How to open two / multiple instances of Visual Studio for MAC?

I wish to open multiple instances of VS for Mac. I used to be able to do this with Xamarin studio using the Xamarin launcher.

How to do this with VS for Mac?


Open a terminal window, and then issue the following command:

open -n -a "Visual Studio"

There is also the option of opening multiple solutions in the same Visual Studio instance.

  1. From Recent list: Hold Ctrl while clicking the solution name
  2. From File -> Open: Single click the .sln file, click Options and uncheck Close Current Workspace.


Note. the active project(For run/debug) changes depending on which file you have marked/selected/editing.

Alright, at last!, Microsoft has just implemented the simplest solution of all in Visual Studio 2019: just right click on its icon on the launch bottom bar, and choose "New instance":

See the details of the feature in the release notes of VS2019 for Mac Preview.

If you don't want to daily search for this specific terminal command, create a script as below:

  1. Open "Script Editor" in Mac
  2. Paste: do shell script "open -n -a 'Visual Studio'"
  3. Save this file somewhere (On Desktop)
  4. Whenever need to launch another instance, simply open this file and click on "Run the Script" button

Screenshot Here

Based on @moke and @MilanG answers, I created a bash file on my desktop with this content:


open -n -a "Visual Studio"

osascript -e 'tell application "Terminal" to close first window' & exit

I named this file "Visual Studio". Then I made the file executable on double-click by following this procedure

As a last step, I re-used the Visual Studio icon for the bash file on my desktop so that I instantly know what to click on. I did this:

  1. Right click on the bash file you just created and select "Get Info". An information panel opens with an icon in the top-left corner.
  2. Open a new Finder window and position it next to the "Get Info" panel you just opened
  3. In the Finder window, navigate to "Applications" and select "Visual Studio" from the list of applications.
  4. Right click on the "Visual Studio" application icon and select: "Show Package Contents".
  5. Navigate to "Contents" -> "Resources" and select the "VisualStudio.icns" file.
  6. Drag this file to the icon in the top-left corner of the "Get Info" window you opened in step (1)

Voila - you now have a clickable desktop icon with the visual studio icon that opens a new instance of Visual Studio for Mac and does not leave a Terminal window open.

Just hit Shift+Command+N (Or go to "File > New Window" and it will open a new window. You can then drag files from one to the other.

I was trying to do the same thing which led me here. I didn't have luck with the highest-rated solution and then the above occurred to me. Unless I'm missing something more to the original request? Seems like the most obvious solution.

Official documentation: How do I open multiple solutions or instances of Visual Studio for Mac?

Open a second solution inside a single instance

To open a second solution alongside your first solution, use the following steps:

  1. With your first solution already open, select File > Open.
  2. Select the solution and press the Options button.
  3. Uncheck the Close Current Workspace button:
  4. Press the Open button to open the second solution in the Solution Pad.
Alternatively, if you have recently opened the solution, you can do the following:
  1. Go to the File > Recent Solutions menu item:
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and select the solution. This combination opens the second Solution in the Solution Pad
Open a second instance

To open a second instance of Visual Studio for Mac, open the Terminal application and enter

open -n "/Applications/Visual"

I am using MSSolutionLauncher for opening multiple instances of Visual studio for Mac. The github page of the project is Here. Download latest release and double click to unzip. Now keep the app in desktop and click on it to open new instance of the Visual studio for mac as many times as you want.


Starting from Visual Studio for Mac 2019, MSSolutionLauncher is not required. Keep the VSMac Shortcut in Dock. Right Click the Dock Icon and select New Instance.

open -n -a "Visual Studio" gave error "Can't Find Application Visual Studio", so I just did:

  1. Open a visual studio project

  2. To get another, right click (two finger press) on visual studio docked icon

  3. Click "New Window", and now you have two instances

Using VS code (not VS4Mac as per comment below)

Clone the Application!

Open Finder
Navigate To Applications
Select Visual Studio
Edit > Copy
Edit > Paste
Open the copy

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