How to run Windows on MacBook, iMac
Instructions to install Windows using Bootcamp
Method 1: install Windows via Bootcamp
Benefits: take full advantage of the hardware power at the highest level because then Windows runs alone, due to the full driver from Apple, it runs smoothly and deliciously
Harm: drains battery faster than with macOS, the device sometimes gets hotter (actually these can be traded for 100% performance so I still play). Must turn off macOS to switch to Win.
When to use it: when you need to run heavy applications, professional applications, work applications, when you want to play Win games on Mac, when you want the full Windows experience.
Instructions for installing Windows 10 on a Mac using Bootcamp
Required: Windows 10 license key, or have purchased a key and logged in with a Microsoft account on a Windows 10 computer using that key. A USB flash drive of 16GB or higher (if you’re using a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, 2015 or later, or a Mac Pro 2013 or later, a USB drive is not required).
1. Download the Windows installer from Microsoft. Download link here. Download and save the file to the Desktop. Shut down all other running macOS applications to avoid conflicting the shutdown process.
2. Run the Boot Camp Assistant application by pressing the Space Command key, find the word “Boot Camp Assistant”, start this app up.
3. Select the box Install Windows…, in ISO Image, click the Choose button and select the ISO file you just downloaded earlier. Right below that, drag the slider in the middle to select the space for the Bootcamp partition. My experience shows that you will need at least 60GB to be able to use it comfortably, because Windows itself installs 40GB already. If the software or game you plan to use on Windows has a large capacity, the more space you have to dedicate to the Bootcamp partition.
4. Click Install. Bootcamp Assistant will proceed to divide the hard drive as you specified, and download the necessary drivers for the computer. If you are asked to insert the USB drive, insert it, otherwise don’t.
5. When the computer shuts down and boots up, you will be taken to the Windows setup screen. From then on, just follow Windows requirements and instructions, this part is just like Win, Mac has finished its mission.
6. After you have entered the license key and selected all languages and keyboards, you will enter the familiar desktop interface. At this point you will see the Welcome to Boot Camp installer window appear, click Next to install the necessary drivers for your Mac and click OK if asked during the process. Once the driver is installed, Windows will restart and you can use the machine.
7. Note: to switch between Windows and macOS, you must completely shutdown the operating system you are using. Then while pressing the power key, hold down the Option key on the keyboard. Two partitions Win, Mac will appear for you to choose.
Note: the image of this part was taken from 9to5Mac because my computer installed Win Bootcamp and couldn’t do it again
Method 2: install Windows using a virtual machine
There are 3 commonly seen virtual machine applications: VMWare, Parallel and Virtual Box. The first two are easy to use but require a license, VirtualBox is free but a bit more difficult to do.
Advantages: can run Win virtual machine in Mac, copy content back and forth between Mac and Win extremely easily, run less battery drain when running Windows Bootcamp a bit, no need to shutdown to run Win.
Harm: macOS will run slower because it has to share resources with Win, the machine gets hot easily.
Most importantly: do not take advantage of 100% of the computer’s hardware, so the performance will not be as high.
When to use it: when you just need to run office apps, accounting software, simple Windows applications in general. Games, graphics apps, editing apps, CAD, 3D rendering… not a good idea.
1. With Vmware and Parallel, you need to buy their license, then install the Vmware and Parallel app on your computer. Don’t forget to download the Windows installer from Microsoft, link here. In the following steps, select “Create new Virtual Machine” and then follow the on-screen instructions. Those who need more detailed instructions can see it here. Basic Parallels Desktop 9 User Guide. VMware does the same.
2. With VirtualBox, see the installation instructions in this article: Instructions for installing Windows 10 on a VirtualBox virtual machine. This tutorial applies to VirtualBox Win but VirtualBox does exactly the same thing. Method
3. Use Vmware or Parallel to run Windows from the Bootcamp partition This solution still requires you to install Windows into Bootcamp like the first way, but to run Win you don’t need to turn off the computer, but use Vmware or Parellel to enter Win as a virtual machine right from within the Mac.
Advantage: when needed, you can run Win fully through Bootcamp, and to do light things, just run Win in macOS. Save the time of shutdown, share data between Win and Mac easily, copy back and forth is very simple. Newly created and edited data is still saved to the full Win Bootcamp partition.
Harm: it takes more work, you have to do both ways to use it.
Instructions: you need to install Windows with Bootcamp first, then install Vmware or Parallel. When creating a new virtual machine using Vmware or Parallel, select “Create from Bootcamp” and follow the on-screen instructions to choose a configuration. A virtual machine file will be created but the size is not large because all your data is actually in the Bootcamp partition already.