Install Windows on your Mac: A step-by-step guide
Many of us have wondered whether we can install Mac operating system on a PC, often referred to as building a Hackintosh. This idea, though intriguing, has been met with resistance from Apple, as it’s officially unsupported. But let’s flip the coin. What if you own a legitimate Mac and just want to install Windows on it?🖥️ This might seem like an unusual proposition, given that you’ve purchased an Apple device. But there are valid reasons why you might consider doing this. Maybe you want to use a Windows program with no Mac equivalent, share your computer with a user who prefers Windows, or just want to game, which can sometimes be tricky on a Mac. While you can run Windows in a virtual machine inside Mac OS, this can degrade performance. A more conducive situation would be installing a clean copy of Windows that runs natively on your Mac. In this detailed guide, we will discuss how to install Windows on your Mac.
Before you start, make sure your macOS is up to date and that the secure boot is turned on and set to full security. 💻 Then proceed to download Windows from the Microsoft website. Make sure to save it as an ISO instead of creating installation media like you do on a regular PC.📁
Selecting the ISO file
After you’ve downloaded Windows, head over to Applications, then to utilities, and open up Bootcamp Assistant. It will prompt you to select the ISO file you just downloaded. Bear in mind that some older Macs might require having the ISO file on a USB flash drive, whereas newer Macs can use the ISO file directly from the internal drive.💽
Creating the Partition
Select the size you want for your new Windows partition, ensuring you have enough free space to do so first. Then click install. You’ll eventually get to the familiar Windows setup menu after your Mac reboots.🖥️ Finish setting up Windows as you normally would. Then follow the prompts to install the Windows version of Bootcamp to better manage your now dual OS setup.✨
You’re basically done at this point! To switch between Mac OS and Windows, just hold down the option key after pressing power, and you’ll get a menu asking which operating system you want to boot into. Simple, right?🎈
For Apple Silicon Macs
If you own an Apple Silicon Mac, you’d need to use a piece of software called Parallels Desktop. This software virtualizes Windows, although it’s not quite as efficient as running Windows natively. However, it was developed with Windows in mind, so the performance will be closer to native than you might think. It can even support games, given you keep your expectations in check. Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay for Parallels and use the ARM version of Windows. But on the bright side, many x64 programs (including those from the Microsoft Store) are automatically emulated in Windows for ARM.🪟 Remember to do some research to see how well your specific programs run on Parallels before making this investment.
Doing a fresh install of Windows on your Mac might seem challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively straightforward! From prepping your Mac and downloading the Windows ISO file to selecting an ISO file and creating partitions, it’s all a journey towards creating a versatile machine that can switch between macOS and Windows effortlessly. 🚀 If you own an Apple Silicon Mac, consider using Parallels Desktop to emulate Windows. Regardless of the route you take, your Mac is sure to become a more flexible device, able to cater to a wider variety of tasks. Enjoy the ride! ✌️
Yes, you can install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp Assistant, which is included with your Mac.
Boot Camp Assistant is a utility that comes with your Mac and lets you switch between macOS and Windows. Download your copy of Windows 10, then let Boot Camp Assistant walk you through the installation steps.
It’s recommended that you should have at least 64GB of free storage on your Mac for Windows. However, 128GB or more is recommended for the best experience.
The installation process can take a few hours, depending on your Mac and the version of Windows you’re installing.
During the installation process, your Mac might restart several times, and you might be asked to log in and out. Therefore, it would be best to not use your Mac during the Windows installation.
Yes, you need to purchase a license from Microsoft or a Microsoft-authorized retailer in order to install and run Windows on your Mac.
No, you can’t install Windows on an external drive using Boot Camp. However, there are third-party tools and workarounds that might enable this option.
Yes, you can uninstall Windows from your Mac at any time. You can follow the steps outlined in this guide to remove the Windows partition.
No, installing Windows with the Boot Camp Assistant won’t erase your Mac data. However, it’s always a good idea to backup your data before you install Windows, just in case.
Yes, you can switch between Windows and MacOS by restarting your Mac, then holding the Option (or Alt) key while your Mac starts up.
No, Mac applications cannot run on the Windows platform. You will need to boot into MacOS to use Mac applications.
Most Mac models introduced in 2012 or later are compatible with Windows 10.
While there are several methods to resize the Windows partition on your Mac, it’s generally easier and safer to delete the current partition and then create a new one with the desired size.
If you encounter issues before, during, or after the installation of Windows on your Mac, you can find solutions on the Microsoft website.
Yes, installing Windows with Boot Camp Assistant creates a separate partition for Windows and does not delete your existing MacOS.
Yes, you can use the same Microsoft account on your Mac and Windows computer.
No, you need to purchase a license for Windows 10. You cannot get a free upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.
Yes, using Boot Camp Assistant, you can have both macOS and Windows on the same Mac.
Yes, some Mac devices support Windows touch gestures.
Yes, you will need an internet connection to download the Windows 10 operating system and for the installation process.
Generally no, you won’t face any issues, but it is recommended to backup your system before you start.
No, Apple eliminated the need for a USB drive for Boot Camp in the OS update released in 2015.
You can download Windows 10 ISO file for free from the Microsoft site, but you have to purchase a license to install and use it.
Make sure your Mac has the latest OS updates. If still not available, it’s recommended to contact Apple support.
Yes, you can set a default operating system to boot into from System Preferences > Startup Disk.
Yes, Windows works just as well on a Mac as it does on a PC. However, keep in mind that there might be differences in functionality of some settings and features.
Yes, both the MacOS and Windows partitions on your Mac can see each other, thereby allowing you to share files between both platforms.
You can update Windows on your Mac just like you would on a PC, through the Windows ‘Check for Updates’ feature.
The reformatting step in the installation process erases the hard drive you’re installing Windows on, which lets the installer set up Windows correctly.
Boot Camp generally supports the latest version of Windows, so depending on how old the version of Windows you want to install is, you might be able to install it. Always consult with Apple’s support resources when unsure.