Visual Studio 2017 for Mac - Preview Release Notes

Last Update: 11/14/2017

In this article, you will find information regarding the current Preview release for Visual Studio 2017 for Mac. You can install this Preview version by changing the updater channel in Visual Studio for Mac.


This release is not "go-live" and not intended for use on production computers or for creating production code.

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.


We’d love to hear from you! You can report a problem via the Report a Problem option in the upper right hand corner of the Visual Studio for Mac IDE itself. You can track your feedback in the Developer Community portal. For suggestions, let us know through UserVoice.

Known Issues

Please refer to the Known Issues section.

Release Date: November 14, 2017 - Visual Studio 2017 version 7.3 Preview 4 (

This release includes support for Xcode 9.1 and addresses the following issues:

Release Date: November 2, 2017 - Visual Studio 2017 version 7.3 Preview 3 (

  • UI hang on opening TypeScript file
  • Fixed an issue where favorite projects could be removed when located on an external drive.
  • Fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac could crash when setting breakpoints in a .axml file.
  • Fixed an issue opening storyboards in Xcode 9 from a Windows network share.
  • Fixed an issue that would prevent users from registering Google Play Api keys needed to publish to Play Store.
  • Fixed an issue where Visual Studio for Mac would attempt to auto-provision a device paired via Wifi.

Release Date: October 23, 2017 - Visual Studio 2017 version 7.3 Preview 2 (

  • Xamarin Live Player extension has been updated which includes support for SDK style projects.
  • Docker extension updated to resolve issues with debugging.
  • Fixed an issue where the IDE could crash if objective-c code throws an exception.

Release Date: October 12, 2017 - Visual Studio 2017 version 7.3 Preview 1 (

Visual Studio for Mac 7.3 primarily focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements and includes the following features:


  • New Asset Catalog type: ColorSet.
    • Xcode9 / iOS 11 supported introduced ColorSet assets, which allows users to define custom colors for use in their applications. This release ofVisual Studio for Mac now supports this feature.

Automatic iOS Signing.

In 7.1 attempts to simplify the signing workflow by introducing new options in the iOS Bundle Signing panel. 7.3 introduces Automatic provisioning to significantly simplify provisioning.

iOS provisioning is a sequence of steps or tasks (also referred to as "provisioning tasks") that are carried out in order to created certain files for iOS application signing. With automatic signing, the IDE carries out these tasks for you.

Without using Xcode, provisioning is a manual, slow, and confusing process. Typically, to provision an iOS device developers have to create the following signing entities:

  • Application ID
  • Certificate and private key (often known as a signing identity)
  • Provisioning Profile

Visual Studio for Mac now has two distinct and mutually exclusive ways of signing iOS apps:

  • Manual

  • Automatic - the IDE will handle signing automatically to the best of its abilities.

Manual signing means creating and managing certificates and profiles yourself and then configuring signing identies in "iOS Bundle Signing" settings. With Automatic signing Visual Studio for Mac will endeavour to manage these itself, with minimal support from you.

To enable automatic signing in your iOS project:

  1. Open or create your iOS project in Visual Studio for Mac.
  2. Make sure that you have Apple ID account added in Preferences.
  3. Open Info.plist editor.
  4. Select your development team in Signing section .
  5. Enable Enable Automatic Signing
  6. Wait for automatic signing to complete. Once it completes you should be all set for running an app on your device.

Visual Studio for Mac will generate a certificate and provisioning profile and modify the .csproj file to use these files for signing. It's important to note that all configurations of the provisioned project will be set to use the same certificate and profile.

Visual Studio for Mac will automatically create certificates and profiles when the following events happen

  • Automatic signing is enabled in the Info.plist editor.
  • A physical device is connected.
  • Changing the Bundle ID in Info.plist.
  • Enabling an entitlement in Entitlements.plist. Note that not all entitlements trigger Automatic signing in this release. The following entitlements are currently supported:

    • HealthKit
    • HomeKit
    • Personal VPN
    • Wireless Accessory Configuration
    • Inter-App Audio
    • SiriKit
    • Hotspot
    • Network Extensions
    • Multipath

    Support for other entitlements will be added in future releases.

Team and Developer identity preferences are saved to .userprefs so they can be excluded from source control.


  • Improved deployment errors. When the user tries to run an Android project with no launchable activity in Release mode the IDE now catches this and gives the user a more informative error message.

  • Run Configuration hints. The Run Configuration editor now provides hints about how to properly export an Activity, Service, or Broadcast Receiver.

  • Integration of SDK Manager in the updater. The Visual Studio for Mac Updater can resolve, download, and install Android SDK dependencies automatically. If a Xamarin.Android update depends on a specific Android SDK level to be installed, the required SDK package will be shown in the list with available updates and downloaded automatically. After the successful Xamarin.Android installation, the updater app will install the previously downloaded package at the default Android SDK location.


    • New Roslyn based refactorings. Generate From Usage, Change Method Signature, and Extract Interface are now offered as refactorings within your C# code.


  • VSTest integration Visual Studio for Mac now supports a wider variety of test frameworks through the integration of VSTest. Frameworks such as MSTest or xUnit can now be used within Visual Studio for Mac via NuGet adpater packages (MSTest.TestAdapter, xunit.runner.visualstudio for example).

  • Upated authentication. Improvements to the Visual Studio authentication integration should solve many of the issues users have had signing in with their Visual Studio accounts and fetching licensing information.

  • Accessibility. we have been continually updating and improving accessibility.

  • Updater support for .NET Core. Visual Studio for Mac will now check to see if the .NET Core 2.0 SDK is installed when checking for updates. If it is not installed then the Visual Studio Update dialog will allow it to be downloaded and installed.

  • Xamarin Live Player updates. Xamarin Live Player (Preview) has been updated to include:

    • better status reporting and error messages when deploying
    • deployment status when deploying for "Live Run"
    • Live Run now also has a shortcut (Shift+Opt+L)

    The Player app has also been updated with many improvements, be sure to get the latest builds from the respective app stores.

Top Issues Fixed in this Release

Known Issues

  • Docker can interfere with launching Android emulators that use HAXM. When debugging Android apps on emulators, please shutdown Docker before attempting to debug.