Windows 10 is the latest from Microsoft and if you are planning to try out the technical preview of the operating system on your Mac, it’s quite possible without having to jeopardize the stuff you have on your machine. Wondering how? Well, with the help of some virtualization software. The best part, probably, is that you can do it all for free as both virtualization software and the preview for Windows 10 come for free.
Jump To Section:
- Boot Camp Or Virtualization
- Download The Virtualization Software
- Download Your Copy Of Windows 10
- Set Up Your Virtual Machine On Mac
- Perform Windows 10 Installation
Boot Camp Or Virtualization
Before actually getting the Windows OS on Mac, you’ve got to decide exactly how you’d like to run the OS. There are a couple of options available here. First is virtually from within your OS X and the other is on separate partition on your hard drive with the help of Boot Camp. With the help of Apple’s software, it is possible for you to turn a Mac into your dual-booting machine that can run OS X or Windows natively. While Windows is being run on your Mac through Boot Camp, it becomes a Windows PC and acts in pretty much the same manner. However, you will have to use Boot Camp for that which requires you to first re partition the hard drive of your Mac.
The things work differently with virtualization software. You don’t really have to do anything with the hard drive of your Mac as you will only be creating files as well as running the Mac software which creates your PC’s virtual instance. In case, if something goes wrong, you can easily clean out the mess with the virtualization software.
Boot Camp does not also offer support for Windows 10 officially and the drivers might not play completely fine either when running technical preview. So, let’s get on with installing an instance of Windows 10 through Virtualization Software.
Download The Virtualization Software
So, using virtualization software for Windows 10 installation turns out to be your best bet. As far as the software is concerned, you can use both VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop for this purpose. If you haven’t already installed the virtualization software on Mac, you can also go with VirtualBox from Oracle. It is pretty much same as the ones mentioned above but it comes for free. Though there are free trials available for both VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop as well but they are for limited time and, eventually, you have to pay for getting to use it in the long run.
Download Your Copy Of Windows 10
Once you have grabbed the virtualization software, you will now have to download the Windows 10 ISO image. ISO image, basically, refers to the exact thing that you have on your Windows installation disc. You can directly download this image from the official Microsoft website as well.
For getting the ISO image, you’ll be required to register with the Windows Insider Program of Microsoft. And if you don’t have an account created already with Microsoft for Xbox Live or OneDrive or something like that, this can be done during the registration process. Your account can also be linked to your existing email so that you can easily remember it and find it later.
Once you have set up your account and have registered with Microsoft, you’ll be taken to web page offering download links. The page includes your product key for activating Windows 10 preview version.
Set Up Your Virtual Machine On Mac
Before you proceed with the Windows 10 installation, you’ll first be required to set up your virtual machine. Here are the steps to follow for that:
- Launch VirtualBox to start with
- Click New button
- In Name field, enter ‘Windows 10’. In fact, you can enter anything you like here
- Type should be left same to default i.e. Microsoft Windows
- Click Version menu now and then choose Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
On next few screens, make sure that you go with default settings and do not change anything. Do this based on the assumption that you’ll simply be poking around with Windows 10 and simply plan to see how it actually works. Set up your virtual hard disk drive while keeping file type as VDI and then make it a dynamically allocated drive. Your virtual machine will be created and listed in the VirtualBox Manager. Just select the machine and click on Start button.
Perform Windows 10 Installation
Once you have created the virtual machine, you will see the following prompt: “Please select a virtual optical disk file or physical optical disk to start the new virtual machine from.” Next, click on folder icon for bringing up the file browser that can be used for locating Windows 10 ISO file that you had downloaded earlier.
After that, click on Start button.
Now, simply follow instructions that you get from Windows 10 installer and continue with the installation as prompted. You will be asked for the location where you’d like the Windows to be installed. You will only see a single option here that is a drive with no allocated space on virtual hard disk drive that you have created using VirtualBox. Simply ‘Select’ the drive and click on Next.
Once you’ve selected the drive, all you are left with is to follow step-by-step setup instructions and that’s it. Once your virtual machine restarts, you’ll be taken to your virtual desktop running Windows 10 right on your Mac.
As mentioned earlier, the integration of VirtualBox on Mac is not that tight as with other commercially available alternatives for virtualization. It is somewhat easier with the ones switching display resolutions, using accessories, and integrating the files of your own Mac. However, if you are running on short budget then VirtualBox is probably the best alternative you have.
So, that’s all about installing Windows 10 on your Mac and creating a virtual machine to run it. If you have any queries, you can simply get in touch using the comments section below.
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