Microsoft updates Visual Studio Code to run natively on Apple silicon Macs

Windows giant Microsoft has updated its app development environment Visual Studio Code (VSC) with Apple silicon compatibility. Now programmers can run the software natively on their M1-powered Mac computers, enjoying the snappy performance and long battery life.


  • VSC no longer requires Rosetta emulation.
  • VSC now runs faster on M1 Macs.
  • It’s also more power-friendly on M1 Macs.
  • The update includes other improvements.

A WWDC 2020 slide listing the key features of the Apple M1 chip for Macs

Rosetta isn’t required anymore

Like all existing Intel x86 Mac apps that haven’t been optimized for Apple’s M1 chip, VSC used to rely on Rosetta emulation to run on Apple silicon Macs. As a dynamic binary translator, Rosetta translates Intel code to run on the ARM architecture without modification.

But now, Microsoft has updated VSC to include both Intel and ARM-specific code, which permits the software to run natively on M1-powered Mac computers without the need for Rosetta emulation. As a result of this programmers will appreciate a faster performance and longer battery life when running VSC on Apple silicon Macs.

M1 Mac owners can now use VS Code without emulation with Rosetta, and will notice better performance and longer battery life when running VS Code. Thanks to the community for self-hosting with the Insiders build and reporting issues early in the iteration.

According to a blog post on Microsoft’s website, Visual Studio Code 1.54 is now a universal binary providing native code for both Intel and ARM platforms. Programmers can also head over to the Downloads page if they wish to pick between architecture-specific builds for Intel or Apple silicon, which are smaller downloads compared to the universal binary.