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Click the button to download the latest version of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac. For instructions on setup and install, see the Setup and Install Visual Studio for Mac documentation.

To learn more about Visual Studio 2017 for Mac, see Mac System Requirements and Mac Platform Targeting and Compatibility.

To learn more about other related downloads, see the Downloads page.

What's New in 7.8

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8 Releases

  • May 13, 2019 – Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8.4
  • March 12, 2019 – Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8.3
  • February 28, 2019 – Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8.2
  • February 22, 2019 – Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8.1
  • February 20, 2019 – Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8

Release Highlights

This release focuses on improving the quality in Visual Studio for Mac through bug fixes, performance improvements, and reliability improvements.

We also updated the version of NuGet to 4.8, .NET Core SDK to 2.1.504, and .NET Core Runtime 2.1.8

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version 7.8 (

released February 20, 2019


  • We fixed an issue where custom key bindings for Remove Unused and Sort (Usings) don't work.
  • We fixed an issue where switching from the application and returning, does not focus on the editor correctly.
  • We fixed an issue where the cursor in editor window is lost when switching applications.
  • We fixed an issue where focusing out/into Visual Studio changes the default focused element on the UI.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac would fail to track file changes for files in certain folders.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac doesn't remember opened files.
  • We fixed an issue where the Toolbar selector for build configuration is disabled.
  • We fixed an issue where adding a new folder to a project does not allow instant renaming.
  • We fixed an issue where Start Debugging after Start without Debugging results in an exception for ASP.Net projects.
  • We fixed a performance issue with build output search.
  • The Run Item command on the Solution Explorer has been renamed to Run Project.
  • We fixed an issue where the welcome page is shown when loading a solution from finder.

.NET Core

  • We updated to .NET Core 2.1.8 to include a security update.
  • We fixed an issue where the create button doesn't create new project for .NET Core 3.0 preview 2.
  • We fixed an issue where .NET Core 3.0 can be selected in the New Project dialog when it is not supported.
  • We removed the VB.NET option from .NET Core projects.


  • We fixed an issue where the Folder profile would be created with 'Default' configuration instead of 'Release'.

Web Tools

  • We fixed an issue where Publish to Azure creates a profile with the wrong name.
  • We fixed an issue where application arguments are not passed to the Azure Functions host.
  • We added the following additional Azure Functions templates
    • CosmosDB trigger
    • EventHub trigger
    • IoT Hub trigger
    • SendGrid trigger
    • ServiceBus Queue trigger
    • ServiceBus Topic trigger
  • We fixed an issue where it was not possible to publish to Azure API App instances.


  • We updated the Xamarin Test Cloud agent NuGet version.
  • We fixed an issue where the View Archives command would appear in .NET Core projects.


  • IntelliSense in Xamarin.Forms XAML files for FontFamily is now available.


  • We fixed an issue where the toolbox regressed Android designer usage.
  • We fixed an issue when attempting to drag and drop controls to iOS storyboards from the Tool Box after searching for controls does not work.


  • We fixed an issue where the JDK notification was shown on the welcome page, even for non-Android projects.
  • We fixed an issue where launching Visual Studio for Mac without any Java installed shows 2 system prompts to install Java.
  • We fixed an issue where the Android resource update could occur at the same time as a build which could then cause build issues.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac would fail to upload APK to Acer Chromebook R11.
  • We fixed an issue where new Android apps have uppercase letters in the package name.
  • We fixed an issue where 'Your project is not referencing the 'Mono.Android.Version=v8.1' framework' when AndroidUseLatestPlatformSDK is true.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac does not recognize AndroidManifest in specific build configurations..
  • We fixed an issue where opening the Report A Problem dialog also displays 'Install JDK' dialog.
  • We fixed an issue where the Google Play SDK warning is shown even when publishing Ad-Hoc.


