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How To Run Windows 11 On Your MacBook

by George Mensah
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Windows 11 is Microsoft’s most recent operating system, and it includes a beautiful and consistent design language, performance improvements, and a slew of new features such as widget support, improved window management, tablet mode, and more. While the operating system powers millions of PCs worldwide, you might want to try it out on your Mac as well. Although Mac hardware is highly optimized for macOS, there may be times when you need to use Windows, but they may not occur frequently enough to warrant investing in a PC.

For example, you may need to install and use software that is only available on Windows for work or school. Installing the latter OS is also beneficial for developers, and it allows Mac users to experiment with Windows without purchasing a new laptop or desktop. Regardless of your reason, you can install Windows 11 on your MacBook using a tool like Parallels Desktop (and the same process will work with Mac desktop computers, too).

Why it’s a good idea to run Windows 11 on Mac

Both the macOS and Windows operating systems have reached feature parity, and the choice between the two is now based on personal preference. However, there are some Windows-only apps that cannot be used on a Mac and vice versa. Running Windows 11 on your MacBook still makes sense, whether your job requires you to use specific Windows software or your school uses a Windows-only service. Furthermore, if you are a developer creating apps for Windows machines, running Microsoft’s operating system on your Mac will allow you to test your product without purchasing a separate Windows machine.

Another compelling reason to run Windows 11 on your Mac is gaming. While macOS has made significant progress in terms of game support, it still lags far behind Windows in terms of AAA titles. Most popular games are not available on macOS. Even when a developer releases a Mac version of a game, Windows always gets it first. If you like to play games in your spare time, installing Windows 11 on your Mac is a good option.

Download virtual machine software for running Windows 11 on Mac

Parallels Desktop is a virtual machine program that allows you to run Windows 11 on your MacBook as if it were a real computer. You don’t have to restart your Mac to switch between the two operating systems because Parallels creates a virtual Windows machine. There are several other advantages to using Parallels on Mac: first, it allows you to run Windows 11 on Apple Silicon, which cannot run Boot Camp like older Macs; and second, it is relatively simple to set up and provides fast performance. Parallels Desktop has a Coherence mode that allows you to run Windows apps alongside Mac apps, as well as run AAA games that do not support macOS.

Parallels Desktop 17, the most recent version of the Parallels app, must be downloaded from its website. After a 14-day free trial, the Standard Edition costs $79.99 and the Pro Edition costs $99, respectively. A standard license will suffice for most users who only want to run Windows apps and games. We recommend that you consult the official website’s feature comparison chart to determine which edition is best suited to your needs.

If you haven’t already purchased Parallels 17, go to its official website and click the Try Now button. Now, select Parallels Desktop for Mac to download the DMG file to your Mac.

Locate the DMG file on your Mac and double-click to open it. Now, double-click on the Install Parallels Desktop option.

The installer will download the full app and install it in the background. Once the installation is over, you will need to authorize the app with your admin password.

Finally, Parallels will require access to several macOS directories to enable the full features set. Follow the on-screen instructions to grant access to all the directories and click on the Finish button. 

Remember that there are other virtual machine applications available, including free options such as VirtualBox. Your experiences with them may vary, but they may be worth investigating if Parallels is out of your price range.

How to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine on Mac

Parallels Desktop is a virtual machine program that allows you to run Windows 11 on your MacBook as if it were a real computer. You don’t have to restart your Mac to switch between the two operating systems because Parallels creates a virtual Windows machine. There are several other advantages to using Parallels on Mac: first, it allows you to run Windows 11 on Apple Silicon, which cannot run Boot Camp like older Macs; and second, it is relatively simple to set up and provides fast performance. Parallels Desktop has a Coherence mode that allows you to run Windows apps alongside Mac apps, as well as run AAA games that do not support macOS.

Parallels Desktop 17, the most recent version of the Parallels app, must be downloaded from its website. After a 14-day free trial, the Standard Edition costs $79.99 and the Pro Edition costs $99, respectively. A standard license will suffice for most users who only want to run Windows apps and games. We recommend that you consult the official website’s feature comparison chart to determine which edition is best suited to your needs.

If you haven’t already purchased Parallels 17, go to its official website and click the Try Now button. Now, select Parallels Desktop for Mac to download the DMG file to your Mac.

1.Locate the DMG file on your Mac and double-click to open it. Now, double-click on the Install Parallels Desktop option.

2.The installer will download the full app and install it in the background. Once the installation is over, you will need to authorize the app with your admin password.

3.Finally, Parallels will require access to several macOS directories to enable the full features set. Follow the on-screen instructions to grant access to all the directories and click on the Finish button. 

Remember that there are other virtual machine applications available, including free options such as VirtualBox. Your experiences with them may vary, but they may be worth investigating if Parallels is out of your price range.

How to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine on Mac

You will also need to download the Windows 11 installation file in addition to Parallels 17. If you have an Intel-powered Mac, you must get the Windows 11 ISO file from Microsoft’s website. If you have one of the newer Apple Silicon-powered Macs, you will need to download the Windows 11 ARM version; at the time of writing, the latter is part of the insider build program, so you will need to register for the Windows Insider Program, then download the Windows ARM64 Insider Preview installation file.

Installing Windows 11 on a Mac with Parallels is the same for both the X86 and X64ARM versions. After installing Parallels on your Mac and downloading the necessary Windows 11 file, launch the Parallels Desktop app and proceed as follows:

1.Click on the Install Windows option, then click Continue.

2.Parallels will now automatically find the Windows 11 installation file on your computer. If it fails to do so, you can click on the Choose Manually option and navigate to the download location to select the file. Click on Continue to go ahead with the installation process.

3.Parallels will ask for your use case for the Windows 11 operating system. Choose the correct option depending on your needs and Continue.

4.Now, set the name and location for the installation file and click the Create button to start the installation.

The installation of Windows 11 will now begin, and Parallels will handle the entire process automatically. On your Mac, you can monitor the progress in a small virtual machine window. The installation is only a few minutes long, so you won’t have to wait long. When the process is finished, you will see a message indicating that it has been completed.

Using Windows 11 on Mac

Parallels allows you to run Windows 11 on your Mac in both windowed and fullscreen modes. You can resize the window to your liking or use the green button to make it fullscreen. The Coherence mode is one of Parallels’ best features. When you enable it, you will be able to use both Windows and macOS apps simultaneously. You can activate the Coherence mode by using the Parallels Menu Bar app or the Command+Control+C keyboard shortcut.

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The virtual Windows 11 machine can be shut down by pressing the power button and selecting the Shut Down option. The Parallels Desktop app can then be closed like any other app on your Mac. Overall, the experience of running Windows 11 on a Mac with Parallels Desktop 17 has been very positive. The installation process is simple, and the Windows 11 virtual machines work well. Of course, using a virtual machine will result in a performance penalty, but regular office and productivity apps will not suffer from this penalty.

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