[Update] Two Ways to Install Windows 10 on Mac – Complete Guide
[Updated]: This post now includes a complete hands-on video to help you install Windows 10 on your Mac.
Windows 10 is all the rage right now as Microsoft aims to break some records as it releases its last Windows worldwide. If you want to try this beautiful new offering on your Mac, there is no reason why you shouldn't. Follow this post to learn about different ways to have Windows 10 on your Mac and complete guides to help you install it on Mac.
Installing Windows 10 on Mac - different methods:
Mac lets you try Windows operating system to help you get both the flavors in one space. You can choose to run Windows as a full install or inside a virtual machine. Wondering which way should you go? It depends on how you intend to use Windows 10.
Virtual machine is the easiest way to install Windows on a Mac. It lets you access everything-Windows from inside your OS X which means you don't need to restart your Mac every time you want to use some Windows software or feature. But, this comes with obvious performance trade-off as you are basically running two operating systems at the same time. This is a good option to try out new Windows but not recommended for heavy and regular tasks.
Dual-booting is the preferable way to take full advantage of your machine especially if you intend to use Windows 10 for heavy tasks. The only downside of this method is that you will have to restart your Mac every time to switch between OS X and Windows which could be very annoying if you have to switch between the two very frequently. Mac has native support for this as you can use Apple's own Boot Camp to for the installation process. No third-party tools required.
Important: No matter which way you are going to get Windows 10 for your Mac, make absolutely certain that you create a backup of your important files. This is not a mandatory step but is highly recommended.
Install Windows 10 on Mac using Boot Camp:
If you want to take full advantage of your Mac's hardware, you need to go the Boot Camp way. This will require you to restart your machine every time you switch between the operating systems. To install Windows 10 on Mac using Boot Camp:
- Download Windows 10 ISO.
- Insert blank USB drive into your Mac.
- Launch Boot Camp by searching for "Boot Camp Assistant" in the Spotlight.
- Going through the description, check on all three boxes that ask you to create a new partition on your hard drive, create a Windows disk, and download the latest Windows support software from Apple. Once checked, go to the next step.
- Boot Camp will load the ISO file for you. If it doesn't, click on choose > locate Windows 10 ISO file > select the disk that you want to set as your USB drive and hit Continue.
- Boot Camp will now create your USB installation disk which may take a little while.
Once, Boot Camp Assistant is done creating your USB install disk,
- It will ask you to create a separate partition for Windows installation.
- Use the slider to assign the storage space (min. 20GB) to the new partition > click install.
- Your Mac will now restart and boot into the Windows 10 setup.
- While the entire setup process is pretty straightforward, you only want to be cautious when you are asked to choose the partition where Windows 10 will be installed. Select the one labeled as BootCamp. Don't select any other partition or you might affect OS X files.
- After selecting BootCamp, format the drive before continuing with the installation.
- The setup will run by itself now asking you to customize some settings now and then.
- This will be followed by BootCamp installer which will run through multiple steps to set up drivers and Mac's hardware to work with Windows.
- Once the setup is completely finished, you can choose to boot into Windows 10.
When you start your Mac, press and hold down the option/alt key and you will be shown with a menu to choose if you want to load Windows 10 or OS X Yosemite.
To select a default operating system for your Mac, run Boot Camp Assistant and select the OS you want to boot into by default. This will free you from the worry of choosing an operating system every time you boot your Mac.
If you want to delete Windows 10 on your Mac, load Boot Camp Assistant and uninstall your Windows from here. It will delete the Windows partition created for the purpose giving back OS X all the space.
Install Windows 10 on Mac using Parallels:
- Download Windows ISO file.
- Download Parallels (you can select any other program of your choice).
Once you have downloaded the required files and installed Parallels, here are the steps to install Windows 10 on Mac.
- Load Parallels and click on the option to install Windows from a DVD or image file.
- Parallels will automatically load up the ISO files found on your Mac > select the Windows 10 ISO file > click Continue.
- Next few screens will ask you about where Windows 10 should be installed and your intended usage.
- Windows 10 will now start installing inside of the Parallels windows. Yep, Windows operating system installation is happening right inside your OS X.
- Windows 10 installation will go through normally and you might see a couple restarts. After which you can customize the windows and set up the new Windows in your virtual machine.
You can now enjoy the very latest offering from Microsoft and have access to all the files and folders in the application launcher. If you ever get bored with it and want to get rid of the Windows 10, you can choose to delete it from Parallels.