Visual Studio : can't find "resource file" in list of items to add to project

At the top right corner you have a searchbox, try typing it there and see if it finds anything.

If it doesn't, select a text file in the new item dialog and change its extension to


It should now open the new file with the resources designer. Now open the properties pane for that file (right click it in the solution explorer) and make sure it has the following set:

  • Build Action: Embedded resource
  • Custom tool: ResXFileCodeGenerator (or PublicResXFileCodeGenerator to generate a designer class with public visibility)

UPDATE: According to the link Chris posted, my suggestion won't help if you have the express edition of visual studio.

Visual Studio Express editions do not support Resource View's. It is commonly recommended that you make your way to the Visual Studio Community editions to take full advantage of such features.

Here is the MSDN link that notes the feature not being supported.

Additionally, maybe you can try this:

Right click your project and go to properties >

enter image description here

Click 'Resources' > and then you may see:

"This project does not contain a default resources file. Click here to create one." enter image description here

Some Visual Studio 2017 and 2019 workloads apparently don't include this feature, notably the ASP.NET workload. The solution, as detailed here, is to run the Visual Studio Installer and add the desktop development workload.