As the title says, can I have both versions of Xcode installed on the same machine?

  • 1
    Out of curiosity... Why? (oh gosh that's such an Apple thing to say)
    – Ricket
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 13:43
  • 2
    @Ricket: Because Xcode is very, very buggy right now and it is not necessary to have v4 to use the latest SDKs. Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 16:00

4 Answers 4


To answer your question: Yes. When you install Xcode 4 (and its dev tools) your "old" Xcode folder gets renamed as Developer-old (provided you already had Xcode 3 installed)

To answer Ricket: Xcode 4 doesn't support a few things (yet) like Plugins and some features (like assembly code) are non existent in Xcode4 (perhaps yet or never) so if you rely on some things you might want to keep a copy of Xcode 3 around.

If you want to take a look at a good Xcode 4 review (and see some of the key benefits/drawbacks) have a look at this.

  • 1
    That certainly is not what happened when I installed Xcode 4 the other day. It completely removed Xcode 3. Maybe the behaviour has changed in a later version. Commented Jul 3, 2011 at 20:31
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    @andy that'd be strange, but I cannot confirm nor deny it at this point because I already have both. I'm sure there was an option to avoid that and replace it, but I installed this a few months ago and I don't remember now. Commented Jul 4, 2011 at 8:35


From the doc 'About Xcode and iOS SDK.pdf':

By default, Xcode 4 installs in the folder /Developer - but if you wish to install it in a different folder, allowing it to co-exist with previous Xcode 3.2 installations, you can change this location. You do this by selecting "Custom Install"

The doc gives detailed instructions.


Just installed Xcode 4 (iOS 5 beta) following Wayfaring Stranger's pointer to change the destination of Essentials (default is Developer folder, which would have probably uninstalled Xcode 3).

However, note that installation vis-a-vis commandline tools was not so smooth. So far I noticed:

  1. xed disappeared from the PATH (and the new Xcode didn't get added, either). My scripts/aliases stopped working until I fixed the issue. You might want to make sure your PATH is set up right after the install.

  2. xed from my custom install folder (4.0) can't find Xcode.app that it's supposed to launch.

  3. XcodeBuild (and probably other commandline tools) was replaced with the new one in /usr/bin, so if you're building against an SDK that's not included in Xcode 4 (e.g., 4.2), you'll get build errors.

As far as the question of why one would want to install these side by side, there's another reason that hasn't been mentioned by others. If you have a team of even a few people and a ship date, you might not want to change your tooling until a later date. But, you might want to check out what's new. For example, I want to follow along with the WWDC sessions that discuss the new SDK/Xcode features.


Just got XCode 3 and 4 working together. First I installed XCode 4 and then decided I needed both. After installing XCode 3 to /Developer/XCode3 , then XCode 4 broke. I ran the XCode 4 installer again and now both work.

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