Mac Windows

3 Ways to Run Windows on Your Mac

Dan Helyer Updated 20-11-2019

Looking to run Windows on your Mac? There are a few different ways you can do it, each with its own pros and cons.


The best solution depends on what you want to use Windows for. Do you want to play video games? Need to use a specific Windows-based app? Or do you want a portable Windows system you can boot from any Mac?

We’ve explained all the ways you can run Windows on Mac below. Take a look to find out which method is best for you.

1. Dual Boot macOS and Windows Using Boot Camp

Boot Camp installation window setting partition size for Windows and Mac

Boot Camp is a built-in Mac utility you can use to install Windows. It partitions your hard drive into two sections, with Windows on one side and macOS on the other.

We call this a dual boot system, because you can boot into either macOS or Windows. But you can’t use both operating systems at once, which means you need to reboot your Mac whenever you want to switch.


The upside is you get great performance on both operating systems because it only needs to run one at a time. In some cases, a Mac running Windows through Boot Camp is faster than a dedicated Windows computer.

A dual-boot system is the best option in some cases 4 Reasons Why You Should Install Windows on Your Mac Lots of people install Windows on their Mac, but why? Here are the best reasons to install Windows on your Mac. Read More . For example, if you want to play computer games, edit videos, render graphics, or perform any other resource-intensive tasks.

How to Get Windows on Your Mac Using Boot Camp

With a Mac and an internet connection, you already have everything you need to install and run Windows using Boot Camp. Although, if your Mac came out before 2015, you also need to create a USB Boot Camp installer How to Install Windows 10 on Your Mac With Boot Camp Want to install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp? Here's a complete guide to installing Windows 10 on macOS that'll walk you through it. Read More .

Before getting started, make sure you have at least 64GB free on your startup disk. You need this much space for the Windows operating system and any content you want to use with it.


When you’re ready, download the latest version of Windows as an ISO disk image from Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page.

Next, open Boot Camp Assistant. You’ll find it inside Utilities in the Applications folder on your Mac, but it’s faster to search with Spotlight (Cmd + Space) to open it. Follow the on-screen prompts to partition your hard drive, download Windows support drivers, and install your dual boot system.

When the Boot Camp installation finishes, restart your Mac and hold Option while it powers up. It should give you the choice to boot into macOS or Windows.

Boot Camp Windows or macOS option screen


2. Run Windows in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac

Parallels running Windows on a MacA virtual machine (VM) runs Windows inside macOS. There’s no need to partition your hard drive and no need to reboot your Mac whenever you want to switch operating systems.

Using a VM means both Windows and macOS are running on your Mac at the same time, so the performance isn’t as good as a dual boot system. However, the added convenience of using Windows apps alongside macOS apps is usually enough to make up for that loss.

You’ve got a few different VM options if you want to install Windows on your Mac:

Parallels and VMware Fusion are premium services that make it easy to install and run Windows with a bunch of Mac-friendly features. VirtualBox is more complicated to set up and has fewer features, but it’s free.


How to Install a Windows Virtual Machine on Your Mac

Setting up VirtualBox takes a little bit of time and effort, but you can use our comprehensive VirtualBox guide How to Use VirtualBox: User's Guide With VirtualBox you can easily install and test multiple operating systems. We'll show you how to set up Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux as a virtual machine. Read More to walk you through it.

Otherwise, Parallels and VMware Fusion are quick and easy to set up. Parallels is generally considered the best option for running Windows on a Mac, but both apps offer a range of attractive features. Take a look at our overview of Parallels Run Windows on Your Mac With Parallels Desktop 15 Need to run Windows apps on a Mac? Here's our look at Parallels Desktop, one of the best software solutions for the job. Read More to see what you get.

