Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview 3, and Upcoming Native M1 Processor Support

Jordan Matthiesen

This is an exciting post for us today with several announcements – First, Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview 3 is now available with support for the general availability release of .NET 6. Second, our team has been working on native support for the Apple M1 processor, and it will be available soon in a future preview. This post contains additional information on the Visual Studio 2022 for Mac release date as well. Read on for more details, and download the latest preview while you’re at it:

If you’re already using a preview version of Visual Studio 2022 for Mac, you can use the Visual Studio > Check for Updates… menu now to update to the latest release.

Creating a native macOS experience for Visual Studio

In our Preview 1 blog post, we mentioned our goal with Visual Studio 2022 for Mac is to make a modern .NET IDE tailored for the Mac that delivers the productive experience you’ve come to love in Visual Studio. The Visual Studio 2022 for Mac release focuses on:

Providing a truly native macOS experience: We’re re-writing the UI in all native macOS UI to provide a comfortable Mac user experience and provide better support for assistive technologies.

Visual Studio 2022 for Mac with a dark color theme
The Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Dark Theme

Improving the speed and stability of the IDE: With the move to native and moving to the .NET CLR (more details about that in a moment), we’re also improving IDE performance, addressing longstanding UI bugs, and reducing crashes.

Improving the daily Git user experience with a new Git Changes window that is more consistent between the Visual Studio IDEs.

Developing apps using the .NET 6 GA release

Visual Studio 2022 for Mac Preview 3 supports the latest .NET 6 release on the Mac, including support for C# 10 language features. You can use it today to build out apps for the web, cloud, and of course terminal-based console apps.

A C# minimal API app that prints Hello, World when opened via URL
Writing a minimal API with C# 10


New Editor Features: subword navigation and new refactorings

A great new feature coming to the editor in this release is subword navigation; a feature recently introduced into Visual Studio 2022 running on Windows. Using the string “HelloWorld” as an example, when you use the Ctrl+Alt+Left Arrow and Ctrl+Alt+Right Arrow shortcuts the cursor will move between the subwords “Hello” and “World”. Making it easier to move between or select these subwords in your source.

A text editor showing the code "public static CatalogBaseURL" and moving through the words Catalog Base and URL via keyboard.
Navigating subwords in the C# editor.

New code fixes and refactorings

Code fixes and refactorings are the code suggestions the compiler provides through the light bulb and screwdriver icons. To trigger the Quick Actions and Refactorings menu, press Option+Enter. Here are the new suggestions now available with Preview 3:

  • Convert to file-scoped namespace
  • Prefer null check over type check
  • Simplify LINQ expression

To learn more about these new code fixes, see the release notes.

Context menu open on C# code, showing a "convert to file-scoped namespace" refactoring and a preview of the changes it will make to the file.
The new Quick Actions and Refactorings menu in Visual Studio for Mac.

Continuing the move to native macOS UI

This release continues our ongoing work to move the IDE to fully native macOS UI, with 75% of the UI already migrated. This release focused on moving the Git Manage Branches dialog, the Preferences > NuGet screens, and a set of code formatting preferences & project options.

The Visual Studio Preferences menu open to Text Editor Behaviors settings, such as "insert matching braces"
The new preferences UI for Text Editor Behaviors.


Coming soon: Running natively on Apple M1 processors via the .NET CLR

Native support for the Apple M1 ARM processor is a top request on the Community site and we’ll be making it happen in upcoming preview releases. To enable this support, we will be moving the IDE to run on the .NET 6 CLR (Common Language Runtime). This is a major architectural change bringing with it improvements for all our users on both Intel and M1 processors. In our initial lab tests we’re already seeing improvements in performance, with large solutions loading in half the amount of time it took in the v8.10 release.

An update on the release date for Visual Studio 2022 for Mac

We plan to release the GA version of Visual Studio 2022 for Mac v17.0 in the first half of 2022. The final release date decision will be driven based on feedback from all of you. This is a major update to the IDE UI and core architecture, and we want to be sure it’s in great shape. As we work toward this goal, we’ll update you along the way and will share a Release Candidate (RC) build as the final date approaches. In the meantime, you can continue to use Visual Studio 2019 for Mac v8.10 to build your apps with .NET 5, Xamarin, Unity, or .NET Core 3.1.

Stay in touch by joining the preview newsletter and sharing your feedback!

As we continue to move forward with our preview releases, we want to keep in close contact with developers trying the release. If you’re interested in hearing directly from our team, join our Preview Newsletter – we’ll share updates on what’s new and provide more opportunities for you to give feedback to our team. You can also continue to watch this Visual Studio blog for major preview announcements.

Finally, your feedback is very important to us as we continue to improve the product – please keep those suggestions and problem reports coming! You can use the Help > Report a Problem or Help > Provide a Suggestion menus to share feedback, or go to the Visual Studio for Mac Developer Community site to vote for those that impact you the most.