How to install Windows software on Mac

MacOS, the Mac operating system, has seen a thriving number of applications in recent years. Despite this, many programs are compatible only with Windows. If you need to use on your Mac professional programs or games that are compatible only on Windows PC, know that there are several solutions to install Windows programs on Mac.

In this article, I would like to show you the four best solutions to install windows on mac. The tools that I will show you are completely free. So you do not need to make any additional purchases to install Windows programs on Mac, you just have to install a Windows Mac emulator.

Install Windows programs on Mac

1. Virtual machine

The virtual machine is one of the best solutions to install Windows programs on Mac. It allows you to install the Windows operating system (but also other operating systems) as if it were a program for the Mac. Windows will think it runs on a real PC. In reality, it runs in a program for Mac.

Many software that allows you to create virtual machines also allows you to run programs installed on Windows on Mac without having to start the entire Windows operating system. This way you can launch an app installed on Windows as if it were an application for Mac. In any case, you must always be aware that the basis of the Windows software is always executed an instance of the virtual machine.

You must have a Windows license to install the operating system in a virtual machine. If you already have a product key, you can download the Windows 10 installation file directly from the official Microsoft site.

Parallels and VMware Fusion are certainly the most famous software to create virtual machines. Both are paid programs, so you need to purchase both a Windows license, Parallels or VMware Fusion license. At the beginning of the article, however, I told you that the proposed solutions would have been free. In fact, there is a third software that allows the creation of virtual machines in a completely free way. I refer to VirtualBoxVirtualBox for mac, It is an open-source application, but it presents some problems with 3D graphics and the integration with macOS is not very good. My advice is to try out the free trials of Parallels and VMware Fusion in addition to VirtualBox. According to your needs, you will be able to choose the best software for you.

Virtual machines allow easy access to Windows, but they have a big problem: the performance of 3D graphics is not exciting. Therefore it will be very difficult to play games or graphics programs. Surely they can be installed and executed, but the performances will never be satisfactory. If you need to install programs or games that require a lot of resources, then the next solution can be for you to install Windows programs on Mac.

2. Boot Camp

When we talk about running another operating system on Mac, we can not ignore Boot Camp, Apple’s utility for running Windows on the Mac. Although Boot Camp is not virtualization software, there’s no better software on which to rely on playing Windows-based games on the Mac.

The software is preloaded on Mac and allows Mac users to use both Windows and MacOS on the same device. Also, because the operating system runs directly from the hard drive, it also makes the user experience better than virtualization software.

The only disadvantage, besides being able to run Windows, is that you have to restart your computer every time you want to switch to the other operating system. Therefore, like other virtualization software, it is not possible to use both operating systems in parallel.

As with a virtual machine, you must own a Windows license for Boot Camp. Boot Camp is a software present by default in all Macs.

3. Wine

Wine is an application originally developed for Linux. It is presented as a layer that is inserted between the operating system and the Windows application to make it run on any operating system. In short, Wine rewrites the Windows code of the application, so as to make it compatible with macOS.

It is good to specify that Wine may not work with some applications and may present several bugs during use. To help users understand the potential of this software, a database of all Windows applications compatible with Wine has been created . Wine is a totally free tool and does not require a Windows license to work. You can download it directly from the official website of the producers.

4. Remote Desktop

If you have a Windows PC, you can avoid installing Windows on your Mac and access your computer via macOS remotely. The only thing you need to do is configure the Windows PC for remote access and connect to it whenever you need to use a program compatible only with Windows.

But keep in mind that this solution does not fit well for long sessions of play. A free and easy-to-configure software that can help you with this is Chrome Remote Desktop. To work, it is required that the Google Chrome browser is installed on both computers.


QEMU or Quick EMUlator is another excellent software that is open source and supports Linux, Windows and macOS. This software emulates (mimics) software and hardware and controls administrator privileges to run the guest operating system.

The source code is injected directly into the host computer, which helps QEMU to offer near-native performance. QEMU is perfect if you want a small virtual machine that can be stored in a compact flash unit. However, some patience is needed to install QEMU. Here’s how to install QEMU on your Mac:

  • Download and install Homebrew. Visit the official website.
  • Open the Terminal on Mac.
  • Type ” $ brew install qemu ” on the Terminal.

Also, get an image file of the operating system you want to use on Mac (you can find it online) and run it.


In this article, I wanted to suggest the best solutions for installing Windows programs on Mac. If you have a Mac, the best solution would be to use apps that are fully compatible with macOS.

But if you need to use a software compatible only with Windows, then you can decide whether to install Windows or use a tool like Wine to run the program on your Mac.

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