How to Get Windows on Mac (Explained!)
When it comes to Windows, there are a lot of great benefits, from familiarity across programs, to a wide selection of programs, to powerful operating systems. Because of the great benefits of Windows, people want to download the programming onto their computer of choice, but not all of them come with Windows installed.
To get Windows on a Mac, install the Windows program through Boot Camp Assistant which is already downloaded on Mac Computers. The program is made specifically to switch between Mac and Windows and requires at least 128 GB of storage space. The secure boot setting should be at full security.
Knowing that Boot Camp Assistant is essential for installing Windows on a Mac is helpful, but there are a lot more steps to this process. Keep reading to learn more about downloading Windows on Mac.
Can Windows Be Played on Mac?
Before we get into the details of putting Windows on a Mac, we should talk about whether it even can be played on a Mac. Based on the information that we have already covered, Windows can indeed be played on a Mac computer. In fact, Apple knows that so many people want the option of playing Windows on Macs, so they added the app Boot Camp Assistant, which has the sole purpose of running Windows on a Mac.
What Is Boot Camp Assistant?
Boot Camp Assistant is a utility for multi-booting, or running two operating systems on one computer by choosing one to boot up. In simpler terms, it is an application included on Macs that switches between the Mac operating system and the Windows operating system when requested. Without it, the two systems would take up too much RAM by both trying to boot up at the same time, and the computer would crash.
Boot Camp Assistant is just one of many dual-booting applications throughout many different brands, but this is the one that is already installed on Mac and works best for running Windows on Mac. Boot Camp Assistant is essential for running Windows on Mac and without it, there would be a lot of issues.
Why Install Windows on a Mac?
The other big question on this topic is why would you install Windows on a Mac computer in the first place? There are a lot of different reasons to download Windows on your Mac: Windows is much better at running gaming programs than Mac is; when it comes to other large programs like photo editing and 3D rendering, Windows is much better at running the programs.
Besides running large programs better, Windows is much more universal than Mac. The formatting of all of the programs and the storage system has stayed relatively the same throughout the years, which makes it easier to search for files, store files, and learn the new systems. For people that have been using Windows for a long time, the software is easier to understand and pick up.
Cost of Windows on Mac
One other thing to consider is the cost of Windows on Mac. Luckily, with Boot Camp Assistant, Windows does not cost anything to download. Windows is free to download on a Mac. Some programs from Microsoft are not available for free, like Microsoft Office and apps from Microsoft.
The free download of Windows is the most basic version of it. If you want any future upgrades, you will need to pay for a licensed version of Windows. Windows 10 Home costs about $139 and works really well for gaming setups. There is also the Pro option which is better for companies and large enterprises and costs about $200.
How to Put Windows on Mac
Now that you know some of the basics of cost and the programming of Windows, we can cover how to install Windows on your Mac. There are several pre-checks that you should do before attempting to install Windows. This is so the new Operating Software does not crash or permanently weigh down on your computer. Once you complete the pre-checks and know that Windows will run on your computer, you can begin following the steps to download the program.
Pre-checks Before Installing Windows
The first thing you will need to check is that your Mac OS is fully up to date with the newest update. This is necessary because some updates will update Boot Camp Assistant. As explained before, this program is essential to download Windows on a Mac computer. It needs to be fully updated to work properly.
The next thing to check is the amount of free storage available on your computer. The very minimum amount of free storage necessary to install Windows is 64GB. However, it is recommended to have at least twice this much or more. While it can run on such a small amount of storage, Windows will run very slowly. 128GB of storage will run much better, but if you can have more storage, that is always better. The extra space is necessary because Windows needs it to complete automatic updates.
A huge part of this process to check before starting the installation is to make sure the secure boot setting is at full security. This step is only necessary for the download and can be set to either setting once Windows is downloaded. This setting makes sure that the only software that can be downloaded is safe software that has been approved by the manufacturer.
The final check to do is to make sure the software that you are downloading is the actual Windows software and not an update or an upgrade. Just downloading an upgrade will not function as Windows and likely won’t be able to download at all. Some Macs require an external USB drive with at least 16GB of storage. After checking these things, you are good to start the installation process.
