I'm planing to develop an app with React Native for Android and iOS. I need to buy a Mac to run Xcode for iOS app development.

I do not have a high budget, which is why I would prefer to buy a (used) Mac with the minimum required specifications that is able to run the latest version of Xcode and iPhone simulator. The app I want to develop is mostly running in the background, so there will be no heavy graphics or computations.

I know this has been asked before, but it's been a few years since then, that's why I ask again.

I'm happy about any comments about RAM, Processor, manufacturing year or anything else.

Edit (November 2019): Just wanted to give future visitors an update: I spent a few hours to test macinacloud, however since it felt pretty slow and a bit overcomplicated, in the end I decided to get a used Mac Mini from late 2014 with 8 GB RAM. In general I am very happy with it, everything works fine (not super fast, but not too slow either). Sometimes I am hitting the limits (for example when running an iOS simulator and having too many other programs running at the same time), however I am always able to just close the ones I am not using right now and get everything to run fluently again.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I hope this can help some other iOS-developement-beginners :)

  • The minimal requirements needed to run Xcode are listed in the App Store, actually.
    – nohillside
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 6:58

3 Answers 3


Xcode 10 is available in the Mac App Store and includes SDKs for iOS 12, watchOS 5, macOS 10.14, and tvOS 12. Xcode 10 supports on-device debugging for iOS 8 and later, tvOS 9 and later, and watchOS 2 and later. Xcode 10 requires a Mac running macOS 10.13.6 or later.

Any 64-bit Mac with 8 GB of RAM and at least 200GB of disk space should do, if you don't care much about your time (compiles can be slow).

If I were scraping rock bottom, I would head over to https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac and wait for an 8 GB Mac Mini to show up. Check every morning around 8 AM PDT and again at 5 PM PDT. Be patient...which will prepare you for compiles that take 10 minutes each turn, but it'll work.

You'll still need a keyboard, mouse and monitor obviously, but you can get those at Best Buy refurbished. Also, consider Craigslist.org and any other site where you can buy used Macs.

  • 4
    Mac mini - specifically a 2012 or later, Xcode 10.2 requires 10.14.3 minimum, which the 2011 can't run.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 6:36
  • 2
    To make this answer still relevant in a year or two, you could include the steps required to figure out the minimal OS/hardware needs at the top of the answer. This would allow us to close all future questions on this topic as duplicate of this one here.
    – nohillside
    Commented May 3, 2019 at 7:00
  • Thanks a lot for your answer and comments! Now I at least have an overview of what specs the mac needs to have. One alternative solution I found is macincloud.com. Do you think this will be feasible? Commented May 3, 2019 at 13:14
  • 1
    @markuscosinus Doing your development in the cloud seems like a great idea. My primary worry would be storing my source code on somebody else's computer, but if you need to get started for cheap, paying $1/hour seems like a great way to go. I've never used their services, but I've used macstadium.com and been happy. Macincloud seems a LOT cheaper. Good luck! Commented May 3, 2019 at 16:51

What I can definitely say is that a 2012 Mac Mini with 4 GB of RAM and a mechanical hard disk is not up to the task at all. Xcode 11 needs several minutes alone to launch, and launching a single simulator takes anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour. Not recommended!


It looks like apple now maintains a table at https://developer.apple.com/support/xcode/ listing each xcode version and supported development targets.

The specs of the machine you need depend on what MacOS and Xcode versions it is able to support.

The version of Xcode you want to run depends on what devices and software versions of Apple products you want to develop for as well as if you intend to upload to Apple's app store.

If you do intend to upload to the app store, then this answer linking to this page from apple may help you. A little ways down the page the current minimum supported version of xcode for uploading to the app store is listed and, according to the answer, is updated every April. Currently it reads:

As of April 2022, all iOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with Xcode 13 and the SDK for iOS 15.

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