Visual Studio fails to import project while migrating BizTalk Project: Unable to read the project file. The project file could not be loaded. Root element is missing

In the last few weeks I have been doing BizTalk project migrations successfully from BizTalk Server 2006 and Visual Studio 2005 to the recent version: BizTalk Server 2010/VS 2010 or BizTalk Server 2013/VS2012. In most of the scenario this is a simple task and regarding to Visual Studio we basically just need to open the “old” solution with the “new” Visual Studio and it will try to convert the solution using the Visual Studio Conversion Wizard tool, check more details in one of my previous posts: BizTalk 2010 – Migrate an old BizTalk Visual Studio solution to Visual Studio 2010.

Of course, this part is just the Visual Studio project migration, and in some cases, we need to make adjustments to our solution.

However recently I face a strange problem when I was trying to convert the Visual Studio solution, every time I tried it gave me the following error:

“Unable to read the project file “…\MyProject.btproj.user”. The project file could not be loaded. Root element is missing.”

The imported project file could not be loaded Root element is missing


“*.btproj.user” file. This is an XML file that contains not only the BizTalk deployment Settings but also several personal user settings like References path, test file names and so on.

I’m not sure what did happen with this file while copying the project to the new server, or during its time life in the former development server. However, when I check the file system for this file I noticed that the file was empty:

MyProject btproj user file


To solve this problem you just need to delete this User configuration file (*.btproj.user) from the file system and try to import de project or convert the solution again.

BizTalk Solution imported successfully
Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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