Can I install Visual Studio Code on an iPad ?




I am trying to install Visual Studio Code on my 12" iPad Pro - so there is pleanty of poke there.

I find the Visual Studio Code downloads and I click on Down Load for Mac and I get a zip file !!!!

How can I install this zip file on my iPad ?





19 Replies
You can't as far as I'm aware. The iPad is just a tablet. Despite what Apple tells you, it isn't yet a full laptop replacement. So unless it's in the App Store, you won't be able to install it. There was a proposal last year which doesn't look like it went anywhere:

Hi @Darren Parkinson


I have an iPad Pro with a keyboard I would have thought that would be as powerful as some of the apple macs.


So I cannot use VSCode on the train then without getting my rather large Laptop out.


But hang-on does VSCode not run on a Windows Surface - is that not a tablet - so why not on an iPad ?







@Nigel Price wrote:

But hang-on does VSCode not run on a Windows Surface - is that not a tablet - so why not on an iPad ? 

Because as @Darren Parkinson said, the iPad is not a full laptop replacement.  The current generation Surface is.


So no, you cannot use VS code on the train (yet).  However, you can edit your files in any plain text editor that you can get to run on your iPad. :)

Thanks. Yes, precisely. There are some IDEs available for iPad, such as:

- Continuous for C# development

- And if you fancy programming Swift for your iPad, you can use Swift Playgrounds

Potentially someone with the appropriate skill and inclination could create a version of VSCode for iPad, who knows.

Theres 2 projects:

  An outdated version of vscode integrated with github


  Monaco editor with some basic IDE features added


Both work via the browser, but the latter one requires a self hosting to try out. To debug JS on the ipad you can proxy safari's debugging protocol via remotedebug-ios-webkit-adapter and debug in mozilla's debugger.html. Same should work for node with the --inspector flag.


For the backend use a VPS, rpi or the intel compute stick.

Hello, I think its not about "tablet / full PC / laptop". I used the Visual Studio (latest one was VS 2015 Standard) on my Toshiba Encore W8 tablet and its worked without any bigger problems (yes it was slower but still usable)

I think Nigel could have a problem with operating system because Microsoft accepts just two of them:
macOS Sierra 10.12: Community, Professional, and Enterprise.
Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11: Community, Professional, and Enterprise*.

BUT here:
Nigel download the zip file and now he is not able unpack the ZIP then ... I will be nice :)

Unfortunately no, because iOS - the operating system on iPads and iPhones - is not the same as macOS (formerly known as Mac OS X), the operating system for MacBooks, iMacs and Mac Pro computers. 


While they share substantial amounts of code under the hood, iOS is tailored for Apple’s phones and tablets. It does not have a traditional file system like a desktop computer, so you cannot download .zip files, .pkg, .dmg files etc. All software on iOS devices is distributed by the App Store exclusively. iOS has no support for mice or other traditional pointing devices, etc. so all software must be designed for touch interaction only. (Some apps support keyboard shortcuts with external keyboards, but not all.)


Microsoft Surface computers are different - they may have a tablet form factor, but they have Intel processors and run a full version of Windows; in essence they are thin, light laptops without a built-in keyboard. You can install most Windows apps on them (like Visual Studio), use a keyboard and mouse, or use touch and the Surface Pen, Dial, etc. 

I sort of wonder if you guys are getting shilled.


I have to stop and wonder what someone asking these particular questions wants with MS Code.


Can someone tell me how to run this cd on my iphone.  I don't see a disk drive for it to go in.  I need it so that I can finish setting up the SQL backend for my competative classifying AI on Tensor Flow other technical gobbledygook.


I guess if you don't really use a lot of mac at all, Apple is pretty opaque about what they're selling you.  Its just shiny.  And expensive.

Aren't you the guitarist from Danger Danger? :) 


TBH I know lots of people who are starting out learning to code, but don't know much about computers, operating systems and the like. Even many code bootcamps don't go over this in detail. If you didn't know better you might well assume that an iPad and a Mac ran the same software. 



I hope there are few alternatives like Coda, Buffereditor, iOctocat, Textastic for editing. You can test and try.:)

@Joseph Ackerman It has nothing to do with your opinion of whether it is a full laptop replacement.  It is a different operating system, that is why, and VS Code has not been compiled to run on it or published in the app store.  This, and only this, is why.


