Install the tools

Get the tools you need to build apps for Windows, including Windows Mixed Reality apps. There is no separate SDK for Windows Mixed Reality development; you'll use Visual Studio with the Windows 10 SDK (version 1511 or later). Don't have a mixed reality device? You can install the HoloLens emulator to build mixed reality apps without a HoloLens. You can also use the Windows Mixed Reality simulator to test your mixed reality apps for immersive headsets. We recommend installing the Unity game engine as an easy way to get started creating mixed reality apps.

Installation checklist for HoloLens

Download and Install Notes
Visual Studio 2017
  • Select the Universal Windows Platform development workload
  • Select the Game Development with Unity workload
    • You may deselect the Unity Editor optional component since you'll be installing a newer version of Unity from the instructions below.

All editions of Visual Studio 2017 are supported (including Community). While Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 is still supported, we recommend Visual Studio 2017 for the best experience.

HoloLens Emulator and Holographic Templates (build 10.0.14393.1358)

The emulator allows you to run apps on Windows Holographic in a virtual machine without a physical HoloLens. It includes a virtual HoloLens image that runs the latest version of the Windows Holographic 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. If desired, you can select to install only the templates without the emulator.

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.

Installation checklist for immersive headsets

Download and Install Notes
Windows 10 Creators Update

Install the Windows 10 Creators Update and Check for Updates

  • Plug in your immersive headset for the first time before you get on Windows Insiders Builds. This is a temporary workaround for a known issue in OS Builds 16199 and 16215.
  • You'll need to be a Windows Insider and sign up for the Fast Flight
  • Go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Insider Program
  • Choose Windows Insider Fast as your insider level
  • Go to Settings > Update & security > Check for updates
  • Keep checking for updates until you see Your device is up to date. You can check your versioning in Update History

Enable Developer mode

  • Go to Settings > Update & security > For developers

Enterprise and corporate managed PCs

  • If your PC is tightly managed by an IT organization, you will need to contact them in order to update
  • More information on Creators Update for Enterprise is in this blog entry

N versions of Windows

  • Immersive headsets are not supported on N versions of Windows
Visual Studio 2017

Install Visual Studio 2017 and the Windows 10 Creators Update SDK

  • Select the Universal Windows Platform development workload

Select Universal Windows Platform development

  • If developing with Unity, select the Game Development with Unity workload
    • You may deselect the Unity Editor optional component since you'll be installing a newer version of Unity.

Select Unity Game Development, but exclude the Unity Player

All editions of Visual Studio 2017 are supported (including Community).

Windows Insider Preview SDK Install the latest Windows Insider Preview SDK Log in with your Microsoft account and click the "Get SDK Insider Preview" button to download the latest SDK for Windows Insider Fast.
Unity Mixed Reality Technical Preview

Install Unity 5.6 Mixed Reality Technical Preview and Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend

If you have access to the private build of the Mixed Reality Technical Preview (MRTP), because you worked with your Microsoft account manager, it is still recommended that you work with that build. Please do not attempt to contact Unity directly for this access.
  • Download the Mixed Reality Technical Preview (MRTP) from the location you were sent. Check the private forums for the latest version. (If you don't already have MRTP access, the forum link will not be accessible.)
  • Run the UnityDownloadAssistant

Unity Installer

  • Make sure to select the Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend (you may install the docs as well).

Select the Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend

Unity 2017.2 Beta with Mixed Reality Support

Install Unity 2017.2 Beta and Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend

This is the first publically available build of Unity with support for building mixed reality apps on Windows desktop. If you do not have access to the MRTP builds, this is the recommended path.
  • Run the UnityDownloadAssistant from https://unity3d.com/unity/beta/
  • Make sure to select the Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend (you may install the docs as well).
For DirectX development: Holographic Templates (build 10.0.14393.1358) If you are doing DirectX development, you can install this package, which includes holographic DirectX project templates for Visual Studio. If desired, you can select to install only the templates without the HoloLens emulator.
Update graphics drivers

Check Windows Update for new driver updates

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 also has system requirements.

HoloLens Emulator

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.

Immersive headset development

The following are the minimum and recommended specs for development at this time. There are currently known issues with some hardware configurations, particularly with notebooks that have hybrid graphics.

Minimum Recommended
Processor Notebook: Intel Mobile Core i5 7th generation CPU, Dual-Core with Hyper Threading Desktop: Intel Desktop i5 6th generation CPU, Dual-Core with Hyper Threading OR AMD FX4350 4.2Ghz Quad-Core equivalent Desktop: Intel Desktop i7 6th generation (6 Core) OR AMD Ryzen 5 1600 (6 Core, 12 threads)
GPU Notebook: NVIDIA GTX 965M, AMD RX 460M (2GB) equivalent or greater DX12 capable GPU Desktop: NVIDIA GTX 960/1050, AMD Radeon RX 460 (2GB) equivalent or greater DX12 capable GPUDesktop: NVIDIA GTX 980/1060, AMD Radeon RX 480 (2GB) equivalent or greater DX12 capable GPU
GPU driver WDDM version WDDM 2.2 driver
Thermal Design Power 15W or greater
Graphics display ports 1x available graphics display port for headset (HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 60Hz headsets, HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 90Hz headsets)
Display resolution Resolution: SVGA (800x600) or greater Bit depth: 32 bits of color per pixel
Memory 8 GB of RAM or greater 16 GB of RAM or greater
Storage >10 GB additional free space
USB Ports 1x available USB port for headset (USB 3.0 Type-A) Note: USB must supply a minimum of 900mA
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 (for accessory connectivity)

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 three possible causes of this error:

  1. You do not have a recent enough version of Visual Studio (Visual Studio 2017 or Visual Studio 2015 Update 1 or later) Follow the instructions above to install the latest release of Visual Studio.
  2. You have a recent enough version of Visual Studio, but you do not have the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) tools installed. This is an optional feature for Visual Studio.

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