Setup iOS Simulator for Windows

Download and Install

Download the preview installer and install on your Windows computer.

UPDATED: 28th September, 2016. The remoted iOS Simulator preview works with the latest Xamarin stable channel, and also on macOS Sierra.

Getting Started

To enable the remoted iOS Simulator:

  1. Make sure Visual Studio has connected to your Mac at least once before starting the remoted iOS Simulator.
  2. Go to Tools > Options > Xamarin > iOS Settings and tick the box for Remote Simulator to Windows:

  3. Ensure an iOS app is the Startup Project and start debugging.

Please review the known issues before using the simulator.


The remoted iOS Simulator provides you with a way to test and debug iOS apps on the simulator entirely from Visual Studio on Windows.

Simulator Window

The window toolbar includes a number of buttons to interact with the simulator:

  • Home – simulates the home button on the device.
  • Lock – locks the simulator (you can swipe to unlock).
  • Screenshot – saves a screenshot of the simulator to disk.
  • Settings – configure the keyboard and location.
  • Other options – a variety of simulator options are available such as rotate, shake, or invoke other states in the simulator. When some options are obscured, they can be accessed from the ellipsis icon that appears in the toolbar, or by right-clicking on the window.


The "gear" icon opens the Settings window:

This allows you to enable the hardware keyboard on the simulator, and choose what location is reported to the device (including a static location, or other moving location options).

Other Options

Right-click anywhere in the simulator window to view all the options available in the simulator, such as rotation, triggering a shake gesture, and rebooting the simulator:

Touchscreen Support

Most modern Windows computers have touchscreens, and the remoted iOS Simulator lets you touch the simulator window to test user interactions in your iOS app.

This includes pinching, swiping, and multiple-finger touch gestures - things that previously could only be easily tested on physical devices.

Stylus support in Windows is also translated to Pencil input on the simulator.

Known Issues

  • Apple Watch devices may show in the Visual Studio device list, but are not yet supported.
  • Launching in Release mode may also start Apple’s simulator on the networked Mac.
  • Closing the remoted iOS Simulator on Windows will not immediately stop debugging in Visual Studio. Stop debugging manually from the menu or the red button.
  • Opening too many different simulators simultaneously will produce unexpected results.
  • Exception of type Foundation.NSErrorException may be thrown while launching Simulators. Workaround is to kill csproxy (server process) on the Mac host and re-deploy to the simulator.
  • Performance may be slower when using Xcode 8

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