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Xamarin Studio doesn't install Xamarin.Forms package

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You might see an error similar to:

Could not install package 'Xamarin.Forms'. You are trying to install this package into a project that targets '.NETFramework,Version=v4.5,Profile=Profile78', but the package does not contain any assembly references or content files that are compatible with that framework. For more information, contact the package author.

You can read more about this issue here: Installing Portable Class Libraries for Xamarin Studio


Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 & higher versions automatically install Microsoft's .NET Framework. Xamarin Studio for Windows uses the .NET Framework to install the PCL, which is why you see the error.

How to Install the Portable Library Tools

You have several options for resolving the issue:

  • Install Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 or higher.
  • Manually Install the Portable Library Tools & Reference Assemblies.

If Xamarin Studio is already installed

For either approach, if you've already installed Xamarin Studio beforehand; you'll need to repair Xamarin Studio here: Control Panel > Programs & Features (aka Add & Remove Programs) > Xamarin Studio > Repair

Manually Installing the Portable Library Tools

  1. Close Xamarin Studio.
  2. Download Portable Library Tools 2
  3. Open a command prompt where PortableLibraryTools.exe was downloaded and run: PortableLibraryTools /buildmachine
  4. Download Portable Library Reference Assemblies 4.6.
  5. Run the NetFx_PortableLibraryReferenceAssemblies46.msi installer.
    • This will install a file into the directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft .NET Portable Library Reference Assemblies 4.6
  6. The file contains three directories (4.0, 4.5 and 4.6) which need to be extracted and copied into the PCLs directory here:
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Reference Assemblies\Microsoft\Framework\.NETPortable
  7. The file contains files which already exist in the above folder and you should replace the existing files with the new versions from the .zip file.

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.