Windows 8 mac dual boot

However, it will only download the drivers for Windows 8. If this is your first time using Boot Camp then, of course, you'll also need to select the option to 'Install Windows 7 or later'. This will allow you to split - or 'partition' - your Mac's hard drive into two separate sections, known as 'partitions'. The normal macOS is left on one partition, while the second partition is used to install Windows and any other Windows software and apps that you want to use. By default, Boot Camp Assistant offers to create a small Windows partition that is only 32GB in size, but you can use the slider control to adjust the size of the two partitions as required.

There's also a button that will simply split the drive into two partitions of equal size. If your Mac has more than one internal hard drive or SSD, it's possible to devote one of those drives exclusively to Windows. However, Boot Camp doesn't play well with external drives connected via USB or Thunderbolt, so it's best to use your normal internal drive wherever possible. And if you have an external drive connected to your Mac for Time Machine backups then it's a good idea to remove it as Boot Camp can get a bit confused if it detects an external drive during installation.

You can just follow the prompts to install Windows. As soon as Windows starts up you will also be prompted to install the additional Boot Camp drivers from the memory stick as well. Once that's done you can simply 'dual-boot' between the macOS and Windows by pressing Alt aka Option on your keyboard when you turn the Mac on.

How To Install Windows 10/ On Mac Without Boot Camp

You'll see the two partitions with the macOS and Windows displayed on screen as the Mac starts up, and you can simply select whichever operating system you need. Virtualisation programmes such as Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion provide an ingenious and flexible alternative to the dual-boot approach of Boot Camp. Instead of splitting your Mac's hard drive into separate partitions, and then installing Windows on to the Boot Camp partition, these programs create a 'virtual machine' - or VM - which is simply an app that runs on the Mac and acts like a PC.

You can then install Windows on the VM, along with whatever Windows apps and software that you need to run. The VM can run alongside other Mac apps, such as Safari or Apple Mail, so there's no need to switch back and forth between the two operating systems, as you are forced to do with Boot Camp. These programs aren't free, so you'll need to buy a copy of the program you prefer, as well as providing your own copy of Windows although both Parallels and VMware do provide trial versions that you can look at to see which one you prefer.

There is also a free virtualisation program, called VirtualBox , but it's fairly complex and difficult to use, so we'll focus first on using Parallels and VMware to install Windows. Jump down to the VirtualBox section if you feel ready for the challenge. We have more information about the Best virtual machine software for Mac here. Parallels Desktop on version 14 at time of writing has a more colourful graphical interface than VMware Fusion, but the two programs take the same basic approach.

And, if you're already using Boot Camp, you can even create a VM that duplicates your Boot Camp partition - which is a handy option for quickly checking a few files, or running apps that don't need top performance, without having to shut the Mac down and boot into Windows. Once you've decided how you want to install Windows, both programs allow you to adjust a number of important settings.

Boot Camp for Mac vs virtualization software

VMware is a little more complicated, as it displays a window with a lot of settings that might seem a bit daunting to first time users. Parallels makes things a bit easier for beginners, by providing a number of predefined options that are suitable for productivity software such as Microsoft Office, or running heavy-duty 3D games, or design software. Both VMware Fusion and Parallels allow you to change the 'hardware' configuration of your VMs if you need to, just as though you were choosing the physical hardware for a real Mac or PC.

If your Mac has a multi-core processor such as the iMac Pro , which has up to 18 processor cores then you can devote multiple cores to your VM in order to improve performance. You can also allocate extra memory and disk space, and even increase the amount of video memory that your VM can use for handling 3D graphics in games and other graphics software.

Other options provided by both Parallels and VMware include the ability to connect external devices, such as a hard drive or even Bluetooth speakers to your Windows VM. You can also determine how your VM interacts with the macOS on your Mac, perhaps sharing specific folders and files that you need for a work project, or sharing your music or photo libraries. A key aspect of how your VM runs on your Mac is the way it appears when it's running on the Mac desktop. By default, both Parallels and VMware run their VMs in a window - so you get a kind of 'Windows window' that displays the Windows desktop floating in its own window on top of the Mac desktop.

