Xamarin.Forms Requirements

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last updated: 2016-12

Platform and development system requirements for Xamarin.Forms.

Refer to the Installation article for an overview of installation and setup practices that apply across platforms.

Target Platforms

Xamarin.Forms applications can be written for the following operating systems:

  • Android 4.0.3 (API 15) or higher #
  • iOS 6.1 or higher
  • Windows Phone 8.1 (WinRT, using Visual Studio) #
  • Windows 8.1 Tablet/Desktop Apps (WinRT, using Visual Studio) #
  • Windows 10 Universal Apps (Phone/Tablet/Desktop, using Visual Studio) #
  • Windows Phone 8 Silverlight (using Visual Studio) DEPRECATED #

It is assumed that developers have familiarity with Portable Class Libraries and Shared Projects.


The target/compile version for Android projects must be set to Use latest installed platform. The minimum can be set to API 15, which means you can continue to support devices that use Android 4.0.3 (and newer). These values are set in the Project Options.


The target settings should be set to Use latest/Automatic and you should always have the latest release of the Android SDK installed (6.0 at the time of writing):

Tools > Open Android SDK Manager

To update to the latest Android SDK:

Open the SDK Manager from the Tools menu and tick the Android SDK Tools, Platform Tools, and the latest complete SDK:

Build > General

Build > Android Application


Windows 8.1 projects are not added when a solution is created with Xamarin Studio. For instructions on how to add Windows 8.1 support to a solution, see Adding a Windows Phone App and Adding a Windows App.

Universal Windows Platform

Windows 10 UWP projects are not added when a solution is created with Xamarin Studio. For instructions on how to add Windows 10 UWP support to a solution, see Adding a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) App.

Windows Phone 8 (Silverlight)

Xamarin.Forms 1.x and 2.x supported Windows Phone 8 Silveright applications. Support for this platform is being deprecated. This project type is no longer present in the default Xamarin.Forms templates for Visual Studio.


Xamarin.Forms for Windows Phone 8 Silverlight uses the Windows Phone Toolkit for some of its controls (such as the DatePicker) and animations. The toolkit is automatically added as a NuGet reference.

Development System Requirements

Xamarin.Forms apps can be developed on Mac OS X and Windows. However, Windows and Visual Studio are required to produce Windows versions of the app.

Mac System Requirements

Any Xamarin Studio version from 5.0 can be used to develop Xamarin.Forms applications on OS X Yosemite (10.10) or newer. To develop iOS applications, Xcode 7 is also required.


Windows Phone apps cannot be developed on OS X.

Windows System Requirements

Xamarin.Forms applications for iOS and Android can be built on any Windows installation that supports Xamarin development. This requires Visual Studio 2012 or newer installed on Windows 7 or newer operating system. A networked Mac is required for iOS development.

Xamarin.Forms applications that support Windows Phone Silverlight 8 require:

  • Windows 8 operating system

  • Visual Studio 2013 or newer with the Windows Phone SDK installed. A Project type not supported error will occur for the Windows Phone project if these system requirements are not met.

The PCL solution template requires Profile 78 which targets .NET 4.5 – this version of .NET can be installed for Visual Studio 2012 (and is included in Visual Studio 2013).

The Shared Project solution template requires Visual Studio 2013 Update 2.

Universal Windows Platform System Requirements

Universal Windows Platform support can be added to an existing Xamarin.Forms app. For more information, see Adding a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) App.

Xamarin.Forms applications that support Windows 10 must be built with:

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.