Buy a license or download a free trial for the software of your choice. Then follow the on-screen instructions to install and set up your Windows VM.Parallels installation on a Mac downloading Windows 10

3. Run Windows To Go From an External Drive Using WinToUSB

Windows To Go booted from USB external drive on a Mac

Windows To Go is a feature that lets you install a Windows system on an external hard drive, which you can then boot into from any Mac. The immediate benefits are that it doesn’t take up any space on your internal hard drive and it offers a huge amount of portability.

Using Windows To Go is similar to a dual boot system, except Windows runs from an entirely different drive instead of a separate partition. That means you still need to reboot your Mac whenever you want to switch operating systems.

Unfortunately, Windows To Go systems are limited by the data transfer and read/write speed of your external drive and the port they’re connected to. They also take a bit of setting up.

Ideally, you should use a USB 3.0 drive with a write speed of at least 50MB/s. You also need to make sure you connect it to a USB 3.0 port on your Mac for the fastest connection.

USB 3.0 micro cable

How to Install Windows To Go for Mac on an External Drive

While Microsoft deprecated the official Windows To Go feature in 2019, you can still use an equivalent setup thanks to third-party software. Nowadays, the easiest way to install Windows To Go on your external drive is with WinToUSB.

This free app is Windows-based, so you need to use a Windows computer or a VM to temporarily install it on your Mac. If you don’t have a Windows machine handy, we suggest you use the free trial of Parallels or VMware Fusion for this.

You also need to download support files from Boot Camp to ensure your Mac hardware works with Windows. Open Boot Camp Assistant in macOS and select Action > Download Windows Support Software from the menu bar.

Download Windows Support Software option from Boot Camp menu bar

When the support files finish downloading, copy and paste them into your VM.

Now connect your external drive and open Disk Utility on your Mac. Erase and reformat the drive as macOS Extended (Journaled) with a GUID Partition Map scheme. Once that’s done, eject and reconnect it to your VM.

Windows To Go external drive format settings in Disk Utility

In your VM, download the Windows ISO disk image and install WinToUSB.

Right-click the Start button to open Disk Management and select your external drive. Here, right-click the primary partition of the drive and click Delete volume, then right-click again and create a New simple volume. Set the file system to NFTS.

Open WinToUSB and select your external drive as the destination for Windows. Choose your boot and system partitions and select Legacy mode for the installation.

WinToUSB installing Windows To Go on an external hard drive

After WinToUSB installs Windows on your external drive, use File Explorer to copy across the Windows Support folder from Boot Camp Assistant.

Finally, restart your Mac and hold Option while it powers on to boot Windows To Go from your external drive. Open the Windows Support folder and go to Boot Camp > Setup.

This installs the necessary drivers for Windows to work with your Mac.

Use Windows Apps on Mac Without Installing Windows

Dual boot systems, virtual machines, and a Windows To Go setup are the best ways to run Windows on your Mac. But these are all a lot of work if you only need to use a single Windows app.

If this is the case for you, take a look at compatibility layers, like Wine or Crossover, instead. They let you run Windows apps from your Mac The Easiest Way to Run Windows Programs on Mac Running Windows software on your Mac isn't as tough as you'd think. Here are the most popular ways to run Windows programs on macOS, including the best method for most people. Read More without installing the entire operating system.

Related topics: Disk Partition, Dual Boot, Mac Tips, VirtualBox, Virtualization, Windows 10, Windows Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bruno
    June 13, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Hi, I want to run method 3, but I'd like to know if it's compatible with Steam. This would be my alternative, using my Mac's components, rather than building a whole new computer proper for gaming only.

    • Dan Helyer
      June 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

      Hi Bruno, I haven't tried using an external drive for Steam. I expect it would work, but with quite poor performance. All the processing would take place on your Mac, while the data is on the hard drive — so you'd be severely limited by the data transfer speeds to your external drive. The best method for playing games on a Mac is using Boot Camp to install Windows on a partition.

  2. Cristian
    April 12, 2019 at 5:39 am

    I am trying to do this (2. Boot Windows On Your Mac From An External Hard Drive) on a Macbook Pro 13 2018 with touchbar. It does boot up but it gets stuck at the region selection screen and does not respond to keyboard or touchpad. Does anybody have any experience and / or advice?
    The same setup works with an older Macbook Air without a hitch.
    thanks in advance.

