How do I update the Java Development Kit (JDK) version?

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last updated: 2016-12

This article illustrates how to update the Java Development Kit (JDK) version on Windows and Mac.


Xamarin.Android uses the Java Development Kit (JDK) to integrate with the Android SDK for building Android apps and running the Android designer. The latest versions of the Android SDK (API 24 and higher) require JDK 8 (1.8). If you have not yet updated to JDK 8, follow this guide to install and enable it.

Update the JDK on Windows

Download JDK 8 (1.8) from the Oracle website:

Pick the 64-bit version to allow rendering of custom controls in the Xamarin Android designer:

Run the .exe and install the Development Tools:

Open Visual Studio and update the Java Development Kit Location to point to the new JDK under Tools > Options > Xamarin > Android Settings > Java Development Kit Location > Change:

Be sure to restart Visual Studio after updating the location.

Update the JDK on Mac

Download JDK 8 (1.8) from the Oracle website:

Open the .dmg file and run the .pkg installer:

Mac OS will automatically set the new JDK version as the default by updating /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current. You can then double-check that the Java SDK (JDK) location is set to the expected default of /usr under Xamarin Studio > Preferences > Projects > SDK Locations > Android > Java SDK (JDK) > Location:

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.