Recently I’ve seen the error below when trying to build some sample Xamarin projects out-of-the-box in Visual Studio 2017.

sdk error

Seems like a simple error to fix…just follow the instructions and double click on the message to install the missing Android SDKs, right?

On my machine double-clicking on the error does not install the missing Android SDKs which makes me a sad developer.

After a lot of searching, I found the reason that double-clicking does nothing is because my instance of VS2017 is set to not do anything, and I expect I’m not the only one seeing this error because VS2017 is set to behave this way during the default installation.

If you’re unlucky and are at this article because you’re seeing the same error as me and double clicking is doing nothing for you, you could try this – in Visual Studio go to Tools -> Options, and scroll down to the Xamarin settings so you see a screen like the one below. You’ll probably see an un-ticked tickbox setting with the name ‘Auto Install Android SDKs’.


I changed the value to ticked and hit OK.


After I changed this setting, I tried double clicking on the error message again, and this time the window below popped up immediately. I was able to follow through the SDK installation wizard and make the project compile.

android sdk licence

So a pretty simple fix, but it’d be better if the error message said:

Make sure that Visual Studio is set to Auto Install Android SDKs in Xamarin’s Android.Settings option, and then double click on this message and follow the instructions‘.

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