How to Install Windows on Mac

Install Windows on Mac is no longer a problem since the Intel migration in 2006: every Mac is automatically a Windows PC with the necessary hardware. Since both PCs and Macs run on Intel’s 64-bit processor base, they are largely identical. Thus, the Windows operation in two variants is possible: both on the software supplied with the Mac Boot Camp as the second operating system in addition to macOS, as well as within macOS as a so-called virtual machine.

How to Install Windows on Mac

Macs are the hardware side now quite normal PC systems. By implication, this means that Windows can be used without problems.

Install Windows on Mac

Boot camp or virtual machine?

However, if you want to use Windows on the Mac, you should first think about which of the two variants you want to use:

Basically, for Windows on the Mac, the variant with the virtual machine within a virtualization tool like VirtualBox is preferable. Once the software has been installed, it only needs to be set up within VirtualBox Windows. Afterwards the “Windows in the window” can be used directly in macOS.

The Apple tool Boot Campon the other hand, it splits the Mac hard drive into a Mac partition and a Windows partition. Subsequently, in this Windows is installed. Windows and macOS are then two systems on one computer. To change from macOS to Windows, the Mac must be restarted. And vice versa. Windows is installed here directly on the Mac, so the performance does not have to share with macOS, which is important for games, for example.

Installing Windows as a virtual machine: That’s how it works

Step 1:

Download the Windows 10 ISO file from the Microsoft website .

Step 2:

Then download VirtualBox for macOS, and install the program. There are also alternatives: Parallels Desktop for Mac is much more comfortable, but with costs. There is also the fee-based VMWare .

Step 3:

Install VirtualBox on your Mac by double- clicking the disk image and then double-clicking the VirtualBox.pkg file .

Step 4:

macOS now warns that a system extension is blocked. Click ” System Preferences” “Security Open “.

Step 5:

Click on ” Allow “. This is a Mac security technology that protects you from software changes. But you do not have to worry about VirtualBox.

Step 6:

The installation of VirtualBox will be aborted once. Click ” Close “.

Step 7:

Restart the installation by double-clicking on VirtualBox.pkg again. The installation is now running.

Step 8:

Launch VirtualBox from the Applications folder and choose New . Then enter a name for the virtual machine , such as “Windows 10″. Click ” Next “.

Step 9:

Set the memory for the virtual machine . This is interrupted by the Mac memory. As a rule of thumb: Windows in the window should have at least 2 gigabytes of RAM , but not more than 50 percent of the Mac RAM , otherwise the whole system will be slow.

Step 10:

Select ” Create Disk ” and click ” Create “.

Step 11:

Select ” VDI ” as the file type for the virtual disk and click ” Next “.

Step 12:

Select ” dynamically allocated “. In this way, the virtual disk does not occupy all the memory directly. Click ” Next “.

Step 13:

Finally, you have to select the maximum size of the hard disk. Limit it to a value you can live with – about 50 gigabytes – and click ” Generate .”

Step 14:

The virtual PC is now created. Now you just have to install Windows here . Click on ” Start “.

Step 15:

Now the Windows ISO file comes into play: VirtualBox asks you from which medium Windows should boot. Click the yellow folder icon and select the Windows 10 ISO file you downloaded in step 1 . Then click on ” Start “.

Step 16:

The virtual PC now boots like a real PC. You can perform the Windows installation just like on a real PC. Then the virtual PC in VirtualBox is ready for use and can be used in the window like a real Windows PC. You can also install other systems such as Linux in a virtual PC.

Install Windows via Boot Camp: That’s how it works

If you need the full hardware power of the Mac on Windows, you need to set up Windows 10 as a boot camp partition on the Mac. This is done in a few simple steps, all you need is a USB stick with at least 8 gigabytes of memory.

Attention: Boot Camp is only suitable for users who are familiar with Windows installations!

Note: Boot Camp does not seem to work reliably with the AFPS file system at the moment.

Step 1:

Download the Windows 10 ISO file from the Microsoft website.

Step 2:

Launch the Boot Camp Assistant from the / Applications / Utilities / folder and click Continue .

Step 3:

Plug the USB stick to your Mac and leave the preferences as Boot Camp suggests. Click ” Continue “.

Step 4:

Now select the Windows ISO file from step 1 via ” Select ” . Also select a destination drive , the USB stick. Attention: This will be completely overwritten during the action! Then click on ” Continue “.

Step 5:

Bootcamp now warns that the USB drive is being deleted . Confirm with ” Continue “. If you have a Macbook, you should now connect it to the mains.

Step 6:

The USB stick is formatted and then described with the Windows installation files and Apple’s Windows support software. This could take a while. Then stick the stick to the Mac .

Step 7:

Boot Camp then asks you how to share the Mac hard drive . Windows 10 should get at least 40 gigabytes, 48 gigabytes are a good value. Click on ” Install “.

Step 8:

Now you have to enter your administrator password . Then the hard disk is partitioned and the Mac restarts from the USB stick.

Step 9:

You can now install Windows . Make sure that you put it in the correct partition , otherwise you can delete macOS. You can then start the Mac by holding down the [Alt] key and selecting between systems .

Install Windows on Mac via Boot Camp

In this guide, you will learn how you Microsoft Windows using Apple Boot Camp on a Mac running OS X install.

Apple has included OS X with the ” Boot Camp Assistant “. A helpful program that helps you prepare, install, and configure Windows on your Mac . It loads the support software , partitions your hard drive and creates a bootable USB stick to install Windows and all necessary drivers.

Please create a backup of your Mac with Time Machine in advance .

