Deploying to HoloLens and WMR headsets — MRTK2

There are two ways to deploy applications built with MRTK to your windows device, the Univeral Windows Platform (UWP) and the Standalone Platform. Applications built for HoloLens 1 or HoloLens 2 must target UWP, while applications built for WMR headsets may target either UWP or Standalone.

Building and deploying MRTK to HoloLens 1, HoloLens 2 and WMR headsets (UWP)

Instructions on how to build and deploy for HoloLens 1 and HoloLens 2 (UWP) can be found at building your application to device. These steps also allow you to deploy to WMR headsets.


When deploying your application to your device in Visual Studio, you need to configure Visual Studio slightly differently depending on the device. The configurations are as follows

Platform Configuration Architecture Target
HoloLens 2 Release or Master ARM64 Device
HoloLens 1 Release or Master x86 Device
WMR Headsets Release or Master x64 Local Machine

Tip: When building for HoloLens 1, HoloLens 2, or WMR, it is recommended that the build settings "Target SDK Version" and "Minimum Platform Version" look like they do in the picture below:

Build window

The other settings can be different (for example, Build Configuration/Architecture/Build Type and others can always be changed inside the Visual Studio solution).

Make sure that the "Target SDK Version" dropdown includes the option "10.0.18362.0" - if this is missing, the latest Windows SDK needs to be installed.

Unity 2019/2020 and HoloLens

If a HoloLens app appears as a 2D panel on device, make sure the following settings have been configured in Unity before deploying your UWP app:

If using the legacy built-in XR support (Unity 2019 only):

  1. Navigate to Edit > Project Settings, Player
  2. Under XR Settings in the UWP tab, make sure Virtual Reality Supported is enabled and the Windows Mixed Reality SDK has been added to SDKs.
  3. Build and deploy in Visual Studio

If using the OpenXR or Windows XR plugins:

  1. Follow the steps found in Getting Started with XRSDK
  2. Make sure the configuration profile is the DefaultXRSDKConfigurationProfile
  3. Navigate to Edit > Project Settings, XR-Plugin Management and make sure Windows Mixed Reality is enabled.
  4. Build and deploy in Visual Studio


If using Unity 2019.3.x, select ARM64 and not ARM as the build architecture in Visual Studio. With the default Unity settings in Unity 2019.3.x, a Unity app will not deploy to a HoloLens if ARM is selected due to a Unity bug.

If the ARM architecture is required, navigate to Edit > Project Settings, Player, and under the Other Settings menu disable Graphics Jobs. Disabling Graphics Jobs will allow the app to deploy using the ARM build architecture for Unity 2019.3.x, but ARM64 is recommended.

This issue was fixed in Unity 2019.4 and Unity 2020.3.

Building and deploying MRTK to WMR Headsets (Standalone)

Standalone builds of MRTK can be used on WMR headsets. A Standalone build for a WMR headset requires the following extra steps:


Unity's XR SDK also supports native WMR in Standalone builds, but does not require SteamVR or WMR plugin. These steps are required for Unity's legacy XR.

  1. Install Steam
  2. Install SteamVR
  3. Install the WMR Plugin

How to use WMR plugin

  1. Open Steam and search for the Windows Mixed Reality Plugin

    • Make sure SteamVR is closed before launching the WMR Plugin. Launching the WMR plugin also launches SteamVR.
    • Make sure the WMR headset is plugged in.

    WMR Plugin Search

  2. Select Launch for the Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR Plugin.

    WMR Plugin

  3. In Unity, with your MRTK scene open, navigate to File > Build Settings

  4. Build the scene

    • Select Add Open Scene
    • Make sure the Platform is Standalone
    • Select Build
    • Choose the location for the new build in File Explorer

    Build Settings for Standalone

  5. A new Unity executable will be created, to launch your app select the Unity executable in File Explorer.

    File Explorer Unity

See also