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Install Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

Updated: 9/10/2015

Are you using the Visual Studio 2017 RC release? If so, check out the updated version of this article.

Use the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova to build apps that run on iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

To use these tools, choose the Apache Cordova feature when you install Visual Studio. If you've installed Visual Studio already, you can always add the feature later.

You'll need a computer tht runs Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or Windows Server 2012 R2. You can use Windows 7 if you want, but if you do, you won't be able to target Windows or Windows Phone devices.

Choose the Apache Cordova feature when you install Visual Studio

  1. In the Visual Studio installer, choose the Custom option, and then select the HTML/JavaScript (Apache Cordova) feature.

    Installing Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

    Visual Studio installs all of the third-party components that you need to build your app. To see a list of these components or exclude any of them, see this section. For most folks, this isn't necessary.

    After you’ve installed Visual Studio, go straight to our beginner's guide. If have a project already, then migrate it.

Add the Apache Cordova feature after you install Visual Studio

If you've already installed Visual Studio, just modify it to include the tools.

  1. Open Control Panel -> Programs and Features, choose the Visual Studio 2015 item, and then choose the Change button.

    Modify Visual Studio Setup

  2. In the setup wizard for Visual Studio, choose the Modify button.

  3. In the list of optional features to install, select the HTML/JavaScript (Apache Cordova) checkbox, choose the Next button, and then choose the Update button.

    Choose Apache Corodova components

    Visual Studio installs all of the third-party components that you need to build your app. To see a list of these components or exclude any of them, see this section. For most folks, this isn't necessary.

    After you’ve installed Visual Studio, go straight to our beginner's guide. If have a project already, then migrate it.

The third-party components that Visual Studio installs for you

Visual Studio installs these third-party components. You'll need them to use Apache Cordova, and to target the Android platform.

Component Why Visual Studio installs it**
Apache Ant 1.8.0 (or later) To build Android apps.
32-bit Oracle Java JDK 7 To build Android apps.
Android SDK To build Android apps and to start the Apache Ripple simulator.
Joyent Node.js To integrate with the Apache Cordova Command Line Interface (CLI) and the Apache Ripple simulator.
Git CLI To enable you to manually add Git URIs for specific Cordova plug-ins.

You can clear the checkbox of any component that you don't want to install in the Common Tools and Software Development Kits group of the Visual Studio installer.

Multi-Hybrid Device Apps installer

If you prefer to install them manually, see install the dependencies manually.

Update Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova

  1. In Visual Studio, choose Tools->Extensions and Updates.
  2. In the Updates tab of the Extensions and Updates dialog box, choose Product Updates.

If an update for Visual Studio Tools for Apache appears, select it, and then choose the Update button.

Updates dialog box

Install tools for iOS

See Setup guide: Target iOS mobile devices in a Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova project.

Did something go wrong with your installation?

Perhaps you're running Visual Studio behind a proxy or you have multiple versions of a third-party components installed on your computer, and you need to take a closer look at the environment variables to see what path is being used for these components.

For a more comprehensive guide to configuring Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova and all of the third-party dependencies, see Configure the Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova.

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