  • It is now possible to choose .pdf files for image assets that do not support vector images.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac erroneously indicates that a Xamarin.Mac property is unavailable.
  • We fixed an issue where it is not possible to choose devices for named colors in the asset catalog.
  • We fixed an issue where the iOS simulator is no longer brought to front when starting a debug session.
  • We fixed an issue where Native References not working in iOS library projects and appear to be ignored.
  • We fixed an issue where deleting a Native Reference does not delete the the file on disk.
  • We fixed an issue where the Debugger doesn't connect to a keyboard extension on any device.


  • We fixed an issue where .xib templates seem to need customObjectInstantitationMethod='direct' added.
  • We fixed an issue where it is not possible to change the target framework version for Xamarin.Mac full on re-opening project options.
  • We fixed an issue where the project options for a Mac build (classic) shows incorrect UI.

Visual Studio For Mac C Language

Code Editor

  • We fixed an issue where the code fix preview window is too small.
  • We fixed an issue where error squiggles were not up to date.
  • We fixed an issue where the editor would freeze while typing
  • We fixed an issue where Changing the tab would not allow you to search a file
  • We fixed an issue where Using statement indenting is incorrect.
  • We fixed an issue where Roslyn throws a fatal exception (System.ArgumentOutOfRangeException).
  • We fixed an issue where formatting of parameters across multiple lines is incorrect.
  • We fixed an issue where the constructor generator would cause Visual Studio for Mac to crash.
  • We fixed an issue where smart semicolon placement causes incorrect semicolon placement.
  • We fixed an issue where typing can be slow in large files when accessibility is enabled.
  • We fixed an issue where a fatal error can occur when trying to navigate inside the editor using VoiceOver.
  • We fixed an issue where the caret location in quick fix margin is incorrect.
  • We fixed a performance issue where indent correcting is taking up too much time on large files.
  • We fixed an issue where Intellisense soft-selection is confusing.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac can't open .targets files.
  • We fixed an issue where the display updates partially when commenting a collapsed method.
  • We fixed an issue where C# syntax highlight doesn't work for some of the keywords.
  • We fixed an issue where invoking some snippets from the toolbox in .cs files leads to poorly formatted code.
  • We fixed an issue where pressing Down to choose the closing tag completion in XAML IntelliSense closes the completion window.
  • We fixed an issue where the file 'redacted' could not be opened.
  • We fixed an issue where sometimes pasting fails in XAML files.
  • We fixed an issue where, when adding an attribute via Intellisense, it does not trim 'Attribute' from the name.
  • We fixed an issue where code suggestion does the wrong thing when ( is pressed after a stray arrow key.


  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac crashes after 'Could not add packages' error.
  • We updated the version of NuGet to 4.8.
  • NuGet package diagnostic warnings are now shown in the Solution Explorer. Any diagnostics warnings will be rendered with a warning icon and the full text of the warning available as a tool tip.
  • We fixed a set of issues with NuGet:
    • problem while restoring NuGet packages which don't have stable version.
    • The VS4Mac bundle nuget version is too old: 4.3.1.
    • Referencing packages conditionally using variable does not work correctly.
    • Xamarin.Forms app with multi target framework library referenced fail to build.
    • Visual Studio Mac Csproj build not support Item contidion.
    • Support conditional NuGet PackageReferences in multi-targeting projects.
    • Show per-framework dependencies when multi-targeting.
    • VS cannot build F# dotnet core solution.
    • Nuget restore ignore build targets.
    • NuGet restores the wrong version of Microsoft.AspNetCore.App.


  • We fixed an issue where the debugger would fail when running on an external console on Mojave.

Test Tools

  • We fixed an issue where xUnit Fact 'DisplayName' not shown in test explorer if the name has a period at the end.
  • We fixed an issue where the text editor unit test integration ('Unit test 'name' could not be loaded') would fail.
  • We fixed a performance issue where the 'Test Results' pane has bad performance when very large amounts of text are shown.
  • We fixed an issue where the unit test integration in the editor does not properly trigger test cases.
  • We fixed an issue that could cause xunit to fail to restore.


