Build Mac Apps on Windows

MikeRoweMikeRowe PLMember
edited January 2016 in Xamarin.Mac

I have some questions on mac-windows integration
I would like to make android and ios apps parallel, using Windows and Indie Plan.

So the only option is Xamarin Studio = I cant make ios apps without physical mac in my office ? Or can I make them but just cant build code ?
It would be cheap to buy some mac-on-cloud service just for building.

There is something like Mono also. But I'm not exactly sure how it works

What would be best option for me ?


  • ChrisHamonsChrisHamons USXamarin Team Xamurai

    We currently do not have cross builds (from VS to OS X) for Xamarin.Mac as we do for Xamarin.iOS. It has been an occasional feature request from customers that we are aware of.

    To build a Xamarin.Mac application you will need to work on a Mac. In addition to the build time requirement (due to the need to use the apple toolchain), and interactions with xib/storyboards will need to use Xcode.

    There are many options on how to accomplish this. Some that come to mind include:

    • Develop on a Mac directly (possibly with a VM for Windows on it)
    • Remote into a Mac running somewhere and develop on it.
  • MikeRoweMikeRowe PLMember

    Thank you Chris!

    Let me ask one more question, im starting new project on windows do for now just for android. What is the best approach for future converting into ios as well ?

    Can I make new Xamarin.forms project for Android as a Target Platform and still be able to convert it to ios ?

  • ChrisHamonsChrisHamons USXamarin Team Xamurai

    Xamarin.Forms should work great for Android and iOS if that is what you need to target ( Do note, however, that it does not support Xamarin.Mac.

    In any case, if you need to support multiple platforms, such as Windows + OS X + Mobile, a common strategy is to move as much logic as humanly possible to shared libraries that you can reuse on each platform and write some UI specific code for each platform. Often these shared libraries are PCL (see

    You may want to check out our documentation. We have introduction documentation for each platform (iOS, Android, Forms, Mac) and more general documentation like this ( that may be useful getting up to speed. If you are looking for more formal classes, you can check out Xamarin University (

  • YvonYvon USMember

    This is now September 2017. Any updates on the ability to build Mac Apps on Windows?

  • ChrisHamonsChrisHamons USXamarin Team Xamurai

    @Yvon - This thread is more than a year and half old, please consider posting a new thread if you want to start a discussion without notifying everyone on it.

    In any case, VS on Windows support for Xamarin.Mac is nearly the same as before. There is very very limited support for building libraries on Windows targeting the Xamarin.Mac target framework, but nothing related to building full Applications. Building full apps would require round tripping to an associated Mac, remote debugging to test it out, and a bunch of other work.

    Xamarin.Forms does have a macOS backend now, so if you are interested in developing using it, some of your work could be done in Windows (the Windows / shared bits). You still would need to use/remote into a Mac to build/test it however.

  • YvonYvon USMember

    Thank you for the prompt answer.

    I thought the people who originally asked the question, or folks like me who arrived late to the party, might want to know if there had been any new developments without starting a new thread.

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