How to install R Tools for Visual Studio

In this topic:


After installing R Tools, you may want to configure Visual Studio for an optimized data scientist layout, as described on the Options topic.

Supported versions of Visual Studio

R Tools for Visual Studio (RTVS) is supported on the Community (free), Professional, and Enterprise editions of both Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 (or higher) (direct download).

RTVS will not install if you have only the Visual Studio Shell that's included with other products such as Visual Studio Test Professional and SQL Server Management Studio. This is because Visual Studio Shell lacks the necessary components for RTVS.

Installing RTVS in Visual Studio 2017

  1. Run the Visual Studio installer. (See Downloads if you don't yet have Visual Studio installed.) On Windows 7, be sure that your installer is updated to show Visual Studio version 15.2 build 26430.12 or later.

  2. Select the Data science and analytical applications workload:

    Data science and analytical applications workload in VS2017

  3. Set any additional options on the right side under the same workload name. Note that by default, this workload includes F# and Python support. For R, you must at a minimum select R language support, Runtime support for R development, and Microsoft R client.

RTVS is installed in: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio\<version>\<edition>Common7\IDE\Extensions\Microsoft\R Tools for Visual Studio where <version> is typically 2017 and <edition> is Community, Professional, or Enterprise.

Installing RTVS in Visual Studio 2015

With Visual Studio 2015, you need to install an R interpreter and the R Tools separately.

Install an R interpreter

RTVS requires a 64-bit installation of R version 3.2.1 or higher from one or more of the following sources:

Microsoft R Open and CRAN R both allow for multiple side-by-side versions. Microsoft R Client, however, supports only one version and will always use the latest one you installed.

Install the R tools

Download the current RTVS from RTVS will check for a suitable version of Visual Studio and will also help you install an R interpreter if you haven't already.

RTVS is installed in: %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Visual Studio 14\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Microsoft\R Tools for Visual Studio

Offline installation of Visual Studio and RTVS

Offline installation is suitable for computers that are not connected to the Internet:

  1. Follow the instructions to create an offline installer for your version of Visual Studio as below.

  2. Download the offline RTVS installers from and

  3. Install Visual Studio and RTVS from the offline installers.

See also