Visual Studio.NET templates are canned bits and pieces of code that you can choose for example when adding new item like form to your VS.NET project. The templates are stored in your My Documents folder like so:

  • Item Templates: My Documents\Visual Studio 2012\Templates\ItemTemplates
  • Project Templates: My Documents\Visual Studio 2012\Templates\ProjectTemplates

In each of these folders there are sub-folders to target specific language like Visual C#, Visual Basic etc.

Project templates are templates for complete VS.NET project. Templates are a set of zip files that get expanded into the template by VS.NET. Once you copy your .zip files into the templates directory, you need to instruct the VS.NET to rebuild its cache of templates or otherwise they will not show up:

  1. Open a Visual Studio command line shell
  2. Execute devenv /installvstemplates

You can find in-depth overview of how to work with templates on MSDN site: