Can I install Windows XP with Virtual Box on the new MBA 2013?

Jason C July 2, 2013

1) I plan to get the new MBA 2013. But the fine prints say Windows XP cannot be installed. How can this be?

2) What are the issues of running Windows XP with virtual box on Mac OS? I need to run some legacy XP programs that (I think) cannot even run on Windows Vista or 7, not to mention Windows 8.

  1. Justin Pot
    July 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Virtualbox will run well on the new MacBook air, and there's no reason you can't run Windows XP. If you need a tutorial, check out our guide to VirtualBox:


    There's step-by-step instructions for installing Windows – isn't that different to run XP.

    There aren't many potential issues – the MBA should be able to handle a virtual machine. Just note that you'll need to run antivirus software within the XP machine – and that security updates for XP are coming to an end soon.

  2. Jan F
    July 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

    The Windows XP limitation only applies for Boot-Camp (dual-boot/Windows boot) installations.

    In a virtual environment like VirtualBox, VMware or Parallels you can use any Windows version supported by that software.

  3. Hovsep A
    July 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Running Windows on Your Mac With VirtualBox

    VirtualBox Premium Edition

    perhaps to try Parallels for better performance
    you need a good amount of ram (8GB of RAM) otherwize will be slow

  4. Bruce E
    July 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    1) I could not find any information stating that WinXP cannot be installed on MBA 2013, it simply states that Apple will only support Win7 on it. And this appears to be as the sole operating system on the device from the way the notation is worded on the site. Basically, they are stating you are on your own if you want to replace OSX with another operating system other than Win7 as the primary OS on the machine unless you can point me to something else that states otherwise.

    You may also want to check if they are removing support for XP in Bootcamp.

    2) The guest OS will naturally run slower than if it was installed on bare metal but other than that you should have no problems with running WinXP in a VM on the new MBA. Although, you may want to look at a paid virtualization platform for better performance and integration features such as VMWare Fusion and Parallels. I believe the latest version of Parallels Desktop will even allow you to run the software installed in the VM as if it was a Mac application.