Setup and Install Visual Studio for Mac


To start developing native, cross-platform apps as soon as you download Visual Studio for Mac there are a couple of things that you will want to install and setup in preparation.

For working with iOS in Visual Studio you will need the following:

  • a Mac with macOS Sierra 10.12 or above
  • Xcode 8.3
  • An Apple ID. You can create this at if you don't have one already. This is necessary for installing and signing into Xcode.


  1. Download Visual Studio for Mac from

  2. Once the installer package is downloaded, click on the VisualStudioInstaller.dmg file to mount the installer and then run it by double-clicking on the logo, as illustrated below:

    Installer dialog

  3. You might be prompted with an alert dialog similar to the image below. In this case, click Open:

    alert dialog

  4. The installer will inspect your system to verify which components need to be installed or updated:

    Assessing your system

  5. You will then be presented with an alert dialog asking you to acknowledge the Privacy and License terms. Press the Continue button to acknowledge the terms:

    License dialog

  6. The installer will present a list of required components that are missing and that need to be downloaded and installed. Select the products you wish to download here:

    Select Items

    This installation screen displays the version and size of each individual component. You can click on each component to display a list of dependencies for that component (for Android), see additional packages that it will download (for .NET Core), and view any additional applications required (for iOS and macOS):

    Android additional dependencies

  7. Once you are happy with your selection, select the Install and Update button to start the installation process.

  8. The installer will start the download and install process of the selected items:

    Starting Installation

    Downloading Xamarin.Mac

    Finishing Installation

  9. You might be prompted to elevate the permissions necessary for individual components that are needed to complete installation. Enter your administrator credentials here to continue the installation process:

    Enter permissions to continue with installer

  10. Once the installation is successful, you can start developing apps in Visual Studio by pressing Start:

    Open Visual Studio