Requirements for Windows on Mac OS with Boot Camp

To install and configure Microsoft Windows on your Mac, you need the following:

  • an Apple Mac computer with Intel processor
  • a USB keyboard and mouse (iMac) or built-in keyboard and trackpad (MacBook)
  • a recent OS X installation (the latest OS X version is strongly recommended)
  • at least 30 GB of free hard disk space
  • at least 2GB of RAM
  • Boot Camp Assistant (located in ” / Applications / Utilities / ” or ” / Applications / Utilities / “)
  • a 64-bit Microsoft Windows version, eg Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10 or later as ISO image, CD or DVD
  • USB stick with min. 5 GB of memory

Installing Windows with Boot Camp

The Boot Camp Assistant takes you almost all the work off.

He prepares the installation by creating a Windows 7, 8, 10 or later installation media ( USB stick), downloads the latest Boot Camp drivers for keyboard, mouse, trackpad, camera, graphics card, network interfaces, and downloads them Installation medium attached.

Then he creates a partition for the installation of Windows according to your requirements and starts the actual installation of Windows on your Mac.

So first open the ” Boot Camp Assistant ” via Spotlight with the shortcut CMD + spacebar .

Boot Camp Assistant – Introduction

The first step is to explain exactly what the Boot Camp Assistant is.

Boot Camp Assistant – Select Tasks
The ” Continue ” button takes you to the second step. Here you have to define the tasks to be performed.
The choices are:

  • Create installation medium
  • Download the latest software from Apple
  • Install Windows

We want everything.

It continues on ” Continue “.

Boot Camp Assistant – Create bootable USB drive for Windows installation

Now it will be interesting. Select your Windows source medium via the “Select” button. This can be a Windows ISO image, a CD or DVD . Make sure your destination storage media is displayed under ” Target Media “, eg your USB stick.
The data stored on the target medium will be deleted during the process!

t continues on ” Continue “.

Boot Camp Assistant – Creating a Partition for Windows

In this step, your hard drive is split into two parts – ” partitioned “. You can change the size of the partitions with the slider, but there should be at least 30 GB available for the Windows partition.

After completing the Boot Camp Assistant, the Mac restarts, or you may need to press Alt to help it choose the right boot medium during the reboot. Hold down the Alt key during system startup to get into Boot Manager. There you can choose from which medium your Mac should start, here you select the USB stick ” WININSTALL “.

It starts the usual Windows setup. Click through the installation dialog to select the installation location and select the partition named ” BOOTCAMP “.

The message ” Windows can not be installed on disk x partition y … ” appears. Click on the bootcamp partition line with a click and select ” Format ” in the options below the list and then confirm ” OK “. Now the ” Next ” button should be active. – If not, see the troubleshooting section .

Once the installation of Windows is complete and you have logged in to Windows for the first time, the ” Boot Camp installer ” starts . This installs all necessary for the Mac Windows driver.

After completing the driver installation, a restart is required. Make sure that no device installation is active anymore. At least in our test setup there was a window with an active device installation in the background.

After restarting, the installation of Windows on Mac with Boot Camp is complete.


My Mac always starts in Windows / OS X

Turn off your Mac completely. Turn it on and hold the Alt-key, the ” Boot-Manager ” appears, here you can choose which operating system you want to start.

This behavior can be set in the system settings under ” Startup volume “.

” Windows can not be installed on the disk. The selected disk is the GPT partition style. “

During the Windows Setup dialog, select the ” Bootcamp ” partition on which to install Windows.

If the message ” Windows can not be installed on disk x partition y … ” appears, mark the line with the bootcamp partition with a click and select ” Format ” in the options below the list and then confirm ” OK “.

Now the “Next” button should become active. – If not, restart your Mac. In OS X Disk Utility, delete the ” BOOTCAMP ” partition using the “-” button, and reopen the ” Boot Camp Assistant “. This will let you create the partition one more time (selection of tasks to be performed).

Please always pay attention to which partitions you choose! A wrong click can cost you all your OS X installation and data.

Which Windows versions can you install on the Mac?

The oldest version of Windows that you can install on the Mac, according to Apple , is Windows XP with built-in Service Pack 2. According to Apple, Service Pack 2 must already be integrated in the installation disk, followed by an installation of the SP2 over an earlier XP Version is not possible.

From Windows Vista you can safely use all variants. Meanwhile, several Mac models have more than 4 GB of RAM – so it makes sense to use a 64-bit version of Windows , so that the memory can be fully utilized. Our experiment, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit on the iMac However, the installation went awry: the Windows installation was completed properly, in the Device Manager several hardware components were not recognized.

When we started the boot camp installation wizard on the enclosed driver CD, we received the message that the iMac currently does not support 64-bit Windows. Although Apple now offers 64-bit drivers for Windows on the Mac for download , we could not start this installation file on the iMac .

According to Apple At the moment, you can only install a 64-bit version of Windows Vista on the latest Mac Pro and Macbook Pro models (from 2008). A 64-bit support for the iMac is still pending . The obvious drawback: With a 32-bit system, you can only use 3047 of 4096 MB of RAM on the iMac – that’s annoying.

What do you need for Windows on the Mac?

For the Windows installation you need a Mac with Intel CPU, older models with PowerPC processor from IBM or Motorola are not supported. On the Mac Mac OS X 10.5 should be installed, because only from this version of the Boot Camp Assistant is standard equipment.

The Mac firmware should be up to date. The Mac must have an internal optical drive. If that does not exist, you can also connect a Mac-compatible external drive. In addition, you need an installation disk and a license key from Windows that will not be used on any other PC at the same time.

The Windows version must be a full version, an update version can, according to Apple not installed. In our review, installing Windows Vista Home Premium with a Service Builder version worked fine. However, we do not recommend using a recovery disk containing the hardware drivers of another PC.

You will also need an installation disk for Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 – because it contains the hardware drivers and boot-camp software for Windows.

How to Install Windows on Mac
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