Targeting Framework Missing / Empty Visual Studio 2017


I'm after having a great time trying to figure out a bug with Xamarin on VS 2017 where the targeting framework drop down on my Xamarin.IOS project in my forms solution wasn't being populated.
This was causing several issues when building with a Binding Assembly linked to the project as, as they didn't know which framework to target on either project, the binding assembly was not being found and caused compile issues

anyway, to get on with it

My computer is a fresh build with VS 2017 + Xamarin installed on it
My issue was the Targeting framework dropdown in the projects properties application tab being empty
i searched for 2 days for a solution to this specific issue and found nothing that matched
there were other people who were complaining of the same thing on the .net frameworks and the solution to this was to reinstall the targeting packs for the .net framework version
i tried this to no avail

in the end the solution was to download the stand alone installer from Xamarin and to manually install the Xamarin.VisualStudio_4.5.0.476.msi

You can find this installer in the downloads section of the Xamarin website

Hope this helps anyone in the future as it nearly made me cry

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