The operating system for Apple computers, Mac OS, has many advantages, features and useful applications for both beginners and advanced users. However, Windows is the most widespread operating system, and some programs and games are only available for this platform. Luckily, there are many ways to run Windows on Mac.
You may need to use Windows software for many reasons:
You are a web developer, and you have to test the operation of your page in a Microsoft browser.
You want to start a game that is only available for Windows.
The program that you need to use only works in the Microsoft operating system.
Regardless of what your reasons and needs are, you have different ways to run Windows on a Mac. Depending on the tasks you want to carry out, there are more appropriate alternatives than others, but any of the options you choose will allow you to emulate programs, games, and functions of the Microsoft operating system on your Apple computer.
In this list, we have compiled for you 5 ways to run Windows on your Mac. Take note of all of them and choose the ones that best suit your needs.
5 Virtual Machines
A virtual machine is one of the most recommended alternatives to run Windows on your Mac computer. In case the concept does not sound to you, a virtual machine is a program that allows you to emulate the operation of a computer inside another computer. Thanks to this, the Microsoft operating system will work just as if it were running on a real computer, although it is actually doing it within an application window.
The most popular virtual machines for Mac are Parallels and WMware Fusion. The disadvantage of these two programs is that both are paid so you will need to buy a license to use them. However, you also have available free alternatives such as Virtual Box, an open source option.
Choose the alternative that you choose, you will need to have a Windows license, and you will have to follow the instructions for each program to be able to execute it. The most significant drawback of virtual machines is that they have to be assigned part of the hardware resources of the computer. For example, if you have a 4-core processor and 8 GB of RAM, you will be able to assign 2 cores and 4 GB of RAM to the virtual machine, so that the operation of the original operating system will be slowed down and that of the second one will not be very powerful.
For this reason, it is necessary to have a powerful computer so that everything can work with fluidity. If you want to run Windows on your Mac to play next-generation video games, this is not the most recommended option, since you will find problems with titles with high requirements.
4 Access your PC from Mac Remotely
If you have a Windows computer, instead of running the Microsoft operating system on your Mac you have the possibility of using remote desktop software to access the PC from macOs.
In case you opt for this option, the first thing you have to do is prepare both computers to enable the use of a remote desktop program. The Redmond company has its own software for this need, called Microsoft Remote Desktop. Its necessary to activate the remote assistance connections on the PC, as well as install and configure the application for the Mac. Of course, keep in mind that the configuration process is not a very intuitive task.
On the other hand, you have at your disposal other applications to access your PC remotely from your Mac, such as TeamViewer, VNC or LogMeIn. However, one of the most accessible options to use is Chrome Remote Desktop, the remote Google Chrome desktop that can be enabled with an extension for the browser. Click on this link to get it and follow the instructions in this tutorial to access your Windows computers from your Mac.
3 Boot Camp
Boot Camp is a software developed by Apple that allows you to install Windows together with macOS on your Mac computer quietly and efficiently, taking advantage of all the performance of the machine. The versions of the Microsoft operating system that you can install are Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.
Once installed, the Microsoft operating system coexists with macOS, and, unlike other solutions that we present in this list, so you can move from one to another is necessary to restart the computer.
To be able to use this path to run Windows on Mac, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a Mac with Intel processor.
- Have an installation disk or a Windows disk (ISO) image. If your copy of Windows comes in a DVD, you will have to create an ISO to work with Boot Camp.
- Have at least 55 GB of free space in the boot unit.
- An empty USB 2 flash drive of 16 GB.
If you meet these requirements, to carry out the installation of Windows on your Mac, search for Boot Camp in the Applications folder (you will find it in the utility folder ) or use the search engine to locate it more quickly. The program will create a partition on your hard drive for Windows and start the wizard to carry out the installation. Of course, we recommend that you make a backup of your disk before to have a backup of all your files in case of any problems.
The option to run Windows on Mac using Boot Camp is indicated for those users who want to play games or use demanding applications since it allows you to enjoy the maximum performance of the computer. In this case, the main disadvantage is that you can not use programs from both operating systems simultaneously so you will have to restart the computer when you want to switch from user applications.
2 Crossover Mac
Another alternative to emulating Windows on an Apple computer is Mac CrossOver from CodeWeavers, a payment application based on Wine that allows you to run apps and games from the Microsoft operating system natively, as well as use exciting features,
The significant advantage that Mac CrossOver provides is that it is not necessary to carry out the installation of Windows so it will not be necessary for you to have a copy of the program. Also, its installation and configuration are more straightforward than that of a virtual machine or Boot Camp.
Of course, the counterpart of this alternative is that it does not support all Windows programs, but only the most popular ones, and it is possible that sometimes you will find some operating errors. However, you run the risk that the game is not compatible and that there is an error in the middle of the game.
If you want to use Mac CrossOver to run Windows programs and games on your Mac, you can buy the program at this link. Also, you can download a free 14-day trial.
Wine is an open source software created to run Microsoft’s operating system on other computers. Although this program was born to emulate Windows in Linux, it also can do so on Macs.
Of course, keep in mind that Wine is not a perfect alternative: some applications do not work correctly, and there are others that do not directly run. However, if you only need to use a series of Windows tools that work stably in this emulator, it will be handy, since you do not need to buy a license from the Microsoft operating system.
You can obtain Wine for free on the official website of the developer, but you will need to be an advanced user to be able to perform the installation correctly. If you want to do it in a straightforward way you have at your disposal free tools from third parties, such as WineBottler, that provide you with a graphical interface so that the installation is accessible.