  3. C?p Vinh
    May 7, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks you so must !

  4. Roger Runtings
    March 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I want to do something a little bit different. I want to run Windows ONLY on a refurbished MacBook Pro because I want the Thunderbolt ports that the MBP has, to run vMix under Windows. (So that I can get 3-4 cameras streaming via BMD Thunderbolt and USB Mini Recorders.

    Can't I simply just wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7/10 64-bit from a thumb drive? I need the machine - not the OS.

  5. K-Rad
    December 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Hi y'all,

    I recently installed Windows on an external SSD and have been using it happily on my Mac ever since. However, now that the OS is trying to install the Fall Creators Update, it's telling me that since I'm using a virtual drive I can't install any updates. Is that true? Any workaround? Obviously, I'd love to be able to keep the system up to date.


  6. Risto
    November 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I'm going through #2 option and I've Windows installation screen where you have to choose your location. But the keyboard does not work. So I cannot proceed.
    I have bootcamp drivers on separate USB, but there's no use of them.

    I'm trying to install Windows 8.
    MacBook Pro 2017.

  7. Imran
    July 26, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Dear WEB,

    Thank you for the instructions. I have a question but I could not find answer of this. My question is I want on mac to view and use mac partitions same windows partitian. Is that possible if yes then how? Through gparted software or need to create parations in DOS mode before installation. I have done this in Linux. I am sure there must be also a solution for mac.

    I really appreciate if you please help me with the instructions and screens hots. Please let me know by email there are too many comments it is hard to track your reply...


  8. Alan
    January 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    .Hi, completed method No. 2 every things great with one exception, when I highlight the speaker icon on the right {it has a red X} I get the error message"no audio output device installed". can you advise me as to what I can do.


  9. Tapsa
    January 24, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I just swapped windows 10 SSD hard disk from old HP XW 6400 to mac pro 3.1
    and mac booted as normal windows pc . Mac pro accepted all windows hardware
    which I tested. Then I swapped HP 9470m to macbook pro 2011 and it was booting
    working fine as windows 10 pc . This might be best solution to make gaming mac.

    • Roger Runtings
      March 9, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      OK. So it seems like I've found a way to run Windows 10. I think I've also found a way to run Windows 7, which is what I prefer.

      Thanks for posting this.

  10. Mike
    January 6, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    A company might have licenses for VMFusion from VMWare and that is another way to
    install another OS such as Windows and flip between Mac OS X and Windows

  11. Frazer Westfield
    December 26, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Regarding your solution 4 I've been using VirtualBox on a MacBook Pro (Late 2013) to run Windows XP Pro, 2000 and NT4. Follow the basic instructions and everything installs from the original CDs using a USB external HP CD/DVD drive without a hitch. XP runs just as fast as it does in native mode on my Lenovo ThinkPad and certainly looks a lot better. External devices like my USB-Serial converter work perfectly.
    I did have a Windows 10 Pro installation on VirtualBox but it wouldn’t accept my licence so I binned it.
    My only concern is why Oracle are still giving away such a superb application free of charge. How long can this last?

  12. Aidan
    November 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I did step 2 with Win2USB and even though it formatted , it's working perfect on my Mac. I did however, have to open the windows ISO and find the install.wim. You just open it with WinRAR and go to sources and find the install.wim. Then install on your USB and wait. (Btw I'm using Windows 10, not 8)

  13. M.Cox
    October 18, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    I am trying #2, on a 256gb external USB 3.0 SSD drive. Following the instructions above, all the initial setup steps worked. When I boot into Windows for the first time to finish the set up, I get the initial couple setup screens (timezones, privacy settings), then after a minute or two of the Just a Moment... spinning wheel, I get "Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation." I have to hold the power button down to force it off before trying again. Once, I got past the above error but got this instead "The User Profile Service service failed the sign-in. User profile cannot be loaded." Pressing OK just repeats the error.