  • We fixed an issue where open statements for F# must be manually added when pasting/writing code.
  • We fixed an issue where new F# projects shows IntelliSense errors.
  • We fixed an issue for F# projects where Visual Studio for Mac overwrites the project GUID to be lowercase instead of uppercase.

Project System

  • We fixed an issue where the copy & paste of a XAML file causes a disassociation between the .xaml and .xaml.cs files.
  • We fixed an issue where files are being added to ItemGroup.Compile(Remove) and this related issue - Error type of namespace not found.
  • We fixed an issue where an invalid C# file is created with a new library project.
  • We fixed an issue where it is not possible to create a culture specific .resx file through the 'New File ..' menu in the Solutions Explorer context menu.

Assembly Browser

  • We fixed an issue where the Assembly Browser shows the wrong icon for properties.
  • We fixed an issue where System.DayOfWeek enum (Wednesday) does not appear to be assigned a value.


  • We fixed a number of accessibility issues in this release, including several VoiceOver issues in the Debugger and in creating iOS developer certificates, and Keyboard issues in the Android SDK Manager.


  • We fixed an issue where unchecking the Organize Using > Place System directives first setting does not save.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac is not remembering settings.
  • We fixed an issue where Checking for updates can result in multiple prompts to sign in.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version

released February 22, 2019

  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac becomes unresponsive when selecting two column view.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version

released February 28, 2019

  • We fixed an issue where Debugger features sometimes don't work as expected with Unity.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version

released March 12, 2019

  • This release contains an updated 4.8 NuGet Client, which in turn closes a NuGet Client vulnerability.
  • We fixed an issue where Using Git to publish an existing project to a new remote repository was not working.
  • We fixed an issue where Git remote operations were failing in Visual Studio for Mac:.
  • We fixed an issue where Tooltips not being shown for F# solutions.
  • We fixed an issue where The Report a Problem dialog crashes Visual Studio for Mac when entering details.
  • We fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac crashes while using Report a Problem if the debugger connection is lost.
  • We fixed an issue where Two sign in popup windows would show if you weren't signed in and tried to Report a Problem.
  • We fixed an issue causing warnings about missing icons to show up in the log files when using Report a Problem.
  • We fixed an issue preventing build messages from displaying in the Build Output window after building Docker Compose projects.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac version

released May 13, 2019

  • This release fixes an issue where (Visual Studio for Mac 7.8.3 crashes after loading a second solution)[].

Feedback & Suggestions

We would love to hear from you! You can report a problem through the Report a Problem option in the Visual Studio for Mac IDE, and track your feedback in the Developer Community portal. For suggesting new features you can use Suggest a Feature, these are also tracked in the Developer Community.


Take advantage of the insights and recommendations available in the Developer Tools Blogs site to keep you up-to-date on all new releases and include deep dive posts on a broad range of features.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac Release Notes History

You can view prior versions of Visual Studio 2017 for Mac release notes on the Release notes history page.

Top of Page

In this tutorial, you configure Visual Studio Code to use the Microsoft Visual C++ compiler and debugger on Windows.

After configuring VS Code, you will compile and debug a simple Hello World program in VS Code. This tutorial does not teach you details about the Microsoft C++ toolset or the C++ language. For those subjects, there are many good resources available on the Web.

If you have any problems, feel free to file an issue for this tutorial in the VS Code documentation repository.


To successfully complete this tutorial, you must do the following:

  1. Install Visual Studio Code.

  2. Install the C/C++ extension for VS Code. You can install the C/C++ extension by searching for 'c++' in the Extensions view (⇧⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+X)).

  3. Install the Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC) compiler toolset.

    If you have a recent version of Visual Studio, open the Visual Studio Installer from the Windows Start menu and verify that the C++ workload is checked. If it's not installed, then check the box and click the Modify button in the installer.

