Visual Studio for Mac:
How to Get Microsoft Visual Studio on Mac

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Let's face the facts, while the operating systems and tools available on Microsoft have the edge in the business world, they still haven't bested the hold Apple's ecosystem of products has on our hearts. We simply love our MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones.

This divided love has led to most of us living double lives. We know so many of you in the software industry are victims of this and have had to use Microsoft at work and Mac everywhere else. Visual Studio is an excellent example of this. Even developers who live by and large in Apple's ecosystem know the value in the years Microsoft has spent refining, running, and upgrading this tool.

However, technology is an ever-changing entity. Parallels Desktop is a virtual machine dedicated to having both systems in your life. It concurrently gives you the efficiency of Microsoft's Visual Studio and the seamlessness of Mac machines.

Why you might want Visual Studio on Mac

Virtual Machine technology lets you run Windows PC on your MacBook without losing any functionality. Many people are concerned about the toll running two operating systems will have on your physical device's resources. You'll be pleased to know the extra performance needed to run your virtual machine—in our case, Parallels Desktop—is low.

This guaranteed smoothness results from the inventiveness of the virtual machine and the competency of Apple's systems. The hardware and software of Apple components and how they collaboratively work in your Mac is a work of art; you can thank your Mac's drivers for this.

There are a couple of financial considerations to have in mind if you decide to go through this route. Parallels Desktop has purchase and subscription costs. Additionally, there's the Windows license to consider. Yet, these expenses pale in comparison to buying a new machine just to run Visual Studio.

How to get Microsoft Visual Studio on Mac

A lot of Windows applications like Visual Studio aren't normally supported by Mac computers. While there are similar and native compilers on Mac like Visual Studio Code and Xamarin Studio, the most convenient and efficient way to run Visual Studio on your Mac is by using Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Mac's Parallels Desktop allows you to run Windows and Windows apps simultaneously with Mac OS. You will not need to reboot your computer as with Apple's Boot Camp. We know you can't wait to begin programming on your Visual Studio for Mac, so let's get to how you'll achieve this.

  1. Purchase Parallels Desktop. There are several packages available to choose from depending on the specs you require from your software. There's the pro edition, standard edition, business edition, and the student edition, which comes at a subsidized cost.
  2. Next, install the Parallels software. The process is pretty straightforward. Open the app once the installation is finished.
  3. Parallels Desktop has been designed to automatically detect your system needs so that you're up and running in mere moments. You'll be directed to download and install Windows 10 if you require Windows. An Intel-based Mac will, however, need you to use your Boot Camp installation.
  4. We've finally gotten to the good part: downloading Visual Studio. There are a couple of versions available to you that vary depending on the scope of use. Visit the official website to check your options; pick the Community option for the free use of the Visual Studio environment.
  5. As the application will run on the native Windows platform, you'll be pleased to know the Visual Studio installation will also be quite direct. The installer automatically completes the installation. That's it! You can now enjoy a smooth Visual Studio experience on your Mac.


A majority of developers around the world trust Visual Studio to develop programs, and for good reason. The improvements made to it over the years, including adding more languages to program with and incorporating developer requests, make it the best Integrated Development Environment (IDE) around.

While you may buy a new PC if you wish to enjoy both the Mac and Microsoft worlds, it is unnecessarily costly. Why not use the fluidity of Parallels Desktop and have the best of both worlds? Check us out today for a free trial download