However, it's also possible to expand the Windows desktop so that it fills the entire screen, making your Mac look just like a normal PC whilst still allowing you to switch into Mac apps by using Command-Tab. But a better option for many people is the ability to hide the Windows desktop altogether, so that individual Windows apps appear all on their own on the Mac desktop, just like ordinary Mac apps. The number of different options available here can be a bit intimidating, but the great thing about virtualisation technology is that you can't really break a VM.


  • How to use Boot Camp: Preparing your Mac.
  • How to install Windows 10 on a Mac.
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You can save different versions of your VM - just like saving different versions of a document in Microsoft Word. That allows you to experiment with different settings to see which options work best for you, and then simply revert back to a previous version of the VM whenever you want. Here's an alternative method of running Windows on your Mac: use Oracle VirtualBox to run Windows as a virtual machine.

This section is by Nik Rawlinson.

Problems with Bootcamp Assistant on Mac

VirtualBox is a free download from here. If you want to do the same, use the slider and then click Continue. Create a virtual disk - When you set up a virtual machine, not only the operating system but also the applications running on it and the files created and edited in it are stored in a bundle, which your Mac will see as a virtual hard drive. This is convenient as it means you won't get your Windows and macOS assets mixed up, but it also means that you'll put a large chunk of your disk out of reach of macOS.

For this reason we're going to stick with VirtualBox's fairly conservative recommendation of a 32GB virtual disk for Windows. When you click Continue you'll be asked what kind of drive you want to create. VirtualBox can either take away the 32GB immediately or take it piecemeal as and when required by increasing the size of the Windows drive over time as your files and range of installed applications grows.

It makes sense to opt for the latter, so unless you have any particular reason for giving up the full amount right away, leave the storage option set to Dynamically allocated and click Continue. If you don't want to do this, click the Customise button and tweak the settings by hand. Next, you need to tell Windows whether the machine belongs to yourself or your organisation. It should look something like what's in the screenshot below.

Now that you're finished with the Windows 10 installer, it's time to create a separate partition on your hard drive to run Windows 10 on. Luckily, you can easily create this partition using Boot Camp Assistant as well. This time, instead of checking the top two boxes when selecting tasks, just check the box next to "Install Windows 7 or later version" and hit "Continue.

How to install Windows 8.1 on Macbook (Dual Boot) - Easy Step by Step Guide -

On the next window, you'll be asked to select the size of the partition for Windows. While you can choose any size, Apple recommends anything above 30 GB if you're installing Windows for the first time, or 40 GB if you're updating Windows. I'll be selecting 50 GB just to be safe.


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Once you're ready to create the partition, click on "Install. Once your Mac boots up, your screen will show a Windows logo; just wait a few minutes while it loads. Select the language in which you want to install Windows 10, click "Next," and finally click on "Install now. On the Windows Setup page, select "Custom: Install Windows only advanced " from the two options available.

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How to Dual Boot Windows 8 and OS X on a MacBook

After Windows 10 installs, you'll be asked to select your settings, sign in to your Microsoft account, set up a PIN, and more, just like you would if you were setting up a Windows computer. When you're finished setting it up, you'll be able to use Windows 10 and take advantage of all the new features, including the redesigned Start Menu, the voice-assistant Cortana, and Microsoft's brand new Edge web browser. Whenever you want to switch between OS X and Windows, simply turn off your computer and hold down on the Option Alt key while booting it back up. This will bring up the Startup Manager, where you can select the partition you want to boot.

If you have that issue, you can either connect an Ethernet cable to connect to your network, or you can choose your Wi-Fi network from the Startup Manager when selecting the Windows 10 partition. If you want to remove the Windows partition from your Mac for good, you can easily do so through Disk Utility.