How to Set Xcode Preferences for Your iOS App

By Jesse Feiler

Xcode gives you options galore. You probably won’t change any of them until you have a bit more iOS app programming experience under your belt, but a few options are actually worth thinking about now. The following steps outline how to set some of the preferences you might be interested in.

Follow these steps to set some of the preferences you’ll find useful:

  1. With Xcode open, choose Xcode___Preferences from the main menu.

  2. Click the Behaviors tab at the top of the Preferences window to show the Behaviors pane.

    The Xcode Preferences window refreshes to show the Behaviors pane.

    The left side of the pane shows the Events pane (the check marks indicate events for which settings are set), while the right side shows the possible actions for an event.

  3. Select (Running) Generates output in the left column and then choose the Show, Hide, or If No Output Hide option from the Debug area pop-up menu to the left of the debugger in the right pane.

    This step controls what appears while you run your app. By default, you’ll find that the check box for showing the debugger in the Debug area is selected.

  4. Select other options from the left column — perhaps (Build) Starts, (Build) Generates new issues, (Build) Succeeds, and (Build) Fails — and experiment with the options available.

    You can link an event with playing a sound or have an event trigger the Xcode icon bouncing up and down in the Dock. You can change many options in the Behaviors pane. But take a look through them and experiment — they can make your life much easier.

    You can see the behaviors you have chosen if the run pauses. (By pause, this means the run hits, say, a breakpoint.) You can have a sound inform you in case you’re busy daydreaming (sosumi seems like the appropriate sound to play here).


    You can see the behaviors you have chosen if a build fails.

  5. Click the Downloads tab at the top of the Preferences window.

  6. Select the Check for and Install Updates Automatically check box, and then click the Check and Install Now button.

    This step ensures that the documentation remains up-to-date and allows you to load and access other documentation.

  7. (Optional) Click the Fonts & Colors tab at the top of the Preferences window and use the options to change your workspace theme.

    As you click the various theme options, you see a preview in the center of the window.


  8. (Optional) Click the Text Editing tab at the top of the Preferences window and set your text editing preferences.

    You can set the Indent width to 2 in the Indentation settings to get as much code on a line as possible.

  9. Click the red Close button in the top-left corner of the window to close the Xcode Preferences window.