HoloLens Emulator and ‘The emulator is unable to connect to the device operating system’

NB: The usual blog disclaimer for this site applies to posts around HoloLens. I am not on the HoloLens team. I have no details on HoloLens other than what is on the public web and so what I post here is just from my own experience experimenting with pieces that are publicly available and you should always check out the official developer site for the official source of information.

Just in case this helps anyone else who finds it on a web search. On my long-suffering Surface Pro 3 I’ve had tonnes of different versions of Visual Studio installed and various emulators over time and today I was struggling to get the HoloLens emulator (14393) to run.

I’d followed the setup guide over here;


and that all went well but whenever I ran the emulator I would hit;


and I was specifically finding that the emulator would run up ok but then I couldn’t really interact with it via mouse/keyboard etc. but I managed to find a few threads over on the HoloLens forums that related to this error like these;

but I couldn’t quite narrow down the specifics of the error that was causing me trouble and some of the solutions mentioned seemed quite drastic like involving the complete uninstall/install of Visual Studio.

A lot of those threads though related to the configuration of virtual switches within Hyper-V and so what I ended up doing to resolve my error was;

  1. Uninstalled the Windows Phone emulators.
  2. Uninstalled the HoloLens emulator.
  3. Uninstalled any remaining virtual machines from Hyper-V that related to emulators.
  4. Uninstalled any virtual switches that seemed related to ‘Emulators’.
  5. Reinstalled the HoloLens emulator.

and then had a look at my networking configuration for the HoloLens emulator and that seemed to have been recreated successfully;


and the emulator started successfully without the ‘Object reference not set to an instance of an object’ error and the emulator seems to run up fine.

If you’re seeing that error on startup, I can’t promise that this will fix your problem but hopefully it might be an additional pointer towards trying to narrow down what your specific problem might be.