Set up a development environment for SharePoint Add-ins on Office 365

To get an understanding of your options before you carry out any procedures in this article, see Tools and environments for developing SharePoint Add-ins.

If you are not sure what kinds of SharePoint Add-ins you want to create, see SharePoint Add-ins.

Install Visual Studio and tools on your computer

Verbose logging in Visual Studio

Follow these steps if you want to turn on verbose logging:

  1. Open the registry, and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\ nn.n\SharePointTools, where nn.n is the version of Visual Studio, such as 12.0 or 14.0.

  2. Add a DWORD key named EnableDiagnostics.

  3. Give the key the value 1.

The registry path will change in future versions of Visual Studio.

Sign up for an Office 365 Developer Site


You might already have access to an Office 365 Developer Site:

There are three ways to get an Office 365 plan:


Open these links in another window or tab to keep the following instructions handy.

  1. The first page of the sign-up form is self-explanatory; supply the requested information, and then select Next.

  2. On the second page, shown in Figure 1, specify a user ID for the administrator of the subscription.

    Figure 1. Office 365 Developer Site domain name

    Page 2 of Sign up form for Office 365 account

  3. Create a subdomain of; for example,

    After you sign up, you use the resulting credentials (in the format to sign in to your Office 365 portal site where you administer your account. Your SharePoint Online Developer Site is provisioned at your new domain:

  4. Select Next and fill out the final page of the form. If you choose to provide a telephone number to get a confirmation code, you can provide a mobile or landline number, but not a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number.


    If you're signed in to another Microsoft account when you try to sign up for a developer account, you might see this message: "Sorry, that user ID you entered didn't work. It looks like it's not valid. Be sure you enter the user ID that your organization assigned to you. Your user ID usually looks like or"

    If you see that message, sign out of the Microsoft account you were using and try again. If you still get the message, clear your browser cache or switch to InPrivate Browsing and then fill out the form.

    After you finish the sign-up process, your browser opens the Office 365 installation page. Select the Admin icon to open the admin center page.

    Figure 2. Office 365 admin center page

    Screenshot that shows the Office 365 admin center.

  5. Wait for your Developer Site to finish setting up. After provisioning is complete, refresh the admin center page in your browser.

  6. Select the Build Add-ins link in the upper-left corner of the page to open your Developer Site. You should see a site that looks like the one in Figure 3. The Add-ins in Testing list on the page confirms that the website was made with the SharePoint Developer Site template. If you see a regular team site instead, wait a few minutes and then restart your site.

  7. Make a note of the site's URL; it's used when you create SharePoint Add-ins projects in Visual Studio.

    Figure 3. Your Developer Site home page with the Add-ins in Testing list

    Screenshot that shows the Developer site homepage.

See also