Xamarin.Forms Shell Introduction

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Xamarin.Forms Shell reduces the complexity of mobile application development by providing the fundamental features that most mobile applications require, including:

  • A single place to describe the visual hierarchy of an application.
  • A common navigation user experience.
  • A URI-based navigation scheme that permits navigation to any page in the application.
  • An integrated search handler.

In addition, Shell applications benefit from an increased rendering speed, and reduced memory consumption.


Existing applications can adopt Shell and benefit immediately from navigation, performance, and extensibility improvements.

Platform support

Xamarin.Forms Shell is fully available on iOS and Android, but only partially available on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). In addition, Shell is currently experimental on UWP and can only be used by adding the following line of code to the App class in your UWP project, before calling Forms.Init:


For information on how to add a UWP project to a Xamarin.Forms solution, see Setup Windows Projects.

Shell navigation experience

Shell provides an opinionated navigation experience, based on flyouts and tabs. The top level of navigation in a Shell application is either a flyout or a bottom tab bar, depending on the navigation requirements of the application. The following example shows an application where the top level of navigation is a flyout:

Screenshot of a Shell flyout, on iOS and Android

Selecting a flyout item results in the bottom tab that represents the item being selected and displayed:

Screenshot of Shell bottom tabs, on iOS and Android


When the flyout isn't open the bottom tab bar can be considered to be the top level of navigation in the application.

Each tab displays a ContentPage. However, if a bottom tab contains more than one page, the pages are navigable by the top tab bar:

Screenshot of Shell top tabs, on iOS and Android

Within each tab, additional ContentPage objects can be navigated to:

Screenshot of Shell page navigation, on iOS and Android