Xcode for Windows OS – Install & Use it to Build iOS Apps on PC

Apple’s Xcode is a fantastic IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to help you in making entire application development projects –making your app from scratch via coding to other processes like testing and finally publishing it on the App Store.

Xcode is a reliable app development application for Mac OS, which makes a favorable environment for people to develop apps for iOS, Mac OS, Apple TV OS, and Apple Watch OS. Xcode was released in 2003 by Apple as a free, open-source program, and now they are working on a new version with minor improvements. On the Apple official Developer website, you can download the prior versions.

Xcode On Windows To Build IOS Apps

Are you planning to develop iOS apps via Xcode but don’t have a system supporting Mac OS? Unfortunately, Xcode is only available for Mac OS. Apple hasn’t released any versions of Xcode on Windows.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered; even though you can’t install Xcode on Windows 11 or Windows 10/8.1/7, we’ll show you some methods that you can use with your Windows PC (or affordable ways) so that you can make apps for Mac OS or iOS.

The steps which we provide is mostly for education and testing purpose. If you want to do hard-core programming without any issues in your app, you need to run Xcode on Apple hardware or an Apple device, which will be the most reliable and will resolve all the errors and problems.

When considering using macOS or their products, such as Xcode, on non-Apple hardware, such as building a Hackintosh, it’s crucial to understand the legal and licensing implications. Apple’s End User License Agreement (EULA) restricts the installation of their operating systems on non-Apple hardware, making such practices potentially in violation of their terms of service.

Below are some solutions to get comfortable with the Mac and iOS environments.

Solutions at a glance to have Xcode on Windows:

  • Rent a MacBook or any Apple Hardware
  • Build a “Hackintosh”
  • Get MacMini
  • Use MacOS virtually by using VMware or Virtualbox.
  • Buy a used Macbook
  • Third-Party Solutions and IDE Alternatives

1) Rent a Mac:

Cloud computing technology has transformed the industry; you can now use supercomputers at only a fraction of their price it. And the best part is you can use them on an hourly basis. The best thing about cloud technology is that you can choose your desired OS platform, and you’ll get the best speed and memory.

People nowadays rent those computers via the cloud to run their favorite games. Those games need much more power than Xcode, but they run seamlessly on the system.  

Rent Mac Online

When you rent a Mac virtually, first, you will sign in on your choice of Mac OS system with a remote desktop connection or RDP pre-installed in your Windows PC. It’s just that simple; then, you can access Mac OS from any Windows PC. Some popular services such as Virtualmacosx, Mac-stadium, and Mac-in-Cloud will provide you with access to the desired Mac by paying some fee that can be paid monthly.

There are few major players when it comes to renting Macs online or on the cloud. Check out these websites.

a) MacStadium

b) MacinCloud

2) Build a “Hackintosh”:

One obvious choice is to install macOS itself on your Windows PC. Hackintosh is a Windows PC on which Mac OS is installed. You can make a Hackintosh by two methods:

  • Make MacOS the primary OS of your system, switch the PC on, and macOS will load.
  • You can also make a dual-boot, a system that contains Windows and macOS, so when you turn your PC on, it will prompt you to select the operating system you want to use.

Setting up a Hackintosh is a technical task, but as many people use it, you can find many websites and online forums that will assist you in building a Windows PC with macOS. The online community of Hackintosh is technical, so you’ll have to look carefully before making any changes to your system.

3) Get Mac Mini:

A cheap alternative to buying a MacBook for using MacOS is purchasing a Mac mini. Mac mini is a small portable CPU that contains numerous USB and HDMI ports; some versions of the Mac mini are more powerful than a Macbook. It can be beneficial when you want to install Xcode on your system.

You can set up a Mac mini directly to a screen via HDMI or use the remote connection to connect it to your Windows PC via a remote desktop client and use Xcode from your PC. If you set it up via remote desktop client, you can use the Mac mini wherever you want to run Xcode, whether in your office or home.

4) MacOS on VMware or Virtualbox: Virtualization for Xcode

We mentioned several guides to install macOS on a Windows computer by using VMware or VirtualBox. We can use one of these virtual machines to use Xcode on Windows.

As these VMs do not perform like those used on Apple hardware, we can’t use this setup for real game/app development using Xcode. It is always better to get Apple hardware if you are a serious and professional app developer.

Follow the steps to have Xcode for iOS SDK development from a Windows computer for testing and learning purposes.

Step 1: Install the latest macOS on a virtual machine. Read more about our guide to Big Sur on VMware.

Workking Big Sur On Windows 10 For Xcode

Step 2: Sign in to the app store with your Apple ID. You must have it or create a new account for this purpose.

Step 3: Search for Xcode in the App Store and install it.

Install Xcode On MacOS

Step 4: Installation is straightforward. You may need to provide root access if required. Once it is installed successfully, open the app and create your first project in Xcode, which is actually working on your Windows computer.