  14. K.G Jordan
    September 9, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    my ibook g4's hard drive is empty (no any os running ) is it possible for me to use the step 2 on it? becoz i want to run only windows on my mac.

    • Ballsy
      November 22, 2016 at 9:08 am

      g4's can't run Windows, it needs to be a Mac with an Intel processor.

  15. Chaitanya Pawar
    August 30, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Your Method 2 worked for me, instead of using WintoUSB I used WintoHDD and Instead of GPT disk format I kept the same MBR format...worked for me 100% on mac with 0 errors. Thanks great work.

  16. Divinio
    April 13, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    After formatting my external harddrive to run windows on, can i still use it as a harddrive when running windows?

  17. Goutham
    March 12, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I’m having trouble with the WinToUSB program. I create the partitions as you described, but WinToUsb is insisting on formatting the usb drive. When it does, it creates one big partition and I lose the separate boot partition.

    • Justin Pot
      March 12, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Yeah, it really seems like this guide is outdated now, and I haven't had a chance to re-investigate. Sorry about that.

      • Eb
        June 8, 2016 at 9:22 pm

        Maybe you could add a note to the article saying that part of the guide is outdated? It could save people (like me) an hour of increasing frustration and attempted workarounds.

  18. Chris
    February 19, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I'm having trouble with the WinToUSB program. I create the partitions as you described, but WinToUsb is insisting on formatting the usb drive. When it does, it creates one big partition and I lose the separate boot partition.

  19. Rebecca L
    February 14, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    When I download Windows onto one USB, and then use a second USB (as suggested) to download Bootcamp installers, will I have to plug in both separate USB's every time I want to use the Windows operating system on my Mac? Or after I install the bootcamp drivers in Windows the first time they will be a part of the Windows USB, and I only have to plug in that one?

    • Justin Pot
      February 16, 2016 at 1:24 am

      You'll only need to install the bootcamp drivers in Windows once, you won't need them again after that.

  20. Nikhil
    February 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I installed Windows 7 on my External hard drive( Toshiba 1TB). When I plugged in to Macbook Pro I got the option to boot from my hard drive, however after clicking on that the screen goes black and nothing happens at all. I have waited for 15 minutes and my hard drive has gone into sleep mode. Please help me out. I have installed FAT32 partition as System partition and NFTS as boot partition as per your screenshot.

  21. Ahmed Bayoumi
    January 4, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    What about the office ? Should I bring the office for mac or the regular microsoft office to run it from the installed windows via parallels ? It started to be confusing .

  22. Ahmed Bayoumi
    January 4, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    what is the best windows version to run on the macbook pro 2015 via parallels 11 Desktop?

    I feel tempted to get back to windows 7. It was easy and straight forward compared to the hustle of windows 8. Or Do you recommend me to jump for windows 10 that I still know nothing about ?

    Also I don't have a DVD drive anymore in my macbook pro to install windows 7 . What to do about it ? Is there still an online download for windows 7 ? I need your advice.

  23. Keith Johnson
    January 3, 2016 at 1:41 am

    I am in the process of trying to put Windows 10 on an external WD 1T passport drive that I want to use with my March 2015 Retina display MacBook Pro running El Capitan. I used Wintousb sub to load Windows 10 onto the drive and everything seemed to go fine. At the end of the install Wintousb displayed the message "be sure to change the bios on the destination disk." I wasn't sure what that meant, but I thought maybe when first booting into Windows 10 from the external drive I would have an opportunity do that. When I attempted to boot the external drive connected to my MacBook Pro for the first time I got to a blue screen that said "mode exception not handled. You need to restart your computer." How can I get past this so Windows will boot from my Mac?

    • Justin Pot
      January 4, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      I'm afraid I don't know how to help you with this one. You Mac doesn't have a bios, for one thing, just firmware, so you can't configure it. I'm not sure what I'd try next in your case, sorry about that.

