Learn how to easily install Expo CLI on your Mac OS with step-by-step code examples for seamless app building

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Step 1: Installing Homebrew
  4. Step 2: Installing Node.js
  5. Step 3: Installing Watchman
  6. Step 4: Installing Xcode
  7. Step 5: Installing Expo CLI
  8. Conclusion


If you're interested in building mobile apps with React Native, you'll need to have Expo CLI installed on your Mac OS. Expo CLI is a powerful tool that makes it easy to develop and test apps, and it's a must-have for any serious developer. However, if you're just getting started with app building, installing Expo CLI might seem daunting at first. That's why we've put together this guide to help you install Expo CLI on your Mac OS with ease.

In this guide, we'll take you step by step through the installation process. First, we'll show you how to set up your computer for app building by installing Node.js and npm. Then, we'll walk you through the process of installing Expo CLI itself.

By the end of this guide, you'll have a fully functioning Expo CLI installation on your computer, and you'll be ready to start building your own mobile apps. So, let's get started!


Before diving into the process of installing Expo CLI on your Mac OS, there are a few you should have in place:

  1. Node.js: Expo CLI is a command-line interface tool that is built on top of Node.js, so you'll need to have it installed on your machine. You can download the latest version from the official website.

  2. npm: npm is the package manager for Node.js, and it's used to install and manage external packages and libraries. It usually comes bundled with Node.js, so you should have it installed already.

  3. Xcode: If you're planning on building iOS apps with Expo, you'll need Xcode installed on your machine. You can download it from the Mac App Store.

  4. Android Studio: Similarly, if you're planning on building Android apps with Expo, you'll need to have Android Studio installed on your machine.

  5. Editor: Lastly, you'll need an editor to write your code in. You can use any editor you're comfortable with, but some popular choices include Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, and Atom.

Make sure you have all of these in place before proceeding with the installation process. With that out of the way, let's dive into the steps for installing Expo CLI on your Mac OS.

Step 1: Installing Homebrew

Before we start with actually installing Expo CLI, we need to make sure our Mac is equipped with a package manager called Homebrew. This is a necessary component that allows us to easily install and manage software packages within our Mac.

To install Homebrew, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your terminal application in your Mac. You can find this by searching "Terminal" in your Spotlight search bar.
  2. Once your terminal is open, type the following command in your terminal and hit enter:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

  1. You'll be prompted to enter your Mac's password. Enter it and hit enter (nothing will show up when you enter your password, but it's being securely recorded).
  2. Wait for a few minutes while Homebrew installs. Once it's done, you should see it display on your terminal.

And that's it! Homebrew is now installed on your Mac and you're ready to move on to the next step of installing Expo CLI.

Step 2: Installing Node.js

Now that you've confirmed that Xcode is installed on your Mac OS, the next step to get Expo CLI up and running is to install Node.js.

Node.js is a popular JavaScript runtime environment that allows you to execute JavaScript code outside of a web browser. You'll need Node.js to install and run the Expo CLI.

Here are the steps to install Node.js:

  1. Go to the Node.js website at https://nodejs.org/en/download/ and download the appropriate version for your Mac OS.

  2. Once the installation is complete, open Terminal on your Mac OS by clicking on the magnifying glass icon in the upper-right corner of your home screen and typing "Terminal" in the search bar.

  3. In the Terminal window, type "node -v" and press Enter to verify that Node.js is installed correctly. You should see the version of Node.js that you just installed printed on the screen.

Once you have Node.js installed and verified, you're ready to move on to the next step, which is installing the Expo CLI. Stay tuned for the next section!

Step 3: Installing Watchman

Watchman is a tool used to watch for file changes in your project directory. This helps Expo CLI to quickly update your app when you make changes to your code. To install Watchman, run the following command in your terminal:

brew install watchman

This will use Homebrew to download and install Watchman onto your Mac OS. You should see some output in your terminal indicating that the installation was successful.

Once Watchman is installed, you can now move on to the next step and actually start using Expo CLI to build your mobile apps. If you encounter any issues during the installation process, try searching for solutions online or reaching out to the Expo community for help. Remember, learning to build mobile apps using Expo CLI is all about trial and error, so don't be afraid to experiment and learn from your mistakes. Good luck!

Step 4: Installing Xcode

Once you've installed Homebrew, it's time to start setting up your development environment. The next step is to download and install Xcode, which is Apple's integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS.

Xcode includes everything you need to create apps for Apple's various platforms, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. It also provides a range of tools and features to help you develop and debug your code.

To install Xcode, go to the Mac App Store and search for "Xcode". Click the "Get" or "Download" button, and follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the app.

Once Xcode is installed, you can open it from your Applications folder. You may be prompted to agree to the Apple Developer Agreement and sign in with your Apple ID.

Note that Xcode is a large app, so the download may take a while depending on your internet connection. Additionally, Xcode requires a minimum of 10GB of disk space, so make sure you have enough space available on your Mac's hard drive.

Congratulations! You've now completed the fourth step of installing Xcode. In the next step, we'll install Node.js and npm using Homebrew.

Step 5: Installing Expo CLI

Now that you have Node.js and npm installed, installing Expo CLI is a breeze. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Open your terminal app on your Mac.
  2. Type npm install -g expo-cli and hit enter.
  3. Wait for the installation to finish. This may take a few minutes depending on your internet speed.
  4. Once the installation is complete, you can verify that Expo CLI is installed by typing expo --version and hitting enter. This should display the version number of your installation.

That's it! You're now ready to start building your apps with Expo. With Expo CLI installed, you'll have access to all the powerful tools and features you need to create amazing apps quickly and easily. Good luck!


In , installing Expo CLI on your Mac OS is a simple yet essential step towards seamless app building. By following the step-by-step code examples outlined in this article, you can easily set up your environment and start working on your app right away.

Remember, learning how to build apps with Expo CLI requires patience, practice, and experimentation. Don't be afraid to immerse yourself in the official documentation, try out different code snippets, and seek out help from the Expo community whenever you get stuck.

Additionally, it's important to avoid common pitfalls such as relying too heavily on books or using overly complex IDEs before mastering the basics of Expo CLI. Instead, focus on building small, simple apps that gradually increase in complexity as you hone your skills.

Overall, with the right mindset and approach, learning how to build apps with Expo CLI can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. So roll up your sleeves, fire up your Mac OS, and get ready to create something amazing!

As an experienced software engineer, I have a strong background in the financial services industry. Throughout my career, I have honed my skills in a variety of areas, including public speaking, HTML, JavaScript, leadership, and React.js. My passion for software engineering stems from a desire to create innovative solutions that make a positive impact on the world. I hold a Bachelor of Technology in IT from Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, which has provided me with a solid foundation in software engineering principles and practices. I am constantly seeking to expand my knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies in the field. In addition to my technical skills, I am a skilled public speaker and have a talent for presenting complex ideas in a clear and engaging manner. I believe that effective communication is essential to successful software engineering, and I strive to maintain open lines of communication with my team and clients.
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