Mac hardware can run both macOS and Windows. If you want to have better gaming experience or use specific softwares that are available only on Windows, or you are just curious to run Microsoft’s offering on Apple hardware, here is an explained step by step guide to download and install Windows on Mac.
You do not need a product key or credit card for this installation. So go ahead and see how to install Windows on Mac. But before that, it would be great if you have a backup of your Mac. Now that we are done with the basics let us first download Windows and then install it on Mac.
How to Install and Use Windows on Mac using Boot Camp
Macs Models That Can Install and Run Windows 10
- All models of iMac Pro
- MacBook – 2015 or later
- Mac Pro 2013 or later
- MacBook Air – 2012 or later
- MacBook Pro – 2012 or later
- Mac mini – 2012 or later
- iMac – 2012 and later
What You Need Before you Begin to Install Windows 10 on Mac
- At least 64 GB free storage space on your Mac’s startup disk. If your iMac Pro or Mac Pro has 128GB RAM or more, then your startup disk must have at least the same amount of free storage space, which is 128GB or more.
- At least 16GB USB flash drive: However, if you have any of the following Mac models, with OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later, you do not need a flash drive to install Windows.
Which Macs do not need USB flash drive for Windows Installation
- iMac Pro (all models)
- iMac – 2015 or later
- Mac Pro introduced in late 2013
- MacBook – 2015 or later
- MacBook Air – 2015 or later*
- MacBook Pro – 2015 or later*
*These models also had a 128GB hard drive option. Apple recommends 256GB or larger hard drives so that you can create a Boot Camp partition of at least 128GB. So, if you have a 128GB drive on these models, and wish for a better experience, please consider upgrading it first.
If you have an iMac with 3TB or more, please see this official Apple Support page.
How to Download Windows ISO file and Install it on Mac
Step #1. Download Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft for free.
Click Select edition → Windows 10 → Confirm → Choose one → English (or what you like) → Confirm → 64-bit Download
Step #2. Once the download completes, click on Finder → Application → Utilities → double click on Boot Camp Assistant to launch it.
Step #3. Click Continue.
Step #4. Boot Camp Assistant automatically locates the ISO file. If not, you may click Choose… and select the location. You may also drag the slider and adjust the partition size. You may choose to leave it at default. Click Install.
Step #5. Windows support software will start to download. It will take time. Don’t worry if the status bar does not move for quite some time. Let the Boot Camp Assistant perform various tasks like partitioning disk, copying Windows files, and more. Patience is a virtue.
Step #6. A pop-up will ask ‘Boot Camp Assistant wants to make changes.’ Click on Use Password… and enter your Mac’s password or use Touch ID on compatible Mac. Now your Mac will restart with the Apple logo and then the Windows logo.
Step #7. You are now on Windows Setup screen. Select Language, Time and currency format, Keyboard or input method. Click Next.
Note: Tap on TrackPad won’t work. You will have to press the TrackPad or use enter, arrow keys.
Step #8. If you have a valid product key, enter it. Else click I don’t have a product key.
Step #9. Select the OS you want. I would recommend Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. Click Next.
Step #10. If you agree, check the ‘I accept the license terms’ box and click on Next.
Step #11. After all the steps like copying Windows files, installing features, and installing updates, are finished, your Mac will restart. It will take some time. You might also see black screens for a few seconds.
Step #12. Windows has been successfully installed. Next, you will see the basic Windows setup like region, keyboard layout, optional second keyboard layout.
Step #13. Now, connect to a Wi-Fi network to finish the setup. Click Next.
Step #14. Sign in with your Microsoft account and password. If you don’t have one, create an account here.
Step #15. For safety, click on Create PIN and set up a PIN. Click OK.
Step #16. If you are interested, you may sync your activity history. Click Yes (or No).
Step #17. Click Do it later or click Next depending on what you like.
Step #18. Click on Next or Only save files to this PC, depending on your preference.
Step #19. Here you can choose to get one month of free Office 365. You may click Yes and enter details, or click I have a product key. I am neither interested nor have a product key. So I will click No.
Step #20. Choose to give or decline permission to Cortana. Click Decline or Accept.
Step #21. Review the Microsoft recommended settings and click Accept. You may turn the toggle off for individual options.
Step #22. Windows will start getting ready for you. It might take several minutes. After that, Microsoft Edge launches with a welcome screen.
Enjoy! You now have Windows your Mac. But one essential task is still left.
How to Install Boot Camp on Windows
Step #23. Wait for Boot Camp installer to show up. You don’t have to do anything. It will automatically show. Close Microsoft Edge if you haven’t already.
Step #24. Click Next on the Boot Camp installer window and agree on the terms of the license. Click Install.
Step #25. Once done, click Finish to restart the Mac. After your Mac boots up with Windows, hit the space bar on keyboard → enter your password (created in Step #15).
Now, you can truly enjoy using Windows on Mac.
How to Switch back to macOS from Windows
Step #1. Click upward arrow icon to show hidden icons.
Step #2. Click on Boot Camp icon → Click Restart in macOS… → OK
Now your Mac will restart in macOS.
Another Method: When you power on or restart your Mac, hold down the Option key on your keyboard until the boot menu shows. Now select from Windows or Macintosh HD and click the arrow.
How to Update Windows Running on Mac
Step #1. Follow above steps and boot into Windows.
Step #2. Click Start button → Settings icon → Update & Security → click on Check for updates
How to Uninstall and Completely Remove Windows from Mac
No longer need Windows on Mac, or have you got the realization that macOS is what you always need (and love)? Here are steps to uninstall Windows from Mac and restore the space used by Windows to macOS.
Step #1. Start your Mac into macOS.
Step #2. Open Boot Camp Assistant from Finder → Applications → Utilities.
Step #3. Click on Continue.
Step #4. Click on Restore → Enter your Mac’s password. Done!
So this is how you can install Windows on a Mac from scratch to end. I walked you through the entire process, and at last, told you ways to uninstall Windows. I hope this guide was helpful to you. Kindly show your love in the comments sections below.
You may like to read…
- Best iOS Apps for Journalists
- How to Install macOS Catalina 10.15.3 Beta on Mac
- Best Remote Desktop Apps for iPad
- Seamlessly from Anywhere