Prerequisites for .NET Core on Windows

This article shows you what dependencies you need to deploy and run .NET Core applications on Windows machines and develop using Visual Studio.

Supported Windows versions

.NET Core is supported on the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (Full Server or Server Core)
  • Windows Server 2012 SP1 (Full Server or Server Core)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 SP1 (Full Server or Server Core)
  • Windows Server 2016 (Full Server, Server Core or Nano Server)

See the .NET Core Release Notes for the full set of supported operating systems.

.NET Core dependencies

.NET Core requires the Visual C++ Redistributable when running on Windows versions earlier than Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. This dependency is automatically installed for you if you use the .NET Core installer. However, you need to manually install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable Update 3 if you are installing .NET Core via the installer script or deploying a self-contained .NET Core application.


For Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 machines only:
Make sure that your Windows installation is up-to-date and includes hotfix KB2533623 installed through Windows Update.

Prerequisites with Visual Studio 2017

You can use any editor of your choice to develop .NET Core applications using the .NET Core SDK. However, if you want to develop .NET Core applications on Windows in an integrated development environment, you can use Visual Studio 2017.


Even though, it's possible to use Visual Studio 2015 with a preview version of the .NET Core tooling, these projects will be project.json-based, which is now deprecated. Visual Studio 2017 uses project files based on MSBuild. For more information about the format changes, see High-level overview of changes.

To use Visual Studio 2017 to develop .NET Core apps, you'll need to have the latest version of Visual Studio installed with the .NET Core cross-platform development toolset (in the Other Toolsets section) selected. Screenshot of Visual Studio 2017 installation with the ".NET Core cross-platform development" workload selected

There are different editions of Visual Studio 2017. You can download Visual Studio Community 2017 for free to get started. To learn more about the Visual Studio installation process, see Install Visual Studio 2017.

To verify that you're running the latest version of Visual Studio 2017, do the following:

  • On the Help menu, choose About Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • In the About Microsoft Visual Studio dialog, the version number should be 15.0.26228.4 or higher.

You can read more about the changes in Visual Studio 2017 in the release notes.