Working Xcode On VMware Windows 10

That was the Xcode 12.x version with Big Sur macOS on my Windows 10 desktop computer using a VMware workstation.

NOTE: You can follow the same steps to use the latest Xcode 15 on your Windows 11 laptop or desktop by using the virtualization technology.

5) Buy a used MacBook:

If you want to develop iOS apps without any issue via Xcode, I suggest you buy a used MacBook; sometimes, you can find great deals on a used MacBook on websites like eBay.

You should consider buying a used MacBook when a new generation gets released because, at that time, people sell off their old MacBook at very low prices, and the price of the previous generation goes down; moreover, you can get almost the latest Hardware because no significant changes happen in just one year or two.

Also, consider buying at least a 2-Year old MacBook because then you’ll have one year of Apple care left in an ideal situation to have hassle-free and cheap part replacements if you come up with any hardware issues. You can also check for physical damage and negotiate the price with the owner for a good deal.

6) Third-Party Solutions – iOS development on Windows

You can use various tools to develop cross-platform apps instead of Xcode. Those development tools help you write a single code that can be used and tested on all devices, fulfilling your primary purpose of developing iOS apps.

You must think this is the best solution, but remember that iOS only allows apps made on Xcode. Hence, what this kind of tool will do is take your app and translate your code in such a manner that it can be used on all devices. With this approach, there can be minor errors while publishing or developing it.

Since Apple releases new features frequently, these third-party tools don’t need to always keep up to date to fulfil your requirements; in that case, many issues can arise, so you’ll have to wait until the third-party app catches up with the new update.

Xcode Alternatives (Best IDE Solutions) in Windows OS


Xamarin is a highly popular cross-platform mobile development framework known for its flexibility and compatibility with the .NET language. The framework has been around for some time now and continues to allow Windows developers to make apps for both Android and iOS. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want to target multiple platforms simultaneously but don’t have the prerequisite skills to learn Xcode.

Using Xamarin, developers are able to swap between platforms without having to rewrite or recompile code. While compared to native app development frameworks like Objective-C and Swift/ iOS, Xamarin produces a somewhat slower end product due to running on top of Mono, a minimalist cross-platform .NET runtime, it is still considered much faster than web hybrid technologies like Cordova or PhoneGap as these still require significant overhead in terms of browser threading. These benefits and a large library of prebuilt components that can be easily accessed directly through Visual Studio make this a desirable alternative for those who may not have enough experience in the designated app platform yet need apps quickly created across different platforms.


Flutter is the perfect solution in Windows OS for cross-platform app development across multiple platforms and screen sizes. Developed by Google, Flutter is focused on creating responsive user interfaces with natively compiled code that runs as fast as an Xcode app, if not faster. With Flutter, all types of apps can be created from existing materials, such as coded logic and UIs — you’d be able to create iOS and Android apps, desktop apps for Windows and MacOS, websites that integrate with Flutter Web, Progressed Web Apps (PWAs), etc., using one framework.

Flutter For IOS Apps

Since it uses a single codebase, rather than different codes for different platforms like most app development tools require, you can mostly save time by making fewer changes per update — meaning quicker turnarounds in terms of feature updates/bug fixes. In addition to its wonderful performance qualities and ease of use along with broadness in scope, users also have access to a ready-made material design components library which makes the process even smoother.

Overall, Flutter is a great solution to ensure your app works great on all platforms and screen sizes quickly and seamlessly.


ReactNative is a powerful and versatile framework that brings native mobile applications to life. Built on the React platform, it uses JavaScript to render the UI elements of an iOS or Android app, eliminating the need to learn separate languages like Java or Swift for each platform. ReactNative allows developers to create hybrid apps that can be distributed across multiple stores with no code modifications necessary.

In addition to this flexibility, ReactNative allows for faster application development with plenty of documentation for learning best practices. With support from major tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Intel, developers can rest assured that the updates and bugs of their potential products will be addressed promptly. Development teams can easily create prototype applications without needing to write extra code for back-end development or relying on third-party libraries. This ensures more efficient timelines and more productive code management.

Visual Studio

If you are a Microsoft fan and programmer, don’t forget the Visual Studio. Visual Studio, a comprehensive IDE from Microsoft, stands out as a versatile alternative to Xcode. It features an advanced code editor equipped with IntelliSense for streamlined code completion and efficient refactoring.

This platform excels in cross-language compatibility, particularly within its debugger, and boasts robust support for syntax highlighting. Moreover, Visual Studio’s integrated website designer, which utilizes intuitive drag-and-drop widgets, simplifies the process of web page creation, making it a well-rounded tool for diverse development needs.


AppCode, crafted by JetBrains, is a premium IDE designed specifically for macOS and iOS development. It stands out for its rapid code execution and intelligent development environment, adeptly managing repetitive tasks while minimizing the need for additional coding. You can check this paid version if you are serious about iOS development on a Windows PC.

