Making a switch from one device to a different one can always provide a different and unique experience, often complex in nature. You may not know the new operating system that well, some of the functions will be completely new to you, or you might miss the old operating system that you used to have. If you have decided to make a switch from a Windows operating system to a Mac and really miss your previous device, you are probably wondering if it's possible to install Windows on Mac. After all, you have a new device but want the previous operating system back, right?
“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
In this step-by-step guide, we will help you install Windows (specifically Windows 10) on your Mac device as well as guide you during the entire download process and installation process. So if you are an owner of a Mac device and really wish to install Windows on it, you have found an article that will guide you through everything and answer any questions you might have along the way.
Can You Install Windows on Your Mac?
You might be wondering if it's even possible to install Windows on Mac. Two completely different companies, so two completely different operating systems, correct? It's almost like a PS4 playing Xbox One game disks and vice versa. Believe it or not, it's possible to download and install Windows on Mac. The whole process isn't the most complicated one out there, but you still have to do certain things to achieve the desired result.
“More importantly, our software worked. I don't just mean that it didn't bump, or that it performed according to the written specifications, or that it was efficient in producing reports. It really worked”
― Eliyahu M. Goldratt, The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
If you are ready to take that step and have your Mac run on a Windows operating system/version, then rest easy because it is possible to install Windows on a Mac device. However, before we guide you through the whole process, there is one thing that we have to explain to you: Mac Bootcamp. Knowing what Mac Bootcamp is will be important during the installation process.
What Is Mac Bootcamp?
What exactly is Mac Bootcamp and what does it have to do with anything when it comes to installing Windows on your Mac device? As it turns out, Mac Bootcamp is one of the ways you can install Windows on Mac (the other being a third party virtualization program). To be more specific, Mac Bootcamp is a native feature of the Mac operating system which is built into all Mac devices. If you go to your Applications > Utilities folder, you'll see the Bootcamp Assistant app. The app makes a separate partition on your hard drive for installing and running Windows. However, there are pros and cons to doing this.
Pros and Cons of Mac Bootcamp
We have also mentioned how you can use a third party virtualization program to install Windows on your Mac. It's fair to say that this method also has its share of pros and cons.
Pros of Third Party Virtualization Programs
Upon comparing the pros and cons of Mac Bootcamp and third party virtualization programs, it seems that Mac Bootcamp is a much cheaper, safer, and stress-free option. You already have Mac Bootcamp on your device, plus you don't have to bother checking if the device has at least 8 GB of RAM. On top of that, you won't have to spend that much money on any third party programs and even more when it comes to updates. Because of this, we will guide you on installing Windows on your Mac device using the Mac Bootcamp.
Once you are ready to begin, follow the instructions given in the next section. Afterwards, you should be able to access Windows on your Mac without any problems!
Step by Step Guide on How to Install Windows on Mac
Since this is a step-by-step guide, we will carefully tell you what needs to be done from beginning to end so that you don't make any mistakes or skip any steps during the entire process.
Prepare Your Mac Device
The first thing you want to do before anything else is to make sure your Mac device has the available disk space and hardware necessary to handle the Windows install through Bootcamp. First, the installation process needs an Intel-based Mac computer and an empty external USB drive capable of holding up to 16GB of data (you can connect the hard drive while preparing). Next, your Mac needs to have at least 55 GB of free disk space on the startup drive, as well as be compatible with Windows. According to Apple, Windows 10 is supported on the following Macs:
- 1MacBook (2015 and later)
- 2Mac Pro (Late 2013)
- 3MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
- 4MacBook Air (2012 and later)
- 5iMac (2012 and later)
- 6Mac Mini (2012 and later)
Once you have confirmed that everything is in order, you will then have to purchase an official copy of Windows. If you don't have an official copy, you're liable to have issues with compatibility along the way. Also, if anything goes wrong, you will have an official copy of Windows as evidence to resolve problems.
To purchase a copy of Windows, go to the official Windows store and select your option. You can either get a download, which will be instant, or a flash drive which Microsoft will ship to you. If you are given an option, always choose the .ISO file.
Installing Windows on Your Mac Device
Once you have purchased a copy of Windows, open Mac Bootcamp Assistant. After opening Bootcamp, you should see a screen that offers information on the application and suggests creating a backup of your data (which we highly recommend you do) before installing Windows. After backing up your data, click "Continue" and select both installation options. At this point, Bootcamp will copy your desired Windows operating system installation files from either an .ISO file, or a physical disc, onto the plugged in USB drive.
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Afterwards, the next screen will show you a message that reads, "Copying Windows files..." and may take some time to complete. If the bar freezes at any point, don't worry as that's usually normal and may happen a few times during the process. Once that's done, Bootcamp will ask you where to save the Windows drivers and install support software files. Follow the instructions and make sure you have an internet connection as well. This process can also take time.
Next, you want to create a partition for Windows. By default, Bootcamp assigns just 55 GB of space for the Windows partition, which is enough to complete the installation. If you wish to increase the limit, you can slide the bar between the Mac partition and the Windows partition until you see a number you are comfortable with. Once you're set, click "Install" to finish up the partition process.
You are almost finished! The last required step is to install Windows on Mac. Once the partition has been installed, Bootcamp will ask you if you want to begin installing Windows. After following a small set of instructions, the installer will ask you which partition you want Windows to be installed on.
For this part, select the partition labeled "BOOTCAMP" and choose "FORMAT." Follow the next set of instructions and windows should install within 30 minutes. When ready, go to Startup Disk preferences and choose the startup disk housing Windows 10 so that from now on your Mac will start in Windows.
If you have done everything correctly, restart your Mac device and you should see it opening up to a Windows screen. If it does, then you know that everything went correctly. If not, make sure that you either followed all instructions carefully and that your Mac device is up to date and meets all requirements.
Congratulations, you have installed Windows on your Mac device! Knowing how to install Windows on Mac is important if you miss the Windows operating system, need Windows for work, or prefer Windows because it's easier for you. All it takes is the right Mac and a little bit of patience