Open the Project Properties Window
Select the Debug Tool to use
In the hardware section of the project properties window select one of the available hardware tools are the programmer/debugger. You are allow to select the Microchip Supplied HW tools such as the ICD3, PICKit3, REALIce, or StarterKit. While they are not technically hardware tools the Microchip Software simulator and Lab Center's Proteus VSM software simulator are available to use as debuggers.
MPLABX will search the system for available development tools. If a programmer/debugger is found the Hardware tools box will populate with the serial number of the attached device.
When a tool has been selected it will appear within a blue box in the Hardware Window
Confirm the Selection
After you have selected the Hardware tool to use select "Apply" then "OK".