Date posted: 05 Apr 2020, 0 minutes to read

Nesting .NET Core appsettings.json

I was working on a new .NET Core Unit/Integration Test project in a solution using Visual Studio and need to load some setting from the configuration. Naturally I wanted to use the same setup for retrieving those settings as in the real project, so I added a new file appsettings.json. Next up I wanted to add appsettings.Development.json just like we use in normal projects. Somehow I expected it to be nested beneath appsettings.json, like in the normal project. Of course, it didn’t 😄. While searching for a solution I noticed a lot of screenshots with the same issue: the files where not nested. Here is how to fix it.

Screenshot of files placed below each other instead of nested

The solution

The solution is updating your csproj file with a (new) item group that indicates the behavior you want:

    <None Update="appsettings.Development.json">

With this you tell Visual Studio how you want this file to be displayed!

Fixed layout

Visual Studio Code

Note: unfortunately the solution above will not work for Visual Studio code! For adding the same setup in Visual Studio Code you need to add the following to your .vscode/settings.json file:

"explorer.fileNesting.enabled": true,
    "explorer.fileNesting.patterns": {
        "appsettings.json": "appSettings.*.json"