Appcode For Xcode On Windows

AppCode shines in its ability to refine and improve code with its accurate and secure refactoring capabilities. The IDE also excels in project navigation, allowing effortless access and exploration of files, classes, or images within a project through its structured hierarchical views. Additionally, AppCode’s comprehensive support for languages including Objective-C, C, Swift, and C++, along with its advanced SmartType completion, makes it a powerful tool for a wide range of programming tasks.

Android Studio

Android Studio, developed by Google, emerges as a stellar, free cross-platform IDE and a viable Xcode alternative. Compatible across Windows, Linux, and macOS, it’s engineered to support a diverse array of programming languages like Java, C++, and Go. The primary aim of Android Studio is to facilitate the creation of exceptional applications for Android devices.

It boasts a robust framework that includes static analysis, efficient dependency management, and automated build processes, along with customizable build configurations. As an IDE tailored for Android development, Android Studio harnesses the versatility of IntelliJ’s programming capabilities, making it an indispensable tool for developers targeting Android platforms, available for download on multiple operating systems.

IntelliJ IDEA

Here is another paid product on our list. IntelliJ IDEA stands as a formidable paid alternative to Apple’s Xcode, boasting a suite of exceptional features. Renowned primarily as a Java Virtual Machine (JVM)-oriented platform, this versatile IDE also extends its support to a variety of other programming languages including Ruby, Python, Markdown, HTML, Dart, and XML.

Its advanced predictive capabilities are designed to intuitively understand the programming needs of users, automating mundane and repetitive tasks. This functionality allows developers to channel their focus on more complex and significant development challenges. Additionally, IntelliJ IDEA enhances the development experience with crucial features like comprehensive version control system support and context-aware code completion, along with tailored assistance for specific frameworks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is it possible to run Xcode on Windows?

Apple hasn’t officially released Xcode for Windows, so you cannot install Xcode on your Windows PC, but you certainly can run Xcode via VirtualBox or VMware. Another method you can use is to rent a Mac on cloud storage. We have given some more solutions; you can consider the above options to start developing iOS applications.

Can I build iOS applications on Windows?

You can use cross-app developing platforms that can help you develop an application for both iOS and Android. But you can’t use Apple’s Xcode IDE to develop iOS apps on the Windows system as Apple doesn’t allow compilation on other platforms like Linux or Windows.

How to install Xcode in Windows 11?

Unfortunately, Xcode is only available for MacOS and cannot be installed on Windows 11. If you need to develop iOS apps on Windows, you may want to consider using third-party tools such as Xamarin or React Native.

How do I download Xcode on my computer?

You cannot download Xcode directly on your Windows computer because it isn’t compatible with Windows; you’ll have to use a virtual Mac machine via a remote desktop client and run Xcode on that, or you can even rent a Mac on the cloud, and start developing iOS apps via Xcode.

Can I run Swift on Windows?

Unlike Xcode, Swift is available for Windows. Apple has released Swift; it is a general-purpose, compiled programming language that is used for developing apps for iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS. “Swift for Windows” is a free, open-source GUI IDE that provides an environment to develop apps in the Swift programming language to compile and run on a Windows PC.

What is the Xcode alternative for Windows?

One popular alternative to Xcode for Windows is Visual Studio, which is a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) that supports multiple programming languages, including C++, C#, Python, and more. Another option is Code::Blocks, which is an open-source IDE that is lightweight and easy to use. Other alternatives include Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ IDEA. However, it’s important to note that none of these alternatives offer the same level of integration and support for iOS and macOS development as Xcode does.

Is Xcode free to download?

Xcode is an IDE that is released by Apple to develop apps for iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS. It can be downloaded with the help of the Mac app store as a free app. You will have to log in with your Apple ID and password in the Mac app store, then you need to search for the Xcode, click on download, and it’ll download and install on your Mac. You don’t have to be a member of the Apple developer program to download this application.

Can I build iOS app on Windows?

No, it is not possible to build an iOS app on Windows directly. Apple’s iOS development tools and software are designed specifically for the macOS operating system. However, there are some workarounds that allow developers to create iOS apps on Windows, such as using virtual machines, remote desktop connections, or cross-platform development tools. 

Do I need a Mac to run Xcode?

Yes, you need a Mac to run Xcode, as Xcode is only available on the macOS operating system.

Final Verdict:

There is no official way to use Xcode on Windows PCs because Apple hasn’t released a version compatible with Windows. So, according to your requirements and feasibility, you can choose any of the above solutions and start developing apps for iOS.

The best option in this scenario, according to my experience, is to go with a Mac mini or a used Mac because then you don’t have to worry about minor bugs, and the investment won’t be that much.

If any of the above solutions did not fix the Windows PC issues, we recommend downloading the below PC repair tool to identify and solve any PC Issues.

Rishabh is a Computer science engineer with keen interest in iOS platform and Apple products. Always ready to explore new technologies and write about them.

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