EntityFramework Core – Update-Database error “The EntityFramework package is not installed”

This post was most recently updated on August 2nd, 2019.

Reading Time: 3 minutes.

Another weird, but simple issue I ran into when building a simple .NET Core application. I was just minding my own business, crafting since bits of code into something remotely functional, while I ran into an issue. While trying to apply my changes to the database using .NET Core Entity Framework, executing Update-Database simply failed with the following error:

The EntityFramework package is not installed

You might also encounter this version of the error:

The EntityFramework package is not installed on project [projectname here].

This error can occur with probably any of the EntityFrameworkCore commandlets. Update-Database is just the one I ran into problems with, so I’m using it as the example here.


There’s apparently 2 different ways you might encounter this error. You might actually not have Entity Framework Core installed at all (in which case the solution is to install Entity Framework Core to your project), or you might do what I did and install both.

Apparently, I had inadvertedly messed up my dependencies, and installed not only Entity Framework Core as a direct dependency, but also another package referencing Entity Framework (as opposed to the Core version of it). This caused the commandlet to be available twice – and apparently the error for that situation is exactly the same as the one for not having the commandlet available at all!

You can verify the case by running this in your package manager console window (if you’re using Visual Studio):

Get-Module EntityFramework*

With this, you should only get a result for EntityFrameworkCore package. If you get anything else than one result, you probably have an issue.

Let’s look at the example output below:

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands                                                                     
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------                                                                     
Script    EntityFramework                     {Add-    EFDefaultConnectionFactory, Add-EFProvider, Add-Migration, Enable-Migrations...}
Script     2.1.1      EntityFrameworkCore                 {Add-Migration, Drop-Database, Enable-Migrations, Get-DbContext...}

In this case, there’s 2 very different versions of Entity Framework in your project. The first one is for .NET Framework and the second one for .NET Core. The error for having multiple versions of the Entity Framework commandlets is the same as the one for no package for Entity Framework installed at all. While not intuitive, I guess it’s understandable :)

Luckily, since this is usually not intentional, it’s easy to fix.


We now know you essentially have package conflicts in your project, and the way to fix this is to get rid of the conflicting versions of the packages. If your project is built on .NET Core, you’ll only want to have EntityFrameworkCore package, and for .NET Framework the non-Core one!

Wow, I hope I’m not the only one struggling to keep up with the naming conventions here…

Get rid of the conflicting packages

To solve this, search the Solution Exlorer for “EntityFramework” – and you should actually see the package you’ve been using that refers EntityFramework instead of EntityFrameworkCore. Remove that package and use one built for EntityFrameworkCore instead!

However, this will probably not be quite enough.

PowerShell, even when running inside Visual Studio, caches the imported modules. If you have imported a module (even implicitly), it’ll stay no matter what you do – remove the dependency, and then build, rebuild, clean – the session is still the same, and the package is there.

Let’s kill the session to bust the cache! thanks

Finally, long story short: restart Visual Studio. While you can probably clear the session and unload the modules other ways as well, this is the easiest solution.

After that you should be good! :)

Antti K. Koskela

Antti Koskela is a proud digital native nomadic millennial full stack developer (is that enough funny buzzwords? That's definitely enough funny buzzwords!), who works as a Solutions Architect for Valo Intranet, the product that will make you fall in love with your intranet. Working with the global partner network, he's responsible for the success of Valo deployments happening all around the world.

He's been a developer from 2004 (starting with PHP and Java), and he's been bending and twisting SharePoint into different shapes since MOSS. Nowadays he's not only working on SharePoint, but also on .NET projects, Azure, Office 365 and a lot of other stuff.

This is his personal professional (e.g. professional, but definitely personal) blog.

Leave a Reply

Notify of