Missing Visual Studio extensions after installation

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last updated: 2016-12

Error Message

This project is incompatible with the current edition of Visual Studio

Double-check Visual Studio compatibility

Ensure a compatible version of Visual Studio is installed:

  • Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 (or later)
  • Visual Studio Community 2013 Update 2 (or later)
  • Visual Studio 2015
  • Visual Studio Community 2015

Visual Studio Express editions are not compatible with Xamarin because they do not allow installation of 3rd party extensions.

See also: https://developer.xamarin.com/guides/cross-platform/getting_started/requirements/#windows

Possible Fix 1: Change the installation to make sure the Visual Studio extensions are installed

In certain situations, the Xamarin installer might automatically un-check the install options for the Visual Studio extensions. If that's the cause of the problem, install the missing Visual Studio extensions using the installer's Change command. For example, to install the extensions for Visual Studio 2013:

  1. Open the Windows Programs and Features Control Panel.

  2. Right click the Xamarin entry, and select Change.

  3. Click Next, then Change.

  4. Make sure the Xamarin for Visual Studio 2013 option is set to install: Enable Xamarin for Visual Studio 2013 installation option

  5. Proceed through the rest of the installer wizard.

Possible Fix 2: Ask Visual Studio to set up the extensions again

  1. Check if the Xamarin extensions have been copied into the Visual Studio extensions folder:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Xamarin\Xamarin\3.1.228.0

    If the extensions are properly installed (for version 3.1.228), there will be 60 items in the folder: List of 'Xamarin\3.1.228.0' folder contents in Explorer

  2. After you have confirmed that this folder looks correct, tell Visual Studio to try setting up the extensions again:

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /setup

Possible Fix 3: Try a fresh reinstall of Xamarin

  1. From the Windows Control Panel, uninstall any of the following that are present:

    • Xamarin

    • Xamarin for Windows

    • Xamarin.Android

    • Xamarin.iOS

    • Xamarin for Visual Studio

  2. In Explorer, delete any remaining files from the Xamarin Visual Studio extension folders (all versions, including both Program Files and Program Files (x86)):

    C:\Program Files*\Microsoft Visual Studio 1*.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Xamarin

  3. Also check in the "VirtualStore" directory to see if there might be any "overlay" copies of any of the extension directories:

    %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore

  4. Open the registry editor (regedit).

  5. Look for this key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls

  6. Find and delete any entries that match this pattern:

    C:\Program Files*\Microsoft Visual Studio 1*.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Xamarin

  7. Look for this key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\1*.0\ExtensionManager\PendingDeletions

  8. Delete any entries that look like they might be related to Xamarin. For example, here's one that used to cause trouble in older versions of Xamarin:

    Mono.VisualStudio.Shell,1.0

  9. Reboot.

  10. Reinstall the current stable version of Xamarin using the individual installer (.msi) download link under Xamarin.iOS > Windows or Xamarin.Android > Windows on http://store.xamarin.com/account/my/subscription/downloads.

Possible Fix 4: Repair Visual Studio installation

  1. Open the Windows Programs and Features Control Panel.

  2. Right click the relevant Microsoft Visual Studio entry, and select Change

  3. Click the Repair button in the Visual Studio dialog that opens.

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.