Installing Xamarin in Visual Studio on Windows

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last updated: 2017-09

Because Xamarin is now included with all editions of Visual Studio at no extra cost and does not require a separate license, you can use the Visual Studio installer to download and install Xamarin tools.

Requirements

The following are required for installing Visual Studio tools for Xamarin:

  1. Windows 7 or higher.

  2. Visual Studio 2015 or 2017 (Community, Professional, or Enterprise).

  3. Xamarin for Visual Studio.

Note that Xamarin cannot be used with Express editions of Visual Studio due to lack of plug-in support.

For more information about the pre-requisites for installing and using Xamarin, see System Requirements.

Installation

Xamarin can be installed as part of a new Visual Studio installation. To achieve this, use the following steps:

  1. Download Visual Studio Community, Visual Studio Professional, or Visual Studio Enterprise from the Visual Studio page (download links are provided at the bottom).

  2. Double-click the downloaded package to start installation.

  3. Select the Mobile development with .NET workload from the installation screen:

    Mobile development with .NET selection on the Workloads screen

  4. While Mobile development with .NET is selected, have a look at the Summary panel on the right. Here, you can deselect mobile development options that you do not want to install. By default, all options shown in the following screenshot are installed (Xamarin Workbooks, Xamarin Profiler, Xamarin Remoted Simulator, Android NDK, Android SDK, Java SE Development Kit, Google Android Emulator, F# support, and Intel HAXM):

    Summary panel listing Xamarin options to install

  5. When you are ready to begin Visual Studio installation, click the Install button in the lower right-hand corner:

    Location of installation button

    Depending on which edition of Visual Studio you are installing, the installation process can take a long time to complete. You can use the progress bars to monitor the installation:

    Example screenshot of progress bars during installation

  6. When Visual Studio installation has completed, click the Launch button to start Visual Studio:

    Location of Launch button

Adding Xamarin to Visual Studio 2017

If Visual Studio 2017 is already installed, you can add Xamarin by re-rerunning the Visual Studio installer to modify workloads (see Modify Visual Studio for details). Next, follow the steps listed above to install Xamarin.

For more information about downloading and installing Visual Studio 2017, see Install Visual Studio 2017.

Adding Xamarin to Visual Studio 2015

To add Xamarin.Android to an existing installation of Visual Studio 2015, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the Windows Start button and select Programs and Features.

  2. Right-click Microsoft Visual Studio and click Change.

  3. When the Visual Studio Installer dialog appears, click the Modify button.

  4. In the Features tab, scroll down to Cross Platform Mobile Development. Click the checkbox next to C#/.NET (Xamarin):

    Adding C#/.NET Xamarin to Visual Studio 2015

  5. Click the UPDATE button to add Xamarin to Visual Studio.

Verifying Installation

In Visual Studio 2017, you can verify that Xamarin is installed by clicking the Help menu. If Xamarin is installed, you should see a Xamarin menu item as shown in this screenshot:

Xamarin menu item displayed on the Help menu

If you are using an earlier versions of Visual Studio, you can click Help > About Microsoft Visual Studio and scroll through the list of installed products to see if Xamarin is installed:

Visual Studio installed products screen

For more information about locating version information, see Where can I find my version information and logs?

Next Steps

Installing Visual Studio Tools for Xamarin allows you to start writing code for your apps, but does require additional setup for building and deploying your apps to simulator, emulator, and device. Visit the following guides to complete your installation and start building cross platform apps.

iOS

For more detailed information, see the Installing Xamarin.iOS on Windows guide.

  1. Install Xamarin.iOS tools on your Mac
  2. Configuring your Mac
  3. iOS Developer Setup (To run your application on device).
  4. Connecting Visual Studio to your Mac build host
  5. Remoted iOS Simulator
  6. Introduction to Xamarin.iOS for Visual Studio

Android

For more detailed information, see the Installing Xamarin.Android on Windows guide.

  1. Xamarin.Android Configuration
  2. Using the Xamarin Android SDK Manager
  3. Android SDK Emulator
  4. Set Up Device for Development

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.