Why Can’t I Copy Assemblies from the GAC?

Today, I needed to obtain a copy of an assembly referenced in a web.config of one of our applications. The assembly referenced resembled the following:

<assemblies>

  <add assembly="Oracle.DataAccess, Version=10.1.0.200, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89B483F429C47342"/>

</assemblies>

I tried making a copy of an assembly from the GAC to my file system. Simple task, right? That’s what I thought until I right-clicked on a file only to find a few options, none of which had “copy”.

cannot copy file from explorer

After googling around, I discovered that I had a few options. I opted to copy from the command line:

copy assembly from the command line

By going into the GAC assembly directory from the command line and drilling deeper into the directory tree, you will eventually find the DLL you’re looking for.

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