The latest Visual Studio 2022 Preview is now available as a native Arm64 application on Windows 11. This Visual Studio version supports building and debugging Arm64 apps on ARM-based processors and reduces reliance on x86 emulation.
In this guide, we will walk you through how to download and install Visual Studio 2022 Preview on Windows 11 on Arm64 devices, such as Surface Pro X or Lenovo ThinkPad x13s.
Arm64 development and workload support
Visual Studio 2022 17.3 Preview 2 has the following workloads enabled for developers:
- Desktop development with C++ (for MSBuild-based projects).
- .NET desktop development (WinForms, WPF) using both the .NET Framework and modern .NET.
- NET and web development.
These workloads will be generally available by the end of 2022, and Microsoft needs developer feedback to enable more tools and experiences. Check the Visual Studio 2022 Roadmap for more information.
Visual Studio versions prior to 17.3 Preview 2 can run on the ARM drive via x86 emulation, but some other features are not supported. It is not recommended that you run older versions of Visual Studio on devices that use ARM-based processors.
Install Visual Studio 2022 Preview
Here are the prerequisites for downloading and installing Visual Studio 2022 Preview on Arm64 devices.
Once you have met these requirements, you can proceed to download and install Visual Studio 2022 17.3 preview 2. There is a single installer for both x64 and Arm64 Visual Studio. Once downloaded, double-click the installer and it will detect your system architecture, download the appropriate Visual Studio version, and install it on your Arm64 device.
For managed developers
.NET 6 already has built-in Arm64 support, and this release extends its native Arm64 support to include the .NET Framework 4.8.1 runtime and SDK support for building managed desktop applications (Windows Forms and WPF) using both .NET 6+ and .NET Framework 4.8.1.
For native developers
The MSVC toolkit, including the C++ compiler, libraries, and runtime, supports Arm64 devices and is continuously working to improve the quality of Arm64-generated code. Visual Studio 2022 Preview provides access to the new native Arm64 MSVC compiler toolkit, which includes C++ code analysis capabilities.
Making the extension Arm64 compatible is relatively easy if you’re familiar with Visual Studio 2022. Leslie Richardson, Visual Studio Extensibility Program Manager, provides a quick and helpful guide.
If you’re just starting to develop Arm64 apps or thinking about it, remember that most of the C++ libraries you already use support Arm64. Vcpkg already runs natively on Arm64, and although some dependent third-party tools will run emulated, you’ll still be able to build and use 600+ C++ libraries natively in your Arm64 build environment.
Want to help make Visual Studio 2022 even better on Arm64? Share your feedback with the Visual Studio Developer Community, report any bugs or issues you encounter via Report an Issue, and suggest what workloads you’d like to see in Visual Studio 2022.