Installing Windows on a Mac using a Virtual Machine
Virtual machines are the second way to install Windows on a Mac computer. Rather than being installed on a separate hard drive partition (Bootcamp), with virtual machines, Windows is installed directly inside of Mac OS X. Virtual machines install Windows and other operating systems on Mac computers by simulating a virtual running environment.
Advantages of using virtual machines to run Windows:
- Ability to run both Mac OS X and Windows simultaneously
- Easy file sharing between Mac OS X and Windows
- No hard drive partitioning needed.
- Easier to delete a virtual machine than a direct install on a partition
Disadvantages of using virtual machines to run WIndows:
- Hard to backup virtual machine data accurately
- Virtual machines must share resources between two operating systems, lowering overall performance
*If you want to install Windows on a Mac computer using virtual machines, it is recommended that you have at least 2GB of RAM installed on your computer. This will allow you to relocate 1GB of RAM to the virtual machine, when in use.*
There are several companies who distribute virtual machine software to run Windows on a Mac. The two most popular are VMware Fusion and Parallels. Both VMware and Parallels are premium softare. Thus, they will need to be purchased. The third option that you have is Virtual Box. Virtual Box is completely free.
Jump to our review and tutorial of VMware Fusion.
Learn more about Parallels.
Learn more about Virtual Box.