Throughout this article, we are going to discuss the best way to run Windows on Mac. Have you ever heard the expression “once you go Mac, you never go back?” Not a truer word can be said. The difference between Apple laptop and Windows laptop is extreme.
It’s sophisticated, it’s fast, and the technology used by Apple is stunningly advanced. The only frustration is when you have certain programs that aren’t compatible. Luckily, there is a solution, and we are going to discuss it here.
Whether it’s a particular business app or you want to play Windows games on your Mac laptop, there are ways you can run Windows and Mac on the same computer. You may have already heard of using Apple’s BootCamp, which we will cover. But don’t worry, we will also go through ways to use Windows on Mac without BootCamp.
A word of warning. Before installing any software to run Windows applications on Mac, you should back up everything you have on your Mac.
How to Run Windows on a Mac With BootCamp
If you have ever run Linux on your Windows, you will find Apple’s BootCamp very similar. This is the best way to run Windows on Mac for gaming and for high demanding Windows apps that allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds without sacrificing performance. Here are the steps to follow, although BootCamp Assistant is an excellent guide.
- Open Launchpad to find BootCamp Assistant;
- You will be asked which driver to download (the Windows version you wish to install);
- The next step is to select the partition size. This will depend on how much space you will need on your Mac to run the Windows software;
- Click Install to begin the download;
- Follow the steps for Windows Setup.
Once complete, the BootCamp Installer window will appear and you will need to follow the steps to complete the process.
The only downside is that BootCamp won’t allow for running Windows and Mac OS simultaneously. You will need to turn your Mac off and while holding the Option key turn it on. From here, you can select your Windows or Mac drive.
Using Parallels to Run Windows on Mac
If you are keen to use Windows on Mac without using BootCamp and you are looking for a way of running Windows and Mac OS simultaneously, you may want to look at Parallels. Running Windows on a Mac using Parallels will require you to burn the Windows drive onto a DVD and have the DVD inserted.
- Click File: New Virtual Machine;
- An Operating System Detection Screen will open, select Real CD/DVD-ROM Drive and click ok;
- Choose the Custom option;
- Choose 1 CPU (unless you know otherwise);
- Similarly to Boot Camp, you now need to choose the amount of space you want (setting lower than 1GB will cause Windows 7 to run slowly);
- With the Hard Drive Option, select New Image File;
- Again, choose the size of your New Virtual Hard Disk and select Expanding disk (recommended);
- Networking Type: choose Shared Networking (recommended);
- Optimization Options: choose Virtual machine (recommended);
- The final step is to choose a name for your new virtual machine and then select Boot Options- Real CD/DVD-ROM Drive and Done.
From this point, you will be taken to the Windows setup process.
As you can see, there are more steps than when using BootCamp, nevertheless, you will be able to run Windows and Mac at the same time. Another bonus is that you can run Windows on your Mac without rebooting.
How to Run Windows on Your Mac – Free Download Apps
There is a range of software to run Windows applications on Mac. We have chosen WineBottler as it is one of the favorites among Mac users. Begin by downloading the right version of WineBottler for your Mac.
You will find a WineBottler Combo that will download Wine and Winebottler. Drag both icons into your applications folder (where you will be able to launch it).
When you launch WineBottler, you will find a list of programs that you can install, for example, Internet Explorer. Any program you choose to use will be in the WineBottler window. Once you launch a program, you will see the icon on your Mac dock.
For apps and files that aren’t in the list to install, you can use Open With and select the Wine option. There will be a choice to open with or to convert.
Similar software includes PlayOnMac or CrossOverMac which offers a free trial. These options are generally good for running a few Windows programs on Mac and running Windows and Mac OS simultaneously is possible.
Can Mackbook Air Run Windows 7?
Despite most people using the newer versions, using parallels to run Windows on a Mac is one way to keep your Windows 7 version. And it’s not just Macbook Air, Windows 7 will run on Mac OS with High Sierra or earlier versions.
You will also be able to use BootCamp, which you will probably find faster. If you want to know how to run Windows 7 on Macbook Pro, you will be pleased to know it is the same as the previous methods as long as you have macOS High Sierra or earlier.
Does Running Windows on a Mac Slow it Down?
Many will ask “Does Windows run well on a MacBook Pro?” or “What’s the best way to run Windows on Macbook Air?” or “will it just slow it down?”.
The answer will very much depend on your RAM and other hardware parameters but generally speaking, running Windows on Mac will not cause issues in performance. That being said, BootCamp is the best way to guarantee you won