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last updated: 2016-12

This tutorial illustrates the installation paths for Xamarin.iOS.

Installing and Configuring Xamarin.iOS


The Xamarin unified installer will automatically detect, download, and install any Xamarin components required for completing the installation. This tutorial examines the installation and configuration steps required to install the Xamarin platform, and to get the Xamarin.iOS development environment setup and configured for deployment.

Required Components

To build for Xamarin.iOS, the following are required:

  • the latest iOS SDK.
  • the latest version of Xcode.
  • Mac OS X Yosemite(10.10) & above.

The latest version of Xcode can be downladed from the iOS Developer Center (login required), or via the Mac App Store:


Note that this document is written with a focus on Xamarin Studio, but most information will also apply to Visual Studio for Mac. For specific infomation on Visual Studio for Mac, refer to the Introducing Visual Studio for Mac guides.

Downloading the Xamarin Unified Installer

The first step in obtaining Xamarin is to download the Xamarin unified installer, which is found at

Fill in your details, as required, and click the Download Xamarin for OS X button.

Running the Xamarin Installer

Once the installer is downloaded, run it by double-clicking the Xamarin logo, illustrated below:

You may be prompted with an alert dialog, similar to the image below. In this case, click Open:

Step 1 – Xamarin License

The first step in the installation requires a review and acceptance the license in order to proceed. To do this, click the checkbox and press Continue:

Step 2 – Identify and Select the Required Components

The installer will inspect the system to determine which required components are missing and need to be downloaded and installed. Select which products you wish to download here:

The Xamarin installer should automatically inherit network proxy settings for the active network interface from the system. To manually configure the proxy open Application > System and select the Network icon. Then select the appropriate network interface and click the Advanced button. Finally, set the configuration values in the Proxies tab:

Step 3 - Install the Components

After identifying missing components, the Xamarin installer will download and execute the installers for the platform dependencies, as shown in the screenshots below.

The Android SDK installation location can be configured here if you choose to also install Xamarin.Android at this time:

The installer will then show the items to be downloaded and installed; click on Continue to start the this process:

The Xamarin unified installer will start the download and install process of the selected items:

Be aware that during this part of the installation, you may be prompted to elevate the permissions necessary for individual components that are needed to complete installation.

Step 4 - Complete the Installation

To begin developing a Xamarin.iOS application targeting the iOS simulator, click the Launch Xamarin Studio button.

Step 5 - Signing-in / Activation

If this is your first time using Xamarin, and you do not have a Xamarin account you can sign up for one here. However, it is possible to use most features of Xamarin Studio via the Community Edition of the product, which does not require you to log-in. If you wish to use Xamarin Community, you can stop here. You do not need to log in or activate a license.

If you have an existing Visual Studio license follow the steps below to activate it.

Click Log In on the Welcome Screen, to display the account dialog. If you have an existing Visual Studio subscription, enter the credentials here:

If you do not have a Visual Studio subscription, and you wish to use Enterprise features, you can purchase on here

Upon successful activation, your account and subscription level will be displayed in the account dialog:

Additional accounts can also be added to the IDE, by selecting the Add.. button.

Starting a Free Trial

If you are running Community Edition, and wish to try out the Enterprise features, you can avail of the free 30 day trial.

This process is explained in more detail in the Beginning a Xamarin Trial guide.


Xamarin.iOS should be installed on your machine. Learn about Device Provisioning, or head on over to the Hello, iPhone tutorial to build your first iOS application!

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.