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 5.6 or Unity 2017.1 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 Fall Creators Update (link coming soon)

Wait for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, coming October 17, 2017

  • As of October 9, 2017 we recommend new Windows Mixed reality developers wait for the public release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
  • Important note: If you were previously receiving Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Insider Preview builds from the Fast ring (per our recommendation thus far), you should switch to receive "just fixes, apps, and drivers" from the Release Preview ring. See this forum post for more info.

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 with the Windows 10 Fall 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 10 Fall Creators Update SDK Install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK is included in the latest version of Visual Studio 2017. You can also download and install the .EXE or .ISO for the SDK using the link in the column to the left.
Unity 2017.2 with Mixed Reality Support

Install Unity 2017.2 and Windows Store .NET Scripting Backend

This is the first publicly available build of Unity with support for building mixed reality apps on Windows desktop. In the short term, Unity is releasing 2017.2 Mixed Reality Technical Preview builds with extra bug fixes and performance optimizations.
  • Use the direct download links from the forum post.
  • 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 guidelines are the current minimum and recommended specs for your immersive headset development PC, and may be updated regularly.

Note: do not confuse this with the minimum PC hardware compatibility guidelines, which outlines the consumer PC specs to which you should target your immersive headset app or game.

If your immersive headset development PC does not have full-sized HDMI and/or USB 3.0 ports, you'll need adapters to connect your headset.

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