SSIS 2012: Empty toolbox?

This is an annoying problem I have had a few times: I open a SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) project in SSDT, and see that the Toolbox pane is empty, displaying a “There are no usable controls in this group.  Drag an item onto this text to add it to the toolbox.”.  What the?  What happened to all my SSIS tasks?  Turns out, SSDT has two toolboxes: one called “Toolbox” and a new one called “SSIS Toolbox“.  So, I had the “Toolbox” window open when I really just needed the “SSIS Toolbox” open.  So I go to the “View” menu item, but “SSIS Toolbox” is not listed!  Instead, there are two new buttons on the far-right of the screenshot below, with the second the button to click to open the “SSIS Toolbox”:


Very confusing!  Hopefully this will help you avoid the confusion and wasted time I had encountered looking for my SSIS tasks.

UPDATE: You will see a “SSIS Toolbox” under View -> Other Windows if the a dtsx window has the focus (along with menu items “Variables”, “Log Events”, and “Getting Started”), but not if any other window has the focus.  Very confusing as that menu item should always appear no matter what window has the focus.

More info:

Where’s My SSIS Toolbox?!

About James Serra

James is a big data and data warehousing solution architect at Microsoft. Previously he was an independent consultant working as a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence architect and developer. He is a prior SQL Server MVP with over 25 years of IT experience.
This entry was posted in SQLServerPedia Syndication, SSDT/Juneau, SSIS. Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to SSIS 2012: Empty toolbox?

  1. Travis Gan says:

    Thanks for pointing it out of that two buttons. Now that will become my shortcuts! I have been doing the long way by making sure I am on the dtsx window, then click on View->Other Windows->SSIS Toolbox (the SSIS Toolbox option won’t show if you are on other windows)

    • James Serra says:

      Thanks for pointing out you can see the SSIS Toolbox option if the dtsx window has the focus. I never noticed that! It really should display all the time.

  2. Shyam Viking says:

    Thanks for blogging on this nice point. Coincidentally I had been puzzled on this, while I was on the job of building a package. Now your tip will help me.


  3. Charles Jenkins says:

    Thank you! I was also saying “What the?” until I found this post.

  4. David Kats says:

    Thank you very much James! – Your post has saved me time to research this WT( ) issue.

  5. Rama says:

    Thanks a Ton!! was wondering where my toolbox had disapperared!! This article saved much of my time

  6. andriy says:

    Thanks James!

  7. Paul Turley says:

    Thanks for the helpful post, James. As I began searching for a resolution, I was pleased to see this post from one of my favorite bloggers.

  8. Ravi A says:

    Thanks for the tip!

  9. Linda says:

    Thanks for posting this. You just saved me a lot of time!

  10. Andy says:

    Thanks for pointing this out. This has saved me time.

  11. Hsahand says:

    Thanks mate, helped me a lot.

  12. Harry says:

    Yes, I have been looking for this for half an hour and you rock! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Helped a me in VS2013 (which is actually V12.30723.00). It took me forever to install SSIS into VS2013! Thanks!

  14. sirisha says:

    This one helped me a lot. thanks

  15. Bat Masterson Jr. says:

    This is a recurring problem with MS developer tools. Finding the most basic and commonly-used tools in the development environments can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. They really need some kind of usability czar to rethink their approach.

  16. dannymothobi says:

    thanks morena, nearly hit the roof … very helpful

  17. Jay Tan says:

    Thank you for this. Your post save me hours of frustration.

  18. Sima says:

    Thanks so much. that was so helpful and saved my time.

  19. Michael says:

    Thanks Paul!

  20. Ben says:

    Thanks! That was most helpful!

  21. Jose says:

    Thank you! very helpful!

  22. nisha says:

    Thank you, this really saved my time 🙂

  23. Bat Masterson says:

    Wow. That’s intuitive ….. NOT!
    Thanks, James. I sometimes wonder what these MS tool designers are thinking.

  24. sss says:


  25. gbaja biamila says:

    Thank you, you saved me a lot of time

  26. iulya says:

    I’ve tried to do these steps. But I haven’t got the two icons which are located on the top right corner, and I haven’t got my SSIS Toolbox. It’s awful =((
    I was thinking may is it shown when I create a project (dft)? But I am needed this toolbox for create automatic backup, it’ s not a project.
    I hope for your help=)

  27. Reenu says:

    what is the point of having an empty toolbox then if all we use is SSIS toolbox. Something is not right.

  28. sean says:

    Thanks that’s very useful

  29. Milan says:

    Thank you Sir!

  30. zhda says:

    Thanks for the tip!

  31. raoul says:

    how did you get your icons to be colorful? my ssis toolbox icon is black and white.

  32. Satyam says:

    Thank you, it saved my time

  33. Pingback: Missing SSIS toolbox in Visual Studio 2013 / SQL Server 2014 | Matt40k

  34. Shihab Jamil says:

    Thanks a ton to James and Travis 🙂

  35. JY says:

    AAAH! Awesome thanks!

  36. Joel says:

    Thank you. I thought this was related to my having installed SQL Server 2016 CTP and had run repairs and all sorts.

    What were they thinking! Regardless this helped me a lot.

  37. Doug says:

    Thanks so much! That was driving me nuts.

  38. Ooko John says:

    Out of experience, I detested going through the Registry as other blogs had suggested! I had started on the road through repair (I actually did one pass) and possibly a fresh installation when I thought of searching the Internet just once more. Thanks a lot Jame!!!

  39. SUBHOLINA DEB says:

    thanks for pointing the two buttons..

  40. omar says:

    Thank you very much. i was going insane

  41. Pedagogy says:

    Thanks a ton, saved heavily on time.

  42. Shiva says:

    Thanks James! Very helpful.

  43. Stephen says:

    This helped me today, thanks!

  44. Thomas says:

    Thanks you have being helpful.

  45. Salman says:

    3 years later this is still helping others, thanks!

  46. Tim says:

    Thanks just helped me!

  47. Daniel says:

    Thanks just helped me!

  48. Kate says:

    Yep this is still helping people – thanks so much.

  49. Loomah says:

    this keeps coming up top of my search for adding new tools to the (ssis) toolbox but it doean’t cover that – anybody know how to add/remove (eg CodePlex) tools in SSDT?

  50. mtoha says:

    Very confusing..

    Thank you sir for your suggestion

  51. Petr says:

    Thanks a lot!!!!

  52. karol says:

    thanks a lot!

  53. Chris says:

    Your;s was 12th in the list returned by Google and the only one that addressed the actual issue….WTF did MS hide the toolbox? lol

    Thank you for taking the time to write it up

  54. Jen W says:

    Thank you so much – saved me a lot of time figuring this out

  55. this was great, strangely I had done this long time back….but totally forgot about it since I don’t develop much

  56. Jim Horn says:

    Thanks James..

  57. Bill says:

    Have been frustratingly putting up with not having the toolbox open by
    relying on copying, pasting and modifying existing controls, but it became
    an issue when I needed something different.
    I’ve been closing and re-opening Visual Studio in hopes that it would resolve
    itself, which obviously did not, even tried re-starting my computer, thinking
    that it was being cause by something else.
    Eventually, I google searched and found this posting.
    Who would have thought that there are two different Toolbox’s……. really confusing.
    Again “THANKS!”

  58. Suma THomas says:

    Thank you !

  59. Stephen says:

    Thanks a lot for this post!
    Ok I understand that one wants to put it in the ‘Other Windows’ section. I don’t understand why the old menu item still exists.
    I wonder what the use is for the ‘normal’ Toolbox button now.

  60. jeff says:

    Thank you so much! So simple too hahaha!