      • Keith Johnson
        January 5, 2016 at 12:39 am

        Actually, the problem resolved itself when I plugged in the power cord to the MacBook Pro. Another minor problem has arisen, though. I cannot get audio under windows10. I ran into a common problem when installing the BC Windows drivers and that is install freezes when it gets to Realtek audio. I shut off the computer and restarted the Windows side and everything works fine except no audio. Any thoughts?

  24. saleena
    December 18, 2015 at 5:08 am

    I am getting a new macbook pro soon, I am currently running parallels and want to know a better way to run my windows on my mac. Help I'm so tired of freezing and talking to support.

    • Justin Pot
      December 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      If virtualization isn't good enough for you, try Boot Camp. It's the best Windows experience you can get on a Mac, but it does require you to reboot to access it.

  25. Brian
    December 18, 2015 at 1:38 am

    I chose to use an external SSD with USB 3.0. I got all the way to the windows desktop and am installing the drivers. Which drivers do I install. I am unable to install bootcamp because windows says it is a Mac application. Help please! So close yet so far.

  26. bobo
    December 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I am using a Lexar Professional Memory Card for this process as it is incredibly fast.

    The only problem is that after I format the memory card as instructed under GPT, go in WinToUsb, select windows and select the memory card, WinToUsb automatically reformats my memory card when there is no need for it.

    How can I make WinToUsb stop reformatting my memory card so I can keep my partitions?

    • Justin Pot
      December 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      I'm not sure how to prevent that, weird...

      • bobo
        December 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

        Do you think I should use an SSD instead of a Memory Card? I think WinToUsb does not reformat hard drives, only memory card and flash drives.

        • Justin Pot
          December 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm

          What do you mean by SSD, is it an internal one? If that's the case just dual boot I'd say. If you have a flash drive handy to test, you could see if that works the way you'd like it to.

        • bobo
          December 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm

          Do you think it could work if I install Windows under MBR as WinToUsb chooses by default, and after that change the partitions on Memory Card to GPT without losing data?

        • bobo
          December 2, 2015 at 6:03 pm

          Ok. I understand now.

          They say that with the newer updates:
          MBR-based Windows To Go USB drive support booting both BIOS-based and UEFI-based computers

          So they format the flash drives by default under MBR without giving you the option of GPT.

          Is it possible that Macs (UEFI-based computers) support MBR as they claim?

        • Justin Pot
          December 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm

          Only one way to find out. I'm sorry to say I haven't kept up with all the updates...let me know if it works, though.

        • bobo
          December 2, 2015 at 10:17 pm

          It works. So there is not any need to pre-format the drive. WinToUSB does everything.
          I suppose the idea is that you can have the same portable Windows on any machine.

          However, the performance on a memory stick is not great and I suppose it is the same on a flash drive. External SSD is the way to go.

        • Justin Pot
          December 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm

          This is really good to know! Thanks for getting back to us.

  27. Devon
    November 25, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    What about the performance levels? Is running Windows off a USB comparable to running off internal HD?

    • Justin Pot
      November 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      No, it's not even close. Internal is going to be better every time.

  28. Anonymous
    October 20, 2015 at 1:07 am

    I'm attempting the external drive method and am having some significant difficulty with the bootcamp drivers. I have downloaded the files, put them on a drive and it didnt seem to work. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • Anonymous
      November 9, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Have you executed the setup pkg that you put on the drive?

  29. Anonymous
    October 19, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Can somebody tell me something about the performance? I would like to use an SSD(with a 3.0 case) with this solution.

    • Justin Pot
      October 19, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Performance using VirtualBox is about as good as a virtual machine can be expected to be, and will really depend on how good your CPU is and how much RAM you have.

