One of the main advantages of having an Apple Mac or MacBook is that you can have the best of all platforms. Since Apple in 2006 decided to switch to Intel processors, the Mac is the only device on which you can run applications that support both OS X and Windows, and run Windows in versions 8 and 10 on any Mac bought after 2006 (You can run Windows even on older Macs, but for the sake of simplicity this article focuses on Apple Macs with Intel processors).
Two ways to run Windows on Mac
Let’s see how to install Windows on Mac OS X with different methods. There are two ways to run Windows on a Mac, both of which require you to purchase a Windows license. The easiest way is to start Windows on startup and use your Mac as a Windows PC with all the computing power. This is easy to do because the required function – Boot Camp – is integrated into OS X. In addition, it offers the best performance, because the Mac hardware is dedicated to running only the Windows operating system.
The other possibility to install Windows on Mac OS X is to use virtualization software. This is slightly more complicated to do and requires a third-party application such as Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion. This method allows you to quickly switch between Mac and Windows, but this means that your Mac’s processor, memory, and so on have to manage two operating systems at the same time. This method makes the performance of the Mac slower.
Install Windows on Mac OS X with Boot Camp
Here’s how to use Boot Camp to install Windows on Mac OS X:
First, you will need support to install Windows on Mac OS X – a DVD or bootable USB drive. You will also need to download and install Windows OS X USB drive and install the drivers, so make sure you have a spare pen drive handy.
- Let’s start. Start the Mac and go to Applications, Utilities. Double-click to open Boot Camp Assistant. Now set the partition size for a Windows installation. You will need at least 16 GB, but it is better to use more. Now click on the Partition button.
- Your Mac will restart. Insert the Windows installation disc, the Mac starts and the disk runs the Windows installation process. You will be asked where to install Windows – direct it to the Bootcamp partition. Now click on Drive Options (advanced). With the Bootcamp volume still selected, click Format.
- Windows will install in a process that will take a few minutes. When prompted, remove the installation media. Your Mac will now start Windows. Now, whenever you open the Mac, if you hold Option pressed you can choose to start Windows or OS X, and this is the way to run Windows on Mac.
Install Windows on Mac OS X using virtualization: VMware or Parallels
You can use the virtualization method to run any x86 operating system on your Mac. This could be a Linux operating system, for example. Virtualization uses software to create a virtual machine, using the Mac hardware. This allows you to simultaneously use OS X and Windows on the same Mac, without having to reboot. This is a brake for your hardware and you will need at least 2 GB of RAM on your Mac to make it work fine.
You will also need Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion software. Both allow you to run Windows in a separate window along with Mac OS X. Both also allow you to run Windows applications from within OS X – just insert the Windows software into the Mac Dock.
How to use VMware Fusion to install Windows on Mac OS X
Here we will show you how to use VMware Fusion to install Windows on Mac OS. The process is very similar to Parallels. In both cases you will need a Windows license key and installation support, then follow the procedure described at the beginning of the Boot Camp.
First of all you need to download VMware Fusion from the VMware site. The cost is € 44.88, but, fortunately, there is also a free trial.
After downloading the VMware Fusion disk image it will be saved to the default download directory. Look for and double-click on the VMware .dmg file to mount it.
Double-click the VMware Fusion icon to launch the Installation Assistant and follow the instructions to install VMware Fusion.
Once installed, launch VMware Fusion on your Mac. The Virtual Machine window will start, from which you can create a virtual machine. Now you can use the features of VMware Fusion Windows Easy to automatically install Windows and VMware Tools in the virtual machine.
From the Virtual Machine Library window, click the New button or select File, New. The New Virtual Machine Assistant will start.
Click Continue to go to the operating system panel. Now you can select an operating system and the version for the virtual machine. In the Name panel, enter the name of the virtual machine and click Save.
In the virtual hard disk panel, set the maximum size of the virtual hard disk. You need to set up enough space for your virtual machine to work well, and not to interfere with the original OS X operating system. Go to the Advanced disk options section if you want to allocate the required disk space, or one of several other features.
In the Windows Easy Install panel, select Use Easy Install. Enter your name, password (optional) and the Windows Product key. The product key is the long series of letters and numbers placed on the Windows DVD box or sent by e-mail if you have downloaded Windows from the site. “Name” should be the name under which Windows software is registered, not your Windows username. “Password” will be the password of the Windows administrator account.
Now go to the “Finish” dialog. Leave the “Start virtual machine and install the operating system” option selected. Enter the Windows 8 or 10 installation media and select “Use operating system installation disk”, option if you have DVD, or “Use operating system installation from disk image file” if it is a USB stick. In the case of the latter hypothesis, the image file must be identified.
Now click on Finish, VMware Fusion will install Windows. This will take up to 45 minutes, and once installed you can start Windows anytime by going to VMware Fusion in OS X.
These are some methods for installing Windows on Mac OS X and the versions that can be installed with these methods are vers. 8 and 10 of Windows. I hope we have been clear in the show, otherwise, you can express your questions in the comments.