    You can also install just the C++ Build Tools, without a full Visual Studio IDE installation. From the Visual Studio Downloads page, scroll down until you see Tools for Visual Studio under the All downloads section and select the download for Build Tools for Visual Studio.

    This will launch the Visual Studio Installer, which will bring up a dialog showing the available Visual Studio Build Tools workloads. Check the C++ build tools workload and select Install.

Note: You can use the C++ toolset from Visual Studio Build Tools along with Visual Studio Code to compile, build, and verify any C++ codebase as long as you also have a valid Visual Studio license (either Community, Pro, or Enterprise) that you are actively using to develop that C++ codebase.

Check your Microsoft Visual C++ installation

To use MSVC from a command line or VS Code, you must run from a Developer Command Prompt for Visual Studio. An ordinary shell such as PowerShell, Bash, or the Windows command prompt does not have the necessary path environment variables set.

To open the Developer Command Prompt for VS, start typing 'developer' in the Windows Start menu, and you should see it appear in the list of suggestions. The exact name depends on which version of Visual Studio or the Visual Studio Build Tools you have installed. Click on the item to open the prompt.

You can test that you have the C++ compiler, cl.exe, installed correctly by typing 'cl' and you should see a copyright message with the version and basic usage description.

If the Developer Command Prompt is using the BuildTools location as the starting directory (you wouldn't want to put projects there), navigate to your user folder (C:users{your username}) before you start creating new projects.

Create Hello World

From the Developer Command Prompt, create an empty folder called 'projects' where you can store all your VS Code projects, then create a subfolder called 'helloworld', navigate into it, and open VS Code (code) in that folder (.) by entering the following commands:

The 'code .' command opens VS Code in the current working folder, which becomes your 'workspace'. As you go through the tutorial, you will see three files created in a .vscode folder in the workspace:

  • tasks.json (build instructions)
  • launch.json (debugger settings)
  • c_cpp_properties.json (compiler path and IntelliSense settings)

Add a source code file

In the File Explorer title bar, select the New File button and name the file helloworld.cpp.

Add hello world source code

Now paste in this source code:

Now press ⌘S (Windows, Linux Ctrl+S) to save the file. Notice how the file you just added appears in the File Explorer view (⇧⌘E (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+E)) in the side bar of VS Code:

You can also enable Auto Save to automatically save your file changes, by checking Auto Save in the main File menu.

The Activity Bar on the far left lets you open different views such as Search, Source Control, and Run. You'll look at the Run view later in this tutorial. You can find out more about the other views in the VS Code User Interface documentation.

Note: When you save or open a C++ file, you may see a notification from the C/C++ extension about the availability of an Insiders version, which lets you test new features and fixes. You can ignore this notification by selecting the X (Clear Notification).

Explore IntelliSense

In your new helloworld.cpp file, hover over vector or string to see type information. After the declaration of the msg variable, start typing msg. as you would when calling a member function. You should immediately see a completion list that shows all the member functions, and a window that shows the type information for the msg object:

You can press the Tab key to insert the selected member; then, when you add the opening parenthesis, you will see information about any arguments that the function requires.

Build helloworld.cpp

Next, you will create a tasks.json file to tell VS Code how to build (compile) the program. This task will invoke the Microsoft C++ compiler to create an executable file based on the source code.

From the main menu, choose Terminal > Configure Default Build Task. In the dropdown, which will display a tasks dropdown listing various predefined build tasks for C++ compilers. Choose cl.exe build active file, which will build the file that is currently displayed (active) in the editor.

This will create a tasks.json file in a .vscode folder and open it in the editor.

Your new tasks.json file should look similar to the JSON below:

The command setting specifies the program to run; in this case that is 'cl.exe'. The args array specifies the command-line arguments that will be passed to cl.exe. These arguments must be specified in the order expected by the compiler. This task tells the C++ compiler to take the active file (${file}), compile it, and create an executable file (/Fe: switch) in the current directory (${fileDirname}) with the same name as the active file but with the .exe extension (${fileBasenameNoExtension}.exe), resulting in helloworld.exe for our example.