  30. Anonymous
    September 24, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Did it ... External drive option works great!!! Thanks

  31. Anonymous
    September 1, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Hello. So I tried installing windows 7 on an external drive following your instructions and came across a problem. When I try to boot EFI boot, the computer just freezes. Am I doing something wrong? (mbp early 2011)

    • Justin Pot
      September 1, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      To be honest the process can be finicky, you have to make sure the instructions above are followed precisely and even then some drives flat out don't work. I haven't found a pattern yet.

      • Anonymous
        September 23, 2015 at 9:04 pm

        Same problem on a Hitachi 500GB USB 3 drive, it just freezes when you select it in EFI boot on my 2015 MacBookPro trying it install Windows 7.

        • Anonymous
          September 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm

          Strange that it is easier to install OSX on a PC than Windows on a mac...

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      I finally managed to install Windows 10 using this method. I wanted to install 7 as I hate Win10 but it just froze every time I tried.

  32. Anonymous
    August 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Hey, I'm trying to do the external hard drive method. I got a brand new WD My Passport Ultra, but when i right-click the drive, the "Convert to GPT disk" option is grayed out. Does this mean that the drive is already in that format, or does it mean that it's not going to work for this method?

    • Justin Pot
      August 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      I honestly don't know why that option would be greyed out Vignesh – typically, when the drive is already GPT, you'll see the "Switch to MBR" option.

    • Anonymous
      September 6, 2015 at 3:29 am

      Hi Vignesh I had the same problem you just need to delete all partitions on the drive to ungary the option.

      • AniBEE
        February 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm

        I had the same issue, you select your Disk Management, right click the blue bar section of your drive and select Delete Volume.

      • AniBEE
        February 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm

        Also you need to create a simple volume for the new partition and don't format so that it ask you after you add the partition to than format the drive and you get the FAT32 option then.

  33. Anonymous
    August 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Hi there, For the process with WinToUsb you said you'll need a copy of Windows 8, Does it mea it won't work with Windows 7? I need windows seven for my games but if it only works with 8 i will need to download it and try it out. Thanks in advance.

    • Justin Pot
      August 5, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      WinToUSB works with Windows 7, if I recall correctly.

      • Anonymous
        August 5, 2015 at 5:49 pm

        Do you recommend Windows 8 instead? I have attempted once and it didn't work, maybe Windows 8 will work. Btw, Will Windows 8.1 work as well? Thank you Justin.

        • Justin Pot
          August 5, 2015 at 5:50 pm

          I recommend using whatever you're comfortable with, and know that you can upgrade to Windows 10 from either if you'd like. Enjoy!

  34. Cocco
    March 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I tried SO many times to install a bootable win external drive as you suggest, but I never got it working.
    I've got an old 2008 unibody macbook. At its best, I could see the GPT disk appear as I tried to turn on my Mac with the Alt. key pressed. Then choose the external drive for booting, its led flashed for a couple of minutes, then nothing. All blocked at the very first point (where I was still looking at the the two bootable drives on the screen).
    Am I missing anything? I tried with many windows iso images, but nothing changed. Any suggestion for some other attempt?

    • Justin Pot
      March 5, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Are you trying to make a bootable installation drive, or a live, bootable Windows environment? The instructions below should work on your Mac for a live environment, if you want to install from USB things get a little more complicated but I've managed.

    • Cocco
      March 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      Absolutely a live and bootable Windows environment, that's what I'm looking for.
      I wonder if it's something about my "obsolete" hardware (actually working very fine with Mavericks) or about the USB drive I'm using.

    • Justin Pot
      March 5, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      Hmm, well one thing you could try is testing the live environment you made on another Mac, possibly one owned by a friend. If it works then you know the problem is with the computer, and not the drive you made.

  35. Andrew Mora
    February 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    What about VMWare?

  36. Fred
    February 11, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    VMWare Fusion (for Mac) works well for me :-) I run Maverick as the base OS, and run Windows 10 preview, and Yosemite as VM's... Prepare to have a good amount of system RAM (I have 8 GB now on my iMac)...

    • Justin Pot
      February 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      RAM is crucial for virtual machines. I cannot tell you how much a recent upgrade to my Mac improved performance.

