How to install Windows operating system on Mac?

It makes no sense to argue which OS is better – Windows or macOS. Better to try both yourself and decide based on their personal experience. Fortunately, installing Windows on a Mac does not require any special skills.

From the very beginning, Apple computers were positioned as an alternative, a new way, relative to equipment from other manufacturers. The company even installed processors of its own production in PCs and in every possible way demonstrated the exclusivity of such products. However, in 2006, the Booth Camp utility debuted, allowing you to run Windows on top of macOS, and a year earlier, Apple began using Intel processors in its PCs. It is worth noting that the use of virtualization technology (with the help of special programs) made Windows on Apple computers even earlier.


  • What you need (drive, image, etc.)
  • What is Boot Camp?
    • How do I install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp?
  • Virtualization
    • Parallels Desktop
    • VMware Fusion
    • Oracle VM VirtualBox
  • Installing with Boot Camp and Virtualization
  • Advantages and disadvantages of all methods
  • Conclusion

What you need (drive, image, etc.)

There are the following requirements:

  1. Flash drive. It is desirable to have a 16 gigabyte drive. However, if you plan to install Windows 7, then you can get by with 4 gigabytes.
  2. Free disk space. When installing Windows 10 on a Mac, you need at least 64 free gigabytes, and 128 gigabytes is recommended. For 95% of users, this makes installing on a hard drive only justifiable.
  3. Macreleased no later than 2007. If you plan to install the top ten, then you need a computer made no later than 2012.
  4. Downloaded Windows image. You can download it from the official website.
  5. Installation software. Boot Camp, and in the case of virtualization: Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion or Oracle VM VirtualBox.

What is Boot Camp?

Apple utility that allows you to install Windows. Then, when starting the computer, the user chooses which system to boot – macOS or Windows. All external hardware will work fine under any OS. All available computer resources are provided to it. The program is free and is part of the macOS – just go to the “Utilities” section in the “Programs” section and find “Boot Camp Assistant” there.

How do I install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp?

It is necessary to act according to the following algorithm:

  1. After launching Booth Kemp on the initial window, check the boxes “Create installation disk …” and “Install Windows …”, and then click on “Continue”.
  2. A window will appear to select the location of the Windows image – specify the correct path. Below is the USB drive to which the recording will be performed.
  3. In the next window, specify how much disk space is allocated for the new OS. It is necessary to move the slider or activate the “Divide into even …” option. After clicking on “Install”.
  4. The computer will reboot and then a window for selecting a bootable device will appear. You need to click on the USB flash drive with the copied Windows image. The benefit of Boot Camp lies in the fact that all the necessary drivers for the hardware are immediately copied to the drive – no further configuration is required.
  5. The process of installing Windows starts. The only caveat – when choosing a section, it is logical to choose the one that is designated as “BOOTCAMP”. However, the installer will object to this step. Therefore, that section needs to be formatted – the option is located just below the main block.
  6. The first time you start Windows on your Mac, BootCamp should start automatically. She will automatically install drivers and additional software. It is only necessary to confirm the performed actions. If the utility does not start, open the USB flash drive and run the “setup.exe” executable file in the root folder.


Assumes the installation of a special application – a virtual machine. You can run almost any OS through it. For example, with its help it is easy to play a mobile game for Android on a computer – a senseless undertaking, but the main thing is that there is such an opportunity.

In our case, virtualization allows us to use Windows as a separate macOS application. That is, a third-party operating system will be launched in the virtual machine window, but at the same time it will be possible to work with Apple programs.

Parallels Desktop

This is a paid app, but there is a trial version for 14 days. After downloading , installing and launching it, proceed as follows:

  1. On the initial window, click on “Install Windows …”. The program will start downloading the OS. If this does not happen (for example, Internet failures), then click on the “Find manually” => “Image” button and drag the Windows image into the current window with the mouse.
  2. If you have a Windows license key, you must enter it in the next window. If it is absent, then you need to uncheck the option “This version requires …”.
  3. Indicate the main purpose for which the third-party OS will be used. You can choose between the following templates: “Office programs”, “Games only”, “Design”, “Software development”. These are non-critical settings and can be easily changed in the future.
  4. Next, give the name to the virtual machine. Opposite the “Location” line, indicate where Windows will be deployed on the disk. Finish the preliminary setting by clicking on “Continue”.
  5. In the next step, wait for the system to install. During this, a window may be displayed in which you will be asked which version of the OS you need to install – for example, 10 Pro or 10 Home.

