Can I have multiple Xcode versions installed?

0 votes
asked Mar 21, 2009 by dana-holt

Is it possible to have more than one version of Xcode installed at the same time?

If so, please post any tip, tricks, or potential issues to watch out for.


The reason I want to install multiple versions is to try out the new sdk beta, but if the new Xcode is buggy I want to be able to use the older version for my existing projects.

11 Answers

0 votes
answered Mar 21, 2009 by mattk

Yes, you can install multiple versions of Xcode. They will install into separate directories. I've found that the best practice is to install the version that came with your Mac first, and then install downloaded versions, but it probably doesn't make a big difference. See this Apple Developer Connection page for lots of details.

0 votes
answered Mar 5, 2010 by jim-rhoades

It's easy to have multiple Xcode installs.

In the installer there's a pulldown for the location... you just need to pick a new location when you're installing the beta version.

These instructions from an Apple dev tools evangelist have the full details (Apple dev username/password required):

Then grab yourself a custom icon for the Beta version of XCode you're using, so you can tell them apart in the dock:

0 votes
answered Mar 27, 2011 by thomasw

Note that if you use the xcodebuild command line tool, then the last version of Xcode installed will become the default version. (A symbolic link is installed in /usr/bin.) To use the xcodebuild for the other versions of Xcode you'll need to use the version in the (xcode_install_directory)/usr/bin directory.

note To switch between different versions of the Xcode command-line tools, use the xcode-select tool mentioned by other commenters.

0 votes
answered Mar 28, 2011 by eric-chan

you might want to use the "xcode-select" command to switch between the different XCode installed folders

0 votes
answered Mar 20, 2015 by kasun-randika

Can I have multiple Xcode versions installed?

Actually as many of the above answers says, it is possible. Even according to the following Oracle Mobile Platform Blog, you can install more than one XCodes in the same Mac. The reason why you need to do that may vary according to you.

You might have installed only one version of XCode for now. Mostly the one release behind the latest XCode version which is available through App Store (mine I've Xcode 6.3.2 and I needed to keep it and also install Xcode 7 which is available through App Store).

For Ex:-

You have already installed XCode 6.x, and App Store has XCode 7 already given by App Store. For any reason you need to keep that Older XCode 6.x(as you know it is stable for some time now) and also you need to install and try out new XCode 7

So number one question might be, How and Where could you download the Mac OS X installable DMG file for XCode 7 (or may be if you wanna try out an older XCode version)? Ok, here is the direct link apple downloads (you might have to log into Apple Developer account before viewing this link correctly), or else following is a StackOverflow Q&A link which gives the answer to where to download DMG files for XCode IDEs.

So now let's assume that you have obtained any of the DMG file for the XCode version you require to install as secondarily?

Follow the steps given bellow which I got from the above given first link of Oracles Mobile Platform Blog.

  1. Close Xcode if running
  2. Rename /Applications/ to /Applications/
  3. Enter the admin password when prompted
  4. Double click the DMG file of your required, pre-downloaded Xcode and install it
  5. Once installed it, before running it, change the new /Applications/ that was just installed to (according to my above given example) /Application/

Above given Apple Downloads link and Oracles MPF blog post links might change and/or unavailable in the future.

So I hope that my this answer might be helpful to somebody else out there!

0 votes
answered Mar 26, 2015 by fleurdeviande

To have multiple Xcode instances installed you can put them to different folders for example /Developer5.0.2/Xcode, but to use them in CI or build environment(command line) you need to setup some environment variables during the build. You can have more instructions here. So it is working not just with beta and fresh release, also it's working for the really old versions, you might need it to use with Marmalade or Unity plugins which is not support the latest Xcode versions yet(some times it's happens).

0 votes
answered Mar 30, 2016 by ashley-mills

It seems that Xcode really likes to be in the Applications folder and be called Xcode, especially when using xcodebuild (when building for Carthage for example) - and xcode-select doesn't always seem to cut it.

I have a client project that's still using Swift 2.2, and I'm stuck on Xcode 7 for that and using Xcode 8 for anything else.

So, in my Applications folder, I have Xcode 7 (renamed to Xcode_7) and Xcode 8 (renamed to Xcode_8). Then I rename whichever one I need to simply Xcode, and back again when done. It's a ball-ache, but seems to work.

This shell script simplifies it a bit…

cd /Applications

if  [[ $1 = "-8" ]]
    if [ -e ] 
        echo "Switched to Xcode 8"
        echo "Already using Xcode 8"
elif  [[ $1 = "-7" ]]
    if [ -e ] 
        echo "Switched to Xcode 7"
        echo "Already using Xcode 7"
    echo "usage: xcode-version -7/8"

xcode-select --switch
0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by ashish-pisey

All the updates for new version of xcode will be available in appstore if you have installed the version from appstore. If you just paste the downloaded version appstore will show install not update. Hence keep the stable version downloaded from appstore in your applications folder.

To try new beta releases i usually put it in separate drive and unzip and install it there. This will avoid confusion while working on stable version.

To avoid confusion you can keep only the stable version in your dock and open the beta version from spotlight(Command + Space). This will place beta temporarily on dock. But it will make sure you don't accidentally edit your client project in beta version.

Most Important:- Working on same project on two different xcode might create some unwanted results. Like there was a bug in interface builder that got introduced in certain version of xcode. Which broke the constraints. It got fixed again in the next one.

Keep track of release notes to know exactly what are additional features and what are known issues.

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by aremvee

Whatever advice path you go down, make a copy of your project folder, and rename the external most one to reflect what XCode version it is being opened in. Your choice on whether you want it to update syntax or not, but the main reason for all this bovver is your storyboard will be altered just by looking. It may be resolved by the time a new reader coming across this in the future, or

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by katwal-dipak
  1. First, remove the current Xcode installation from your machine. You can probably skip this step but I wanted to start fresh. Plus — Xcode was behaving a little weird lately so this is a good opportunity to do that.
  2. Install Xcode 8 from the App Store. Make sure project files (.xcodeproj) and workspace files (.xcworkspace) can be opened with the new Xcode installation (remember to select the Later option whenever prompted).
  3. Download the Xcode 7.3.1 dmg file from Apple. Double-tap the newly downloaded dmg file in order to get the standard “Drag to install Xcode in your Applications folder”. Don’t do that. Instead, drag the Xcode icon to the desktop. Change the file name to Xcode 7.3.1. Now drag it to the Applications folder.

Now you have two versions of Xcode installed on your machine. Xcode 7.3.1 and Xcode 8.

Details: Install Xcode 7 & Xcode 8 side by side

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