Are you a Mac user who needs to run Windows applications or games? Or perhaps you’re a developer who needs to test software on multiple platforms?
Whatever your reason, you can install Windows on your Mac without spending a dime. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing Windows on macOS for free using VirtualBox, a powerful and open-source virtualization software.
Before we begin, make sure you have the following:
1. A Mac with an Intel or Apple Silicon processor
2. At least 4GB of RAM (8GB or more is recommended)
3. At least 50GB of free storage space on your Mac
4. A stable internet connection
Step 1: Download VirtualBox
VirtualBox is a free and open-source virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems on your Mac. To download VirtualBox, follow these steps:
1. Visit the VirtualBox download page at [www.virtualbox.org)
2. Click on the “OS X hosts” link under the “VirtualBox platform packages” section to download the installer for macOS.
3. Once the download is complete, locate the installer file (VirtualBox-VERSION-OSX.dmg) in your Downloads folder and double-click it to mount the disk image.
4. In the mounted disk image, double-click the “VirtualBox.pkg” file to start the installation process.
5. Follow the on-screen instructions to install VirtualBox on your Mac.
Step 2: Download the Windows 10 ISO
To install Windows on your Mac, you’ll need a Windows 10 ISO file, which is a disk image containing the Windows installation files. You can download the Windows 10 ISO for free from Microsoft’s website. Here’s how:
1. Visit the Windows 10 download page at [https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO](https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO)
2. Scroll down to the “Select edition” section and choose “Windows 10” from the drop-down menu. Click “Confirm” to proceed.
3. Select your desired language and click “Confirm” again.
4. Finally, click on the “64-bit Download” button to download the Windows 10 ISO file. The download may take some time, depending on your internet connection.
1. Launch VirtualBox and click on the “New” button in the toolbar.
2. In the “Name and operating system” window, enter a name for your VM (e.g., “Windows 10”) and choose “Microsoft Windows” as the “Type” and “Windows 10 (64-bit)” as the “Version.” Click “Continue.”
3. Allocate memory (RAM) to your VM. We recommend at least 2048 MB (2 GB) for a smooth experience. Adjust the slider or enter the desired amount in the box, then click “Continue.”
4. In the “Hard disk” window, select “Create a virtual hard disk now” and click “Create.”
5. Choose “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)” as the hard disk file type and click “Continue.”
6. Select “Dynamically allocated” for the storage type and click “Continue.”
7. Set the size of the virtual hard disk. We recommend at least 50 GB for a comfortable Windows experience. Click “Create” to finish setting up the VM.
Step 4: Configure the Virtual Machine
Before installing Windows, you’ll need to configure the VM to use the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded earlier. Follow these steps:
1. In the VirtualBox main window, select your newly created VM and click on the “Settings” button in the toolbar.
2. In the “Settings” window, click on the “Storage” tab.
3. Under the “Controller: IDE” section, click on the “Empty” CD icon.
4. On the right side of the window, click on the CD icon next to “Optical Drive” and choose “Choose/Create a Disk Image.”
5. In the file dialog, locate and select the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded earlier, then click “Open.”
6. Click “OK” to save the settings and close the “Settings” window.
You’re now ready to install Windows 10 on your Mac. Follow these steps:
1. In the VirtualBox main window, select your VM and click on the “Start” button in the toolbar.
2. The VM will boot from the Windows 10 ISO, and the Windows Setup will begin. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Windows 10.
3. During the installation process, you’ll be asked for a product key. Since we’re installing Windows for free, click on the “I don’t have a product key” link at the bottom of the window to proceed.
4. Choose your desired edition of Windows 10 (e.g., “Windows 10 Home”) and click “Next.”
5. Accept the license terms and click “Next.”
6. Select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” when prompted for the installation type.
7. Choose the “Drive 0 Unallocated Space” as the installation location and click “Next.”
8. The installation process will now begin. This may take some time, so be patient.
9. Once the installation is complete, Windows 10 will restart and guide you through the initial setup process. Follow the on-screen instructions to configure your Windows installation.
To improve the performance and usability of your Windows VM, you should install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. These are a set of drivers and utilities that enhance the integration between your Mac and the VM. Here’s how to install them:
1. In your Windows VM, click on the “Devices” menu in the VirtualBox menu bar and choose “Insert Guest Additions CD image.”
2. Windows will detect the Guest Additions CD and prompt you to run the setup. Click “Run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe” to start the installation process.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the Guest Additions. You may need to restart your VM after the installation is complete.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed Windows 10 on your Mac for free using VirtualBox. You can now run Windows applications, games, and more without having to pay for a Windows license. Remember that this installation is not activated, so some personalization features may be limited. However, you can still use Windows and its core features without any issues. Enjoy your new Windows experience on your Mac!