Note: You can learn more about task.json variables in the variables reference.

The label value is what you will see in the tasks list; you can name this whatever you like.

The problemMatcher value selects the output parser to use for finding errors and warnings in the compiler output. For cl.exe, you'll get the best results if you use the $msCompile problem matcher.

Visual studio c++ for mac

The 'isDefault': true value in the group object specifies that this task will be run when you press ⇧⌘B (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+B). This property is for convenience only; if you set it to false, you can still run it from the Terminal menu with Tasks: Run Build Task.

Running the build

  1. Go back to helloworld.cpp. Your task builds the active file and you want to build helloworld.cpp.

  2. To run the build task defined in tasks.json, press ⇧⌘B (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+B) or from the Terminal main menu choose Tasks: Run Build Task.

  3. When the task starts, you should see the Integrated Terminal panel appear below the source code editor. After the task completes, the terminal shows output from the compiler that indicates whether the build succeeded or failed. For a successful C++ build, the output looks something like this:

  4. Create a new terminal using the + button and you'll have a new terminal (running PowerShell) with the helloworld folder as the working directory. Run ls and you should now see the executable helloworld.exe along with various intermediate C++ output and debugging files (helloworld.obj, helloworld.pdb).

  5. You can run helloworld in the terminal by typing .helloworld.exe.

Note: You might need to press Enter a couple of times initially to see the PowerShell prompt in the terminal. This issue should be fixed in a future release of Windows.

Modifying tasks.json

You can modify your tasks.json to build multiple C++ files by using an argument like '${workspaceFolder}*.cpp' instead of ${file}. This will build all .cpp files in your current folder. You can also modify the output filename by replacing '${fileDirname}${fileBasenameNoExtension}.exe' with a hard-coded filename (for example '${workspaceFolder}myProgram.exe').

Debug helloworld.cpp

Next, you'll create a launch.json file to configure VS Code to launch the Microsoft C++ debugger when you press F5 to debug the program. From the main menu, choose Run > Add Configuration... and then choose C++ (Windows).

You'll then see a dropdown for various predefined debugging configurations. Choose cl.exe build and debug active file.

VS Code creates a launch.json file, opens it in the editor, and builds and runs 'helloworld'.

The program setting specifies the program you want to debug. Here it is set to the active file folder ${fileDirname} and active filename with the .exe extension ${fileBasenameNoExtension}.exe, which if helloworld.cpp is the active file will be helloworld.exe.

By default, the C++ extension won't add any breakpoints to your source code and the stopAtEntry value is set to false. Change the stopAtEntry value to true to cause the debugger to stop on the main method when you start debugging.

Start a debugging session

  1. Go back to helloworld.cpp so that it is the active file.
  2. Press F5 or from the main menu choose Run > Start Debugging. Before you start stepping through the source code, let's take a moment to notice several changes in the user interface:
  • The Integrated Terminal appears at the bottom of the source code editor. In the Debug Output tab, you see output that indicates the debugger is up and running.

  • The editor highlights the first statement in the main method. This is a breakpoint that the C++ extension automatically sets for you:

  • The Run view on the left shows debugging information. You'll see an example later in the tutorial.

  • At the top of the code editor, a debugging control panel appears. You can move this around the screen by grabbing the dots on the left side.

Step through the code

Now you're ready to start stepping through the code.

Visual Studio Download For Mac

  1. Click or press the Step over icon in the debugging control panel until the for (const string& word : msg) statement is highlighted.

    The Step Over command skip over all the internal function calls within the vector and string classes that are invoked when the msg variable is created and initialized. Notice the change in the Variables window on the left. In this case, the errors are expected because, although the variable names for the loop are now visible to the debugger, the statement has not executed yet, so there is nothing to read at this point. The contents of msg are visible, however, because that statement has completed.

