Install the tools

Get the tools you need to build apps for Windows, including holographic apps. There is no separate SDK for HoloLens; holographic app development uses Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 with the Windows 10 SDK (version 1511 or later). Don't have a HoloLens? You can install the HoloLens emulator to build holographic apps without a HoloLens. We also recommend installing the Unity game engine as an easy way to get started creating holographic apps.

Installation checklist

Download and Install Notes
Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 If you choose a custom install, ensure that Tools (1.4) and Windows 10 SDK (10.0.10586) is enabled under Universal Windows App Development Tools node. All editions of Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 are supported, including Community.
HoloLens Emulator (build 10.0.14393.0) The emulator allows you to run apps on Windows Holographic in a virtual machine without a HoloLens. Build 10.0.14393.0 includes the latest updates to the HoloLens OS. If you have already installed a previous build of the emulator, this build will install side-by-side. This package also includes holographic DirectX project templates for Visual Studio. Note: Your system must support Hyper-V for the Emulator installation to succeed. Please reference the System Requirements section below for the details.
Unity 5.5 Last known release: 5.5.0f3 on November 30th, 2016
The Unity engine is an easy way to get started building a holographic app
Vuforia Last known release: 6.1 issued November 16th, 2016
Vuforia enables you to create holographic apps that can recognize specific things in the environment and attach experiences to them. Review the getting started guide to learn how easy it is to extend the capabilities of your holographic apps with the Vuforia Engine. You can get a free development license at developer.vuforia.com.

System requirements

The Windows 10 SDK works best on the Windows 10 operating system. This SDK is also supported on Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2. Note that not all tools are supported on older operating systems. Visual Studio 2015 also has hardware requirements.

The HoloLens emulator is based on Hyper-V and uses RemoteFx for hardware accelerated graphics. To use the emulator, make sure your PC meets these hardware requirements:

  • 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education (The Home edition does not support Hyper-V or the HoloLens emulator)
  • 64-bit CPU
  • CPU with 4 cores (or multiple CPU's with a total of 4 cores)
  • 8 GB of RAM or more
  • In the BIOS, the following features must be supported and enabled:
    • Hardware-assisted virtualization
    • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
    • Hardware-based Data Execution Prevention (DEP)
  • GPU (The emulator might work with an unsupported GPU, but will be significantly slower)
    • DirectX 11.0 or later
    • WDDM 1.2 driver or later

If your system meets the above requirements, please ensure that the "Hyper-V" feature has been enabled on your system through Control Panel -> Programs -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off -> ensure that "Hyper-V" is selected for the Emulator installation to be successful.

Troubleshooting

You may see an error while installing the emulator that you need "Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 and UWP tools version 1.2". There are two possible causes of this error:

  1. You do not have Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 or later. Follow the instructions above to install the latest version, Visual Studio 2015 Update 3.
  2. You have Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 or later, but you do not have the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) tools installed. This is an optional feature for Visual Studio. You can add this feature by modifying your Visual Studio installation in Programs and Features.

You may also see an error installing the emulator on a non-PRO/Enterprise/Education SKU of Windows or if you do not have Hyper-V feature enabled.

  1. Please read the 'System Requirements' section above for a complete set of requirements
  2. Please also ensure that Hyper-V feature has been enabled on your system.

See also