Easiest ways I have seen to gain access to the GAC on a Windows machine:

1) Click "Start" -> "Run" -> type in "C:\WINDOWS\ASSEMBLY\GAC_MSIL\" -> OK   (replace GAC_MSIL with whatever GAC directory you are trying to access) BTW, I read this on the web a while back, but can't remember where or I would give credit back...

2) From a folder/explorer

  • Click Tools - > Map Network Drive
  • Assign a drive letter and in folder type in "\\{MachineName}\c$\windows\assembly\" Click Finish and your GAC directories should open up!

Accessing the GAC is especially useful when you want to inspect/reflect on a DLL or take a backup copy of it, before replacing it with a newer copy (we all do backups right !?).