vs2015/2013 – Cannot see unit tests in Test Explorer window

If have some unitests in Visual Studio 2015 or 2013 but you cannot see them in your “Test Explorer window”

If you look in your output window, (under “Show output from:” > “test)

An exception was thrown while initializing part “Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestWindow.UI.TestWindowToolWindowControl”.

The solution is just to delete the VS2013/VS2015 cache folder, located either in


For VS2013, or


For VS2015

Include Google test to your vs2015 project

To include Google test to your visual studio project you just need to follow the steps below

  1. Download Googletest from Github and copy all the file in it’s own folder.
    You only need the folder called “googletest” other files are for github and so on.
  2. Create a library
    1. Add a new empty project
      Right click the solution, Add > New Project …, “Win 32 project”
    2. Give it a name “googletest”
    3. Make sure that the directory is relative to your project, (the default is somewhere weird and wonderful in your %appdata% I think).
    4. Select the option “Static Library”, “empty project” and it should have no files in it.
    5. Uncheck the “Precompiled header” and press “Finish”
    6. Add gtest_main.cc and gtest-all.cc to that project, (they are located in the googletest\src\ folder of the files you just downloaded.
    7. Compile that project, and note where the googletest.lib file is created.
  3. In your test project,
    1. Right click > Properties > C++ > General
    2. In the part for “Additional include libraries” add the path to the google test folder and include folder.
      For example, “..\googletest\include;..\googletest\”.
    3. There might already be a folder called “%(AdditionalIncludeDirectories)”.
    4. Right click > Properties > Linker > General
    5. In the part for “”Additional Library directories” add the directory where the googletest.lib file was created, (the library, not the file).
    6. Finaly, add a reference, (Right Click the project > References and add googletest).

Be sure to set the references and include libraries for all your configurations, “Release”, “Debug”, x32, x64 and so on.

NB: Of course you can just build the lib and include it as a library, but that way when Googletest does an update, you just need to replace the code, and life is good again!