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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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.NET Reflector catch-22

Posted by jpluimers on 2010/04/06

I just found out that the .NET Reflector asks me two questions.

The first is this:

  • This version of .NET Reflector is out of date. Do you want to update automatically?
    (YES / NO)

If I answer NO, then reflector quits, so I’m forced to answer YES.
(the question seems wrong: if you don’t have a choice, then why pose a question?)

When answering YES, you get a message box like this:

After pressing OK, automatically a browser screen opens at this url:

That page is an advertisement for the new version 6.0:
NEW: The .NET Reflector download now includes a 14-day, free trial of .NET Reflector Pro.

So the situation now seems this:

  1. You are forced to upgrade to the new Reflector
  2. You have to perform this upgrade manually
  3. It is not possible to install .NET Reflector 6.0 without the trial: when running it, it automatically installs the trial in Visual Studio.

So, 20 months after RedGate acquired Reflector from Lutz Roeder, it seems the new Reflector became a kind of ad-ware.
Did it? Did it not?
That and the impossibility of an automatic update makes me having mixed feelings. It seems I’m not the only one.


6 Responses to “.NET Reflector catch-22”

  1. DK said

    It depends upon your system time. Move back the system clock to a year and then the reflector will load fine without popup.

  2. wnmoran said

    I too found it annoying that the auto-update feature is basically a fancy ‘come to our site’ dialog for this version. I love Reflector but am growning increasingly concerned of where it’s headed. I came up with a way of disabling the ‘auto-update’ feature so that I will not get caught bothered by it again until I decide to click the ‘Check for update’ button.

  3. Michael said

    Really strange. I’m very disappointed as Reflector was really a good thing, which never had something annoying …

    I want to keep my IDE as clean as possible… without being enabled to call everthing from Visual Studio I’m grown up.


  4. obfuscated said

    oh jeez i hate software that behaves like reflector does, it tells me it is out of date even when i have no internet connection and then when i tell it to update it’ll fail and then delete itself.

    tho its pretty easy to dissasemble reflector (and rebuild it with out the annoying “features”) as it seems to be obfuscated by the dotfuscator which is pretty lame.

    somthing that is for sure is im never gonna buy any product from redgate again!

    • jpluimers said


      It reminds me of an important training I gave at a customer site.
      I was not allowed to connect to their network, and there was no means to have an alternative internet connection.

      .NET reflector indicated it was old.
      After choosing I did not want to upgrade, it would not start.

      So basically I had to tell them: the upgrade mechanism from .NET reflector is seriously broken.


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