  2. Press Step over again to advance to the next statement in this program (skipping over all the internal code that is executed to initialize the loop). Now, the Variables window shows information about the loop variables.

  3. Press Step over again to execute the cout statement. Note As of the March 2019 version of the extension, no output is displayed until the loop completes.

  4. If you like, you can keep pressing Step over until all the words in the vector have been printed to the console. But if you are curious, try pressing the Step Into button to step through source code in the C++ standard library!

    To return to your own code, one way is to keep pressing Step over. Another way is to set a breakpoint in your code by switching to the helloworld.cpp tab in the code editor, putting the insertion point somewhere on the cout statement inside the loop, and pressing F9. A red dot appears in the gutter on the left to indicate that a breakpoint has been set on this line.

    Then press F5 to start execution from the current line in the standard library header. Execution will break on cout. If you like, you can press F9 again to toggle off the breakpoint.

Set a watch

Sometimes you might want to keep track of the value of a variable as your program executes. You can do this by setting a watch on the variable.

  1. Place the insertion point inside the loop. In the Watch window, click the plus sign and in the text box, type word, which is the name of the loop variable. Now view the Watch window as you step through the loop.

  2. Add another watch by adding this statement before the loop: int i = 0;. Then, inside the loop, add this statement: ++i;. Now add a watch for i as you did in the previous step.

  3. To quickly view the value of any variable while execution is paused on a breakpoint, you can hover over it with the mouse pointer.

C/C++ configurations

If you want more control over the C/C++ extension, you can create a c_cpp_properties.json file, which will allow you to change settings such as the path to the compiler, include paths, C++ standard (default is C++17), and more.

You can view the C/C++ configuration UI by running the command C/C++: Edit Configurations (UI) from the Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)).

This opens the C/C++ Configurations page. When you make changes here, VS Code writes them to a file called c_cpp_properties.json in the .vscode folder.

Visual Studio Code places these settings in .vscodec_cpp_properties.json. If you open that file directly, it should look something like this:

You only need to add to the Include path array setting if your program includes header files that are not in your workspace or in the standard library path.

Compiler path

The compilerPath setting is an important setting in your configuration. The extension uses it to infer the path to the C++ standard library header files. When the extension knows where to find those files, it can provide useful features like smart completions and Go to Definition navigation.

The C/C++ extension attempts to populate compilerPath with the default compiler location based on what it finds on your system. The extension looks in several common compiler locations.

The compilerPath search order is:

  • First check for the Microsoft Visual C++ compilerOpe
  • Then look for g++ on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
  • Then g++ for Mingw-w64.

If you have g++ or WSL installed, you might need to change compilerPath to match the preferred compiler for your project. For Microsoft C++, the path should look something like this, depending on which specific version you have installed: 'C:/Program Files (x86)/Microsoft Visual Studio/2017/BuildTools/VC/Tools/MSVC/14.16.27023/bin/Hostx64/x64/cl.exe'.

Reusing your C++ configuration

VS Code is now configured to use the Microsoft C++ compiler. The configuration applies to the current workspace. To reuse the configuration, just copy the JSON files to a .vscode folder in a new project folder (workspace) and change the names of the source file(s) and executable as needed.


The term 'cl.exe' is not recognized

If you see the error 'The term 'cl.exe' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program.', this usually means you are running VS Code outside of a Developer Command Prompt for Visual Studio and VS Code doesn't know the path to the cl.exe compiler.

You can always check that you are running VS Code in the context of the Developer Command Prompt by opening a new Terminal (⌃⇧` (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+`)) and typing 'cl' to verify cl.exe is available to VS Code.

Next steps

  • Explore the VS Code User Guide.
  • Review the Overview of the C++ extension.
  • Create a new workspace, copy your .vscode JSON files to it, adjust the necessary settings for the new workspace path, program name, and so on, and start coding!