework.

When Visual Studio converts a project it does not change the target framework. If you have multiple projects in your solution check the target framework on the Property pages of all of your projects to make sure those are the same.

Visual Studio Application Target Framework


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  1. GREAT!!! Man , you helped me a lot, really! More than 2 hours trying to fix it. Almost beginning another project!


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