Missing Visual Studio extensions after installation


Error Messages

  • "This project is incompatible with the current edition of Visual Studio"

Double-check Visual Studio compatibility

Ensure you have a compatible version of Visual Studio installed:

  • Visual Studio 2010 (only supported in XamarinVS 3.11 and lower)
  • Visual Studio 2012
  • Visual Studio 2013
  • Visual Studio Community 2013
  • Visual Studio 2015
  • Visual Studio Community 2015

Visual Studio Express editions are not compatible with Xamarin because they do not allow installation of 3rd party extensions.

Possible Fix 1: "Change" the installation to make sure the VS extensions are installed

In certain situations, the Xamarin installer might automatically un-check the install options for the Visual Studio extensions. If that's the cause of the problem in your case, you can install the missing Visual Studio extensions using the installer's "Change" command. For example, if you wanted to install the extensions for Visual Studio 2013:

  1. Open the Windows "Programs and Features" Control Panel.

  2. Right click the "Xamarin" entry, and select "Change".

  3. Click "Next", then "Change".

  4. Make sure the "Xamarin for Visual Studio 2013" option is set to install:
    Enable Xamarin for Visual Studio 2013 installation option

  5. Proceed through the rest of the installer wizard.

Possible Fix 2: Ask Visual Studio to set up the extensions again

  1. Check if the Xamarin extensions have been copied into the Visual Studio extensions folder:

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Xamarin\Xamarin\3.1.228.0"

    If the extensions are properly installed (for version 3.1.228), there will be 60 items in the folder:
    List of 'Xamarin\3.1.228.0' folder contents in Explorer

  2. After you have confirmed that this folder looks correct, tell Visual Studio to try setting up the extensions again:

    "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe" /setup

Possible Fix 3: Try a fresh reinstall of Xamarin

  1. From the Windows Control Panel, uninstall any of the following that are present:

    • Xamarin

    • Xamarin for Windows

    • Xamarin.Android

    • Xamarin.iOS

    • Xamarin for Visual Studio

  2. In Explorer, delete any remaining files from the Xamarin Visual Studio extension folders (all versions, including both Program Files and Program Files (x86)):

    C:\Program Files*\Microsoft Visual Studio 1*.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Xamarin

  3. Also check in the "VirtualStore" directory to see if there might be any "overlay" copies of any of the extension directories:

    %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore

  4. Open the registry editor (regedit).

  5. Look for this key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SharedDlls

  6. Find and delete any entries that match this pattern:

    C:\Program Files*\Microsoft Visual Studio 1*.0\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Xamarin

  7. Look for this key:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VisualStudio\1*.0\ExtensionManager\PendingDeletions

  8. Delete any entries that look like they might be related to Xamarin. For example, here's one that used to cause trouble in older versions of Xamarin:

    Mono.VisualStudio.Shell,1.0

  9. Reboot.

  10. Reinstall the current stable version of Xamarin using the individual installer (.msi) download link under "Xamarin.iOS -> Windows" or "Xamarin.Android -> Windows" on http://store.xamarin.com/account/my/subscription/downloads.

Possible Fix 4: Repair Visual Studio installation

  1. Open the Windows "Programs and Features" Control Panel.

  2. Right click the relevant Microsoft Visual Studio entry, and select "Change"

  3. Click the "Repair" button in the Visual Studio dialog that opens.

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2016 07:55PM EDT