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SQL Server 2012 SSIS – Why is my toolbox empty?

So recently I was doing a demonstration using the new SQL 2012 SSIS running in Visual Studio 2010. I needed to open my toolbox, of course I went to the menu bar selected View > Toolbox. To my surprise the toolbox was completely empty.

What the #$%#? What to do? Well it’s actually pretty simple. Located on the top right corner are two icons. The first opens the variables window and the second opens the SSIS TOOLBOX. Nice, I like it.

If your toolbox is empty, don’t worry it’s just one click away.

As always, if you have any questions or comments about this post please email me at

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc


Posted by Johnson Reddy on 25 October 2011

Hello Patrick,

I agree with you and i think visually, it seems pretty custom. But i was wondering, how useful is the feature in reality? In the previous versions of SSIS (Until 2008 R2), they are available as individual tabs which doesn't seem to be any issue even for accessing the toolbars simultanously.

Any thoughts?

Posted by angelakru on 11 July 2012

Patrick, you are a genius! I'd tried everything, including resetting my entire VS settings and nothing - your solution worked first time!

An observation: my toolbox first disappeared when I showed the variables window and docked it to my left (as a tab alongside toolbox and properties). Clicking the butting brings up an addition tab for "SSIS Toolbox" - my original Toolbox is still empty (for my SSIS project) but I guess this is correct (something I've never conscious note of before but seems logical when I think about it), as it populates when I open a Windows Forms project of mine and open a form in design mode.

So all is well in the land of VS again - and your simple solution has saved me a lot of time. Thank you!

Posted by dkhandka on 22 May 2013

Thanks a lot Patrick !!

Posted by usman009 on 18 July 2013

Thank you

Posted by caguiler on 28 August 2013

Thank you! You saved the day!

Posted by erik.files on 18 October 2013


Posted by flodhi 27580 on 2 December 2013

Thank you! Saved me alot of time.

Posted by stuvorn on 26 March 2014

Life saver - thank you :-)

Posted by bala1005 on 13 June 2014

As you discussed and given second screen shot that is not that much comfortable to find where it is in visual studio new people.

you can give like this better to find

Posted by jennym on 17 July 2014

thank you!!!!

Posted by RRB-392302 on 3 September 2014


Posted by mark_kimsey on 5 November 2014

Thank you!  This was VERY helpful.  I find VS has loads of functionality, but UI issues like this are frustrating.  For example, when you have a general Toolbox view, you are presented with a large number of drop down selections, but this SSIS Toolbox view is not one of them.  I would think a user should be able to navigate Toolbox > SSIS Toolbox rather than just having a one off unlabeled icon sitting in the top right of the UI.  It seems Devs. that like VS have been exposed to it long enough to overlook barrier to entry / usability for new users in UI flow.  

Posted by shikha815 on 16 December 2014

Thank you for this useful tip.

Posted by andriy k on 14 March 2015


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