“ReferencePath” does not define a value for metadata “CopyLocal”

After upgrading Visual Studio 2017 to 15.8.5 I ran into an error while building an existing WPF project:

The item "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Professional\MSBuild\Microsoft\Microsoft.NET.Build.Extensions\net461\lib\Microsoft.Win32.Primitives.dll" in item list "ReferencePath" does not define a value for metadata "CopyLocal". In order to use this metadata, either qualify it by specifying %(ReferencePath.CopyLocal), or ensure that all items in this list define a value for this metadata.

Google didn’t really help that time and since it was happening on building while working fine before I just tried replacing the Microsoft.Common.CurrentVersion.targets file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Professional\MSBuild\15.0\Bin and C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Professional\MSBuild\15.0\Bin\amd64 with an version before the upgrade. I basically had to copy it from a different installation.

So this is an annoying solution and with the latest upgrade, it doesn’t seem fixed. It also works fine with existing WPF projects. You could remove the project and create a new one and just copy all old code over, but that is annoying too especially if you have a ton of references.

So I decided to compare the target files to see what actually changed and to be fair, you only have to change one single thing in the file:

Line 3961: Change …Include=”@(ReferencePath)” to …Include=”@(ReferencePath.CopyLocal)”

That’s all you have to do, like the error said itself, by specifying %(ReferencePath.CopyLocal).

Happy Days.