Visual Studio Code on macOS

Installation

  1. Download Visual Studio Code for macOS.
  2. Double-click on the downloaded archive to expand the contents.
  3. Drag Visual Studio Code.app to the Applications folder, making it available in the Launchpad.
  4. Add VS Code to your Dock by right-clicking on the icon and choosing Options, Keep in Dock.

Launching from the command line

You can also run VS Code from the terminal by typing 'code' after adding it to the path:

  • Launch VS Code.
  • Open the Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)) and type 'shell command' to find the Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH command.

macOS shell commands

  • Restart the terminal for the new $PATH value to take effect. You'll be able to type 'code .' in any folder to start editing files in that folder.

Note: If you still have the old code alias in your .bash_profile (or equivalent) from an early VS Code version, remove it and replace it by executing the Shell Command: Install 'code' command in PATH command.

To manually add VS Code to your path:

cat << EOF >> ~/.bash_profile
# Add Visual Studio Code (code)
export PATH="\$PATH:/Applications/Visual Studio Code.app/Contents/Resources/app/bin"
EOF

Touch Bar support

Out of the box VS Code adds actions to navigate in editor history as well as the full Debug tool bar to control the debugger on your Touch Bar:

macOS Touch Bar

Mojave privacy protections

After upgrading to macOS Mojave version, you may see dialogs saying "Visual Studio Code would like to access your {calendar/contacts/photos}." This is due to the new privacy protections in Mojave and is not specific to VS Code, you may see the dialogs when running other applications as well. You should see the dialog only once for each type of personal data and it is fine to choose Don't Allow since VS Code does not need access to those folders. You can read a more detailed explanation here.

Updates

VS Code ships monthly releases and supports auto-update when a new release is available. If you're prompted by VS Code, accept the newest update and it will get installed (you won't need to do anything else to get the latest bits).

Note: You can disable auto-update if you prefer to update VS Code on your own schedule.

Preferences menu

You can configure VS Code through settings, color themes and custom keybindings and you will often see mention in our documentation of the File > Preferences menu group. On a macOS, the Preferences menu group is under Code, not File.

Next steps

Once you have installed VS Code, these topics will help you learn more about VS Code:

Common questions

Why do I see "Visual Studio Code would like access to your calendar."

If you are running macOS Mojave version, you may see dialogs saying "Visual Studio Code would like to access your {calendar/contacts/photos}." This is due to the new privacy protections in Mojave discussed above. It is fine to choose Don't Allow since VS Code does not need access to those folders.