If necessary, you can change the settings of the Windows virtual machine. To do this, just click on the gear icon in the Parallels Desktop Control Center – there will be many parameters. For example, you can allocate more RAM to the virtual machine.

VMware Fusion

You also need to pay for this program, but the trial version works for 30 days when registering an account. After downloading and installing the application, do the following:

  1. On the initial screen, select the option “Install from disc or…” => “Continue”.
  2. In the next window, click on “Use another disc or …”, specify the path to the Windows ISO image => “Continue”.
  3. Set the work parameters. To do this, click on “Customize settings” – the program will ask where to store the files with settings. After that, you can start setting the parameters. Specify how many processor cores are available to the virtual machine and how much permanent RAM to allocate to it. Finally, close the settings window.
  4. Start the virtual machine – click on the big play icon. This will begin the Windows installation procedure. You will need to select a language, specify a section for installation and perform a complete list of standard operations.
  5. The final step is to install the drivers. To do this, in macOS, in the top panel, select: “Virtual Machine” => “Install VMware Tools” => “Install”. In the virtual machine window, in Windows Explorer, go to the DVD drive. In it, click on the “setup64” application. Confirm the commands in the installer, and after installation, agree to reboot the system. The result is a full-fledged Windows that works like an application in the macOS desktop environment.

Oracle VM VirtualBox

You can install Windows 10 on Mac OS on Virtualbox. The benefit is that the virtual machine is free. After downloading , installing and launching it, proceed as follows:

  1. In the upper left corner of the initial window, click on “Create”.
  2. Designate the virtual machine (remember the invented name) and specify the OS parameters. If you have an image of Windows 8.1 64-bit version, then the corresponding parameters should be specified in this window as well.
  3. Set the amount of RAM that will be used for virtualization needs. The more you specify, the more stable and faster Windows will be, but the responsiveness of macOS will decrease.
  4. Specify the parameters for the virtual hard disk. To do this, check the box “Create a new virtual…” => “Next” => check the box “VDI…” => check the box opposite “Fixed virtual…” => click on “Next”.
  5. Set up a virtual OS. To do this, a virtual machine that you created earlier will appear on the start screen in the left pane (for this, you had to remember its name). Select it, and at the top click on “Properties (Configure)”. Go to the Media tab and enter the path to the Wi ISO image in the appropriate line. After saving these settings, return to the initial window and click on “Run”. The OS installation will begin according to the standard scheme.

Installing with Boot Camp and Virtualization

This combination is possible if you have Parallels Desktop and two conditions are met:

  1. Requires standard Windows installation on a computer using BootCamp.
  2. When deploying a virtual machine, select the following option: File => New => Boot Camp, then follow the commands that appear on the screen.

Correct order of operations is essential. First , you must have Windows installed via BootCamp, and only then you should create a virtual machine.

Advantages and disadvantages of all methods

In relation to Boot Camp, the following features are important:

  1. Maximum Windows performance. If you need to run a resource-intensive application or game on macOS that only works under Windows, this is the best solution.
  2. Booth Kemp is officially supported by Apple – in which case you can count on technical support.
  3. A noticeable reduction in hard disk space and, much worse, partitions are created that will always be inaccessible to one of the OS. Windows does not understand the macOS file system.
  4. To start Windows, you will have to restart your computer.
  5. Apart from the OS image, you need to download nothing additionally – it saves time.

Virtualization technologies have the following characteristics:

  1. Reverse installation of Mac OS on Windows is possible.
  2. A powerful computer is required, preferably with a solid state drive.
  3. The structure of the disc does not change. There are fewer free gigabytes on it, but all the files are available in the same places. Booth Kemp will eat more free space under any circumstances.
  4. Switching between operating systems is possible without overloading. It is enough to open the application, and if something happens, instantly minimize it to work in another OS.
  5. The number of possible OS options is unlimited. You can install a different version at least every day – this is useful for testing software. It will also be possible to run Windows, Linux, Android on one PC.
  6. All advanced virtualization software costs money.

The combination of virtualization and Boot Camp is characterized by the following nuances:

  1. You can instantly start Windows without rebooting.
  2. If you alternate booting Windows under Boot Camp and in virtualization mode, then there is a high probability that you will have to activate Windows each time.


The current situation, when a person plays Windows games on a MacBook, was unimaginable 15 years ago. Time flies and there are fewer and fewer obstacles to using the most diverse software for any platform. Installing Windows on a Mac, like the reverse procedure, does not take much time and allows you to experience all the delights of multi-platform.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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