@Nigel Price  It is a fantastic portable computing device and is rather versatile.  I would really appreciate having VS Code right on it, but for the time being, I use JumpDesktop to remote into my Windows machine (I also have LTE on my iPad Pro) and I can even use a mouse (Swiftpoint GT) with that app and the remotely connected system.

HI, @Nigel Price


There is currently no way of running Visual Studio Code directly on your iPad Pro.


The easiest way to enable coding and lots of other 'traditional computer stuff' on an iPad, is not running it directly, but installing a remote access app and connect to your Mac or PC at home through it, and get stuff done that way.


For Windows I would recommend Microsoft Remote Desktop, which is free and has awesome apps for Windows, macOS, iOS and iPadOS.

For Macintosh, the easiest way without fiddling with IP addresses and VNC clients, is to install TeamViewer on it as a server on your Mac or PC at home (use a decent password please), and connect to it with the TeamViewer app on your iPad.


I was looking into getting an iPad Pro myself, mainly for doing some code in the early hours, sitting in the couch with my dog. Currently I am doing this with my MacBook Pro i7, which is both super fast and noisy... and the noise drives me crazy so I need an alternative.

Because there's not much to see in the iPadOS App Store when you are looking for coding software, I decided to buy a used, fanless Surface Pro (5) from eBay and use that instead... (Sorry, Apple...) which is on it's way to me now.


TLDR: Coding on the iPad Pro is currently only possible by remote-accessing a real PC or MAC. The alternative is buying a Surface Pro or GO instead, if you prefer a tablet. Otherwise, get a laptop instead, its cheaper.


@Nigel Price 
OR if you are a mac user try Parallels "Access"software to run it from your computer in a "native-like" way.

I tried Coder before and it didn’t work but didn’t have the revelation that the new “desktop” status of Safari in iPadOS 13 might make it work. This is awesome.

On a side note, there wouldn’t be a need to do this or Parallels on macOS as VS Code is available there.

@Nigel Price until now we can’t install. But it would be better if Microsoft and Apple together colab and make such wonderful software’s available to the users. It is possible for both of the companies to make it possible but they don’t have time for that instead they show in every possible ways how we can outshine others. If in future it is available it will be good to see how well they take manage of the screen and hardware because iPad is capable of performing serious tasks without losing performance. Once we have also demanded that Adobe PC version of photoshop should be there but now it is there to manage of powerfully loaded iPad Pro. Adobe has done a fantastic work by listening to the customers what they wanted and Yes PC version works absolutely perfect in iPad Pro. But back to the topic Microsoft and Apple should understand that it will be advantage for both if they provide Xcode or VS code to iPad.......


TLDR: Coding on the iPad Pro is currently only possible by remote-accessing a real PC or MAC. The alternative is buying a Surface Pro or GO instead, if you prefer a tablet. Otherwise, get a laptop instead, its cheaper.

Not true. I love Visual Studio Code and use it on my Surface Pro 4 and my desktop computer, but when I want to work on my new iPad Pro, I use a tool called Working Copy.

I happen to run my own self-hosted GitLab CE server, but Working Copy accesses Github, too. WC is a solid GUI for repository management and it supports in-app code editing (or editing in any other app on the iPad) and commits and syncs, too.


WC is obviously not VSC, but in a pinch -- like working on a plane or a train -- it's a competent Git client with a functional built-in text editor.


I'd much rather see a good iPadOS implementation of Visual Studio Code, but WC with my GitLab server are perfectly adequate for what I need.

@Nigel Price 


Hey Nigel,


Mac laptops run MacOS (previously OS X) which is a Unix based OS.


iPads and iPhones run iPadOS and iOS respectively (some older iPads still run iOS).


I use iPad for a lot of stuff and just usually get a terminal into target systems or utilise a VDS of some sort (like Amazon Workspaces running Windows 10).


For traveling to conferences etc. so I still have access to all my tools, like VS Code, I have a light(er) weight MacBook Pro with all I need.


The better option for your needs maybe a MacBook Air or the MacBook, which are only slightly heavier than an iPad (just no touch screen, which is frustrating).


p.s. I cam here looking for a version of VS Code for my iPad too ... hopefully, MS will bring something official out soon.


Are there any alternatives (iPad apps not web apps) which people have suggested?


Many thanks,


I thought similar thing, why would a dev not know the OS they are developing on?

There is no way to do that unless, microsoft comes out with a version for ipad. But, there is an interesting way to code on ipad, you should try Coda. I´ve purchase it over a year now for my 6th generation ipad, and it works like a charm!

@Nigel Price