    • Gary Dauphin
      May 25, 2015 at 8:31 pm

      I agree about RAM, but I've actually found that having the VM on an SSD makes and even bigger difference in performance. Loving virtual box on an SSD.

  37. Martin_Th
    February 10, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Did anyone succeed in making win xp share folder on mavericks or yosemite with Virtualbox? Kind of crucial to get stuff in and out of Windows.

    • Justin Pot
      February 10, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      I got it working with very little trouble, once the guest tools are installed. What problems are you running into?

    • Martin Th
      March 1, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you, Mr Pot. Yes, mea culpa. Guest Tools needs to be installed INSIDE the virtual machine from the Devices menu in the Virtualbox toolbar at the top of the virtual machine window. Works like a charm, and very fast to it seems.

    • Justin Pot
      March 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      Glad you got it working!

  38. okedokee
    February 10, 2015 at 6:48 am

    How could you miss VMware Fusion?

    • Justin Pot
      February 10, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      I mentioned it, but the consensus out there seems to be that Parallels is better and I didn't want to clutter the article with yet another section.

    • Fred
      February 11, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      VMware Fusion is a great product :-) Been using it for years... You should have mentioned it

    • Michael
      February 12, 2015 at 12:50 am

      I agree with Justin, as a user of both, Parallels is a product designed for the Mac, has frequent updates, and is very stable. With those qualifications alone, it is a superior product to VMWare on the Mac.

    • Anonymous
      February 26, 2015 at 4:12 am

      I have both and I think VMWare is just as fast. Most important: VMWare gives you three licenses (if you have multiple Macs), while Parallels only gives you one.

  39. Mike
    February 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Virtually impossible to be punished for that.

    • Justin Pot
      February 10, 2015 at 12:48 am

      Yeah, police coming and shutting you down is pretty unlikely. But if you consider an update breaking your computer to be a punishment, then they'll probably get you.

  40. Angelo
    February 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    @Justin: in a "virtual" PC should be virtual piracy ;)

    • Justin Pot
      February 9, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Surely you can't be punished for that? :)

  41. J.
    February 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    My problem is that I have installed Windows on my mac but when I have upgraded to the Mac OS X Yosemite, now Windows won't work. How do I fix that problem?

    • Justin Pot
      February 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      I've heard about this, and it's nasty. I can't really find a decent fix, I'm sorry to say, you might need to reinstall Windows. :( Sorry.

  42. Greg
    February 9, 2015 at 12:46 am

    Hi Justin,

    Nice Justin.
    Right, Ziaur?

  43. miles
    February 8, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Don't forget Wine for running windows programs without needing the OS

  44. angelo
    February 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    That is more interesting! Installato maverick on a PC windows costing a fifth of a mac! If it was possibile with virtualbox, since now OS X is free of charge!

    • Justin Pot
      February 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      OS X is free of charge if you own a Mac, but putting it on a PC is considered piracy. Just to be clear.

  45. Ziaur Rahman
    February 8, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    How to install Mac on PC?

    • Michael
      February 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Hello Ziaur,

      While it is certainly possibly even to install OSX in a PC, the process is more complicated. Since Windows is designed to run on whatever hardware is available, as there is no single or preferred manufacturer, you can put it pretty much anywhere. OSX, on the other hand, is designed to run on custom hardware designed by the same people that made the OS..

      Here is an article on how to create a Hackintosh;

      You can install OSX in VMWare, but don't expect blazing performance. Here's a simple to follow YouTube video on how to do it.

    • Michael
      February 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Forgive my autocorrect on the first line. I'm not sure how I got "certainly possibly even" out of what I typed, but oh well.

    • Justin Pot
      February 8, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      That's a lot more complicated, as you need to ensure every component of your PC is Mac-compatable. It's possible, but in most PCs there are a couple of parts that will need replacing. We haven't written a guide for this in a long time, but here's one I edited a few years ago: