Installing Xamarin.iOS on Windows

This article describes how to set up a Windows machine and a Mac build host for Xamarin.iOS development.


To build Xamarin.iOS apps with Visual Studio 2019 or Visual Studio 2022 on Windows, you will need:

  • A Windows machine with Visual Studio 2019 or Visual Studio 2022 installed. This can be a physical or a virtual machine.

  • A network-accessible Mac set up with Apple's build tools and Xamarin.iOS. Visual Studio accesses this machine over a network connection to use Apple's build tools, which are required for compiling native iOS applications.


    Don't have access to a Mac?

    If you do not have access to a Mac, you can use MacinCloud or MacStadium; both services provide cloud-based Mac hardware that you can use to build Xamarin.iOS projects.


To get set up for Xamarin.iOS development in Visual Studio, follow these steps:

  1. Set up Windows (Install Visual Studio)

    Xamarin.iOS works with Visual Studio Community, Professional, and Enterprise editions, on a standalone or virtual machine.

  2. Set up Mac (Install Xcode and Visual Studio for Mac)

    To build, debug, and sign iOS applications for distribution, Visual Studio must have network access to a Mac build host configured with both Apple's developer tools (Xcode) and Xamarin.iOS.


    If you would prefer not to install Visual Studio for Mac, Visual Studio can automatically configure, the Mac build host with the software necessary to build Xamarin.iOS applications. For more information, see Automatic Mac provisioning.

  3. Pair to Mac (Connect Visual Studio to the Mac)

    For Visual Studio to use the iOS build tools on the Mac, the two machines must connect over a network.


This article described how to set up a Windows machine and its associated Mac build host for Xamarin.iOS development.

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