Android Emulator Setup

This section describes how to prepare the Android SDK Emulator for testing your app. It explains how to accelerate the emulator for maximum performance, and it shows you how to use an emulator manager to create and customize virtual devices.


The Google Android SDK emulator can be run in a variety of configurations to simulate different devices. Each one of these configurations is created as a virtual device. In this guide, you will learn how to accelerate the Android emulator for better performance and use either the Xamarin Android Emulator Manager or the legacy Google Emulator Manager to create virtual devices.


As of Android SDK Tools version 26.0.1 and later, Google has removed support for existing AVD/SDK managers in favor of their new CLI (Command Line Interface) tools. Because of this deprecation change, Xamarin SDK/Device Managers are now used instead of Google SDK/Emulator Managers for Android Tools 26.0.1 and later. (For more information about the Xamarin SDK Manager, see Android SDK Setup).


Hardware Acceleration

How to prepare your computer for maximum Android SDK Emulator performance. Because the Android SDK Emulator can be prohibitively slow without hardware acceleration, we recommend that you enable hardware acceleration on your computer before you use the Android SDK Emulator.

Xamarin Android Device Manager

How to use the Xamarin Android Device Manager to create and customize Android SDK Emulator virtual devices. The Xamarin Android Device Manager, currently in preview, is intended to replace the legacy Google Emulator Manager. If you are targeting Android Oreo 8.0 or later, you must use the Xamarin Android Device Manager instead of the Google Emulator Manager.

Google Emulator Manager

How to use the legacy Google Emulator Manager to create and customize Android SDK Emulator virtual devices. You can continue to run the Google Android Emulator with the original Google Emulator Manager by remaining on Android SDK Tools version 25.2.5 or lower.

After you have configured the Android SDK emulator, see Android SDK Emulator for information about how to launch the emulator and use it for testing and debugging your app.