Run iOS Simulator Without Launching Xcode By Using an Alias

Jul 9, 2012 - 6 Comments

iOS Simulator running without Xcode

Apple recently simplified the way Xcode is installed, bundling everything into a single /Applications/ directory and removing the /Developer directory that used to exist. There are some advantages to this approach, but one of the annoyances is that you now have to launch the iPhone or iPad simulator by opening Xcode first. Well, that’s not entirely true, you can actually still directly launch iOS Simulator without opening Xcode first by creating an alias.

Create an alias to iOS Simulator by doing the following

  • From the Finder, hit Command+Shift+G and paste in the following path:
  • /Applications/

  • Select “iOS” and either drag it into the Dock, Launchpad, or hit Command+L to create an alias

Alternatively, you can click here to grab a pre-made alias in a zip bundle that will open iOS Simulator automatically. Throw that on the desktop or in the Dock for easy access.

This applies to Xcode 4.3 and later. Previous versions stored the iPhone/iOS simulator elsewhere.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Development, iPad, iPhone, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dave says:

    Or you can launch it once via XCode and simply add it to your dock via a right click. That’s what I’ve been doing since I started coding iOS apps.

  2. spoo says:

    Alternatively, you can also hit cmd + space, and search for it in Spotlight.

  3. Jose Apollo says:

    Thank you!!!!

  4. Richard Chen says:

    doesn’t work anymore (OS 10.9.5, Xcode 5.1.1 or 6.0.1), “find /Applications/ -name Simulator” has 0 results

  5. Patrick says:

    Yep you can just right click when it is open and then select “Options” and “Keep in Dock”.

    Or in 6.1.1 open Finder and go to
    and drag “iOS Simulator” to the Dock or your desktop.

  6. ptim says:

    Now at: /Applications/

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