Setting Up Visual Studio Code for Swift Development

A Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Posted by Tom on February 03, 2024 · 2 mins read


Swift, Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language, has gained immense popularity for iOS and macOS app development. While Xcode is the official IDE for Swift, many developers opt for Visual Studio Code (VSCode) due to its lightweight nature and extensibility. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up Visual Studio Code for Swift development.

Step 1: Install Visual Studio Code

If you haven’t already installed Visual Studio Code, head over to the official website and download the latest version for your operating system. Once the download is complete, follow the installation instructions to set up VSCode on your machine.

Step 2: Install the “Swift Language” Extension

The key to Swift development in Visual Studio Code is the “Swift Language” extension. To install it:

Open Visual Studio Code. Navigate to the Extensions view by clicking on the Extensions icon in the Activity Bar on the side of the window or use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+X. Search for “Swift Language” in the Extensions view search bar. Find the “Swift Language” extension by the Swift community and click the “Install” button. Step 3: Install the “Code Runner” Extension (Optional)

To run Swift code directly from VSCode, you can use the “Code Runner” extension. Follow these steps:

In the Extensions view, search for “Code Runner.” Find the “Code Runner” extension by Jun Han and click the “Install” button. Step 4: Install Swift Compiler (macOS Only)

If you’re using macOS, you’ll need to install the Swift compiler separately. You can do this by installing Xcode Command Line Tools. Open the Terminal and run:

bash Copy code xcode-select –install Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

Step 5: Configure Swift Path (macOS Only)

For macOS users, you might need to configure the Swift path in VSCode. Open your VSCode settings (File > Preferences > Settings) and add the following configuration:

"swift.path": "/usr/bin/swift"

Replace “/usr/bin/swift” with the actual path to your Swift installation if it’s different.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up Visual Studio Code for Swift development. Now you can start creating Swift projects, writing code, and leveraging the robust features of VSCode for an efficient development experience. Happy coding!