Working with multiple solutions in Rider

Since we opened the public Early Access Preview (EAP) for Rider, we have shipped a few updates that contained bugfixes as well as new features. We received great feedback from all of you, with one big request: “Make it possible to open multiple solutions at once”. Without further ado:

Multiple solutions can be opened in Rider

Let’s see how this works and how you configure Rider’s behavior.

Opening multiple solutions

Rider allows us to open several solutions simultaneously in different windows. When a solution is opened in the IDE and we try opening another one, by default Rider will prompt us to select whether we want to open the solution in the current window or in a new window.

Open Multiple Solutions in Rider

If we choose to open the solution in the current window, Rider will close the current solution and open the new one instead. When we select to open the solution in a new window, Rider will open up another IDE window and lets us work on two (or more) solutions at the sime time.

Tired of being prompted? No problem! Rider can remember the selected option. From the settings under Appearance & Behavior | System settings, we can manage this preference:

Preferences for working with multiple solutions

Prefer to just re-open the last solution when Rider starts? Check the Reopen last project on startup toggle and Rider will skip the Welcome screen next time it starts.

On a side note: in the Rider user interface, you may notice the use of the word Project instead of Solution. Rider is built on top of IntelliJ IDEA where a Project is “the thing you open to work with”, a workspace so to speak.

Opening, reopening and closing solutions

When starting Rider, we are greeted by the Welcome screen. From here, we can create a new solution, open an existing solution and even check out a solution from a version control system. After having used Rider before, recent projects will be shown on the left-hand side, where we can just click and reopen a solution we have opened previously. Note it’s also possible to just start typing and find the solution to open more easily.

Rider welcome screen allows opening solution or import from version control

If a solution is already open, we can perform these actions via the menu as well:

  • The File | Close Solution menu will close the solution we currently have open, and takes us back to the Welcome screen.
  • We can load another solution using File | Open… – simply pick a .sln.csproj or .vbproj from the file system and Rider will open it.
  • With File | Open Recent, we can open a recent solution. We can remove items from the list of recent solutions as well, either from the Welcome screen or via File | Open Recent | Manage Projects…

Open recent solution using keyboard shortcutWant to be able to switch between solutions fast? From the settings under Keymap, search for “Open recent” and assign a keyboard shortcut to it (for example Ctrl+Alt+Shift+O). From then on if we use that shortcut, Rider will show us a small action window that lets us switch solutions.

Download the latest Rider EAP build and give it a try. As always, comments are appreciated!

About Maarten Balliauw

Maarten Balliauw is a Developer Advocate at JetBrains, working on .NET tools. He focuses on .NET, Azure, web technologies and application performance. Maarten is a frequent speaker at various national and international events. In his free time, he brews his own beer. Follow him on Twitter or check out his personal blog.
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13 Responses to Working with multiple solutions in Rider

  1. Mike-EEE says:

    It’s great to see the progress as always. Have you improved (or considered improving) the .SLN format, by chance? That alone would be worth using Rider.

  2. Dan Shechter says:

    Any firm plans on supporting new .csproj + .NET core SDK?

  3. A says:

    This is absolutely jaw-dropping! Great work. Is XAML Analysis part of the EAP or at least planned?

  4. Tom says:

    So, this is an awesome feature, in fact one of the three features your application has that got me to check it out.

    Thing is, I clicked the wrong choice by accident when trying to open a second solution. Now it doesn’t ask anymore, it just opens them in the same window, even going so far as to ignore the setting in System Settings.

    After having deleted all of they configurations files for your software I can find for your software I still have not been able to get it to open files from a different solution by opening that solution in a new window.

    Is there somewhere that I can find this override setting and turn it back to default so that I can get this feature again?

  5. Harald says:

    Any plans to make this work via starting rider multiple times from commandline (or clicking icon)?

    I often have 2 oder 3 projects/git worktrees open in different “windows virtual desktops”. The solution presented here works, but I have to manually move the opened window to the right virtual desktop afterwards and cannot start rider multiple times on another virtual desktop directly.


    • Derek says:

      This is exactly what I’m looking for! I always have to remember to go to File->Open instead of just opening a new Rider instance.

  6. Vladimir says:

    I was wondering if it is somehow possible to work with different soltions that are built with different Build Tools versions?

    For example, I have a Unity3d project, that is built with C# 4.0 (build tools 14) and I have a standalone .NET application that is bult with C# 7.3 (build tools 15).

    I’d like to work with both of them simultaneously, however there is only one setting for build tools version in Rider settings.

  7. Roman says:

    How to switch between multiple rider solutions opened at the same time?

  8. herki parn says:

    Ctrl + Alt + ] and Ctrl + Alt + [
    You can see active rider instances in Window menu

  9. hananiel says:

    Is this supposed to work from command line? typing rider MySolution.sln only works when rider is not running. If rider already has a solution open, doing this has no effect.

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