Debug on an Emulator

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last updated: 2017-06

These articles explain how to debug a Xamarin.Android application on an emulator.


Developing Android applications requires running the application, either on physical hardware or using an emulator or simulator. Using hardware is the best approach, but not always the most practical. In many cases, it can be simpler and more cost effective to simulate/emulate Android hardware using one of the emulators described below.

Emulator Choices

The following guides are available to help you debug your app on an emulator:

  • Android SDK Emulator explains how to use the default emulator that is provided with the Android SDK. This emulator is available for Visual Studio for Windows and Visual Studio for Mac.

  • Visual Studio Android Emulator explains how to debug and test your Xamarin.Android app using the Android emulator that is built into Visual Studio 2015. This emulator is relatively fast, but it does not support custom device profiles. This emulator is a good choice if you are using Visual Studio 2015 and do not need custom device profiles.


Note that the Xamarin Android Player has been deprecated. For more information, see the announcement in this blog post.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.