Installing Windows 10 on a Mac is no longer a problem since the Intel switch in 2006: Every Mac is automatically also a Windows PC with the necessary hardware. Since both PCs and Macs run on Intel’s 64-bit processor base, they are largely identical. This allows Windows operation in two variants: both via the software Boot Camp included with the Mac as a second operating system besides macOS, and within macOS as a so-called virtual machine.
Boot Camp or Virtual Machine?
If you want to use Windows on your Mac, you should decide in advance which of the two variants you want to use:
|Install Windows via Boot Camp||Install Windows as a Virtual Machine|
|Full performance of the system is used.||Windows and MacOS share the system performance.|
|Much faster.||Much more comfortable.|
|For Windows use, the Mac must be restarted.||Windows starts like an app in the window inside MacOS.|
|The Mac’s hardware can be addressed directly, which allows firmware updates, for example.||MacOS partially passes the hardware to Windows or virtualizes it. Direct access to the graphics card or hard disk is not possible.|
|Ideal for games and other software that requires a lot of performance.||Ideal for office applications, simple games and generally all application programs.|
|Risk of data loss due to incorrect operation.||No risk of data loss.|
|Removal problematic if necessary.||Removal like deleting an app.|
|Either macOS or Windows.||MacOS, Windows, Linux and many other systems can be used in parallel.|
|Only current Windows versions possible.||Any Windows versions (for example: XP) possible.|
|Data exchange Win <-> Mac cumbersome.||Data exchange via drag & drop.|
|Backup must be set up separately.||Backed up with TimeMachine.|
|Possible without additional software.||Requires extra software like Parallels (paid) or VirtualBox (free).|
Basically: For Windows on the Mac, the variant with the virtual machine within a virtualization tool such as VirtualBox is initially preferable. After installing the software, Windows only has to be set up within VirtualBox. Afterwards, the “Windows in the window” can be used directly in macOS.
Apple’s Boot Camp tool, on the other hand, takes a different approach: It divides the Mac hard drive into a Mac and a Windows partition. Windows is then installed in the latter. Windows and macOS are then two systems on one computer. To switch from macOS to Windows, the Mac must be restarted. And vice versa. In return, Windows is installed directly on the Mac here, so it does not have to share performance with macOS, which is important for games, for example.
How to Install Windows 10 on Mac as a Virtual Machine
Step 1: Download the Windows 10 ISO file from the Microsoft website.
Step2: Then download VirtualBox for macOS from heise download and install the program. There are also alternatives: Parallels Desktop for Mac is much more convenient, but requires a fee. There is also VMWare, which also requires a fee.
Step 3: Install VirtualBox on your Mac by double-clicking the disk image and then double-clicking the VirtualBox.pkg file.
Step 4: macOS now warns that a system extension is blocked. Click on “Open System Preference “Security”“.
Step 5: Click on “Allow“. This is a Mac security technique that protects you from changes made by software. However, with VirtualBox, you don’t have to worry.
Step 6: The installation of VirtualBox will now be cancelled once. Click “Close“.
Step 7: Restart the installation by double-clicking VirtualBox.pkg again. The installation will now run through.
Step 8: Start VirtualBox from the Programs folder and select “New“. Then enter a name for the virtual machine, such as “Windows 10”. Click “Next“.
Step 9: Set the memory for the virtual machine. This will be taken from the Mac memory. As a rule of thumb, Windows in the window should have at least 2 gigabytes of RAM, but no more than 50 percent of Mac RAM, or the whole system will be slow.
Step 10: Select “Create hard disk” and click “Create“.
Step 11: Select “VDI” as the file type for the virtual hard disk and click “Next“.
Step 12:Select “dynamically allocated“. This way, the virtual hard disk does not directly occupy all the memory. Click “Next“.
Step 13: Last but not least, you need to select the maximum size of the hard disk. Limit it to a value you can live with-say, 50 gigabytes-and click “Create“.
Step 14:The virtual PC is now created. Now all you have to do is installing Windows 10 here. To do this, click “Start“.
Step 15:Now the Windows ISO file comes into play: VirtualBox asks you from which medium Windows should boot. Click on the yellow folder icon and select the Windows 10 ISO file you downloaded in step 1. After that, click “Start“.
Step 16:The virtual PC will now boot like a real PC. You can perform Windows installation as you would on a real PC. After that, the virtual PC is ready to use in VirtualBox and can be used like a real Windows PC in the window. You can also install other systems – such as Linux – in a virtual PC in this way.
How to Install Windows 10 on Mac via Boot Camp
If you need the full hardware power of the Mac under Windows, you have to set up Windows 10 as a Boot Camp partition on the Mac. This is done in just a few steps, all you need is a USB stick with at least 8 gigabytes of memory.
Attention: Boot Camp is only suitable for users who are familiar with Windows installations!
Note: As it seems, Boot Camp does not work reliably with the AFPS file system at the moment.
Step 1: Download the Windows 10 ISO file from the Microsoft website.
Step 2: Launch the Boot Camp Wizard from the /Application/Utilities/ folder and click “Continue” here.
Step 3: Plug the USB flash drive into your Mac and leave the preferences as Boot Camp suggests. Click on “Continue“.
Step 4: Now use “Select” to choose the Windows 10 ISO file from step 1. Also choose a target drive, the USB stick.
Attention: This will be completely overwritten during the action! Afterwards click on “Continue“.
Step 5: Bootcamp now warns that the USB drive will be deleted. Confirm with “Continue“. If you have a Macbook, you should now connect it to the power supply.
Step 6: The USB drive will be formatted and then written with the Windows installation files and the Windows support software from Apple. This may take a while. After that, leave the stick plugged into the Mac.
Step 7: Boot Camp will then ask how you want to share the Mac hard drive. Windows 10 should get at least 40 gigabytes, 48 gigabytes is a good value. Click “Install.”
Step 8: Now you still need to enter your administrator password. After that, the hard drive will be partitioned and the Mac will reboot from the USB stick.
Step 9: You can now install Windows. Make sure you put it in the right partition, otherwise you can delete macOS. You can then start the Mac by holding down the option key and choosing between Windows and macOS.