Installing the Windows Software
Now that you have made sure that everything is set up to properly install Windows on your Mac, you can begin downloading the software. We will run through the steps necessary to install the software which, include setting up the Windows partition, installing Windows, and using the installer in Windows.
Software Partition: The first part of installing the Windows software is to create a software partition for the Windows program. A software partition is a part of storage that is treated differently than the rest of the storage. It is almost like a built-in, second hard drive.
First, open Boot Camp Assistant. This will be in your Utilities folder within the Applications folder. This is where the external USB drive might be required with certain Macs. After opening Boot Camp Assistant, you will plug the USB drive into the correct port on your Mac. Boot Camp Assistant will ask how much space the Windows partition should take up.
Keep in mind the amount of space that you have available and choose a partition size. Make sure the partition is big enough for your needs, but not too big that your computer can’t handle it. Also, make sure that it is not so small that Windows won’t be able to run. You cannot change this setting later.
Once you have set up the Windows software partition, you will need to format it. This is super simple. Once Boot Camp Assistant finishes setting up the Windows partition, the Mac should restart to the Windows installer. This is when you will be asked where to save the Windows installer; select the Windows partition in Boot Camp and click format.
If this is not asked, then the installer has completed this step automatically. Formatting the partition clears out anything that is taking up space in the partition and sets it so that it only has the Windows installer in it. This helps the software run better.
Install Windows: Before moving on to install Windows, you want to unplug any external devices from your Mac except the necessary USB drive. If your Mac doesn’t require a USB to install Windows, then there should be nothing else connected to the computer. Now that there is nothing plugged into your computer, you can go ahead and click “next” and follow the instructions that will be given on your screen.
Once you complete the installation process for Windows, the Mac will start up in Windows instead of macOS. You should see a window that says “Welcome to the Boot Camp installer”. This will take you through a simple process with instructions to install two drivers, Boot Camp and Windows Support Software.
If this window does not open up automatically, you can open Boot Camp manually to complete the same steps. After completing this installation, restart your computer.
You are finished installing Windows on your Mac and now have access to the Windows software and its applications and benefits! Provided you have enough space, Windows should run smoothly and properly.
Switching Between Windows and macOS
Now that you have Windows installed on your Mac, you might not know how to switch back and forth between the two software. This is not too difficult to figure out, and once you do, you will be able to get full use out of having two software instead of just one. The whole purpose of a multi-booting application like Boot Camp Assistant is to be able to switch between software without slowing your computer down.
There are two ways to switch between software. The first way to do it is by selecting the software during the boot-up after the restart. First, click the start button in the bottom left corner of the screen with the Windows icon on it. From here, click the power button that looks like a circle with a vertical line through the top. This will open up a menu where you will select the bottom option “Restart”.
The computer will restart. During the booting up part of the restart, press and hold the Option/ALT key while it is starting up to pull up a large menu of the software options available to you. Select the software that you want to use, whether it is macOS, Windows, or something else. This will tell the computer to boot up as the software that you want to switch to.
Another way to do it involves switching from Boot Camp Assistant. With your computer on, click the upward arrowhead at the far left of the notification center of the taskbar in the bottom right corner of the screen. This will open a menu of hidden icons. Click on the Boot Camp Assistant icon, which is a black diamond shape. This will open another menu where you will click the bottom option “Restart in macOS”.
This will restart your computer and open everything back up in macOS. To start up Windows from macOS, follow these same steps, but the bottom option to click in the menu from the black diamond will say “Restart in Windows” instead.
Now you know why you might want to consider downloading Windows on your Mac, what some of the benefits are, the cost of Windows, the steps to download it, and how to switch between software. If you have been considering downloading Windows for a while, and your Mac has the free storage space available, there is no reason to not follow these steps and download it.
If you do not have as much space as you would like, or you don’t have the need to download Windows on your Mac, then you don’t need to worry about any of this.
On useful reason to know this information is if you help people fix or upgrade their technology. If someone can’t figure out how to install Windows on their Mac computer, then it will be a relief to them when you can help them out. This is not a very difficult process, and once you know how much space is available, and you have the program available to download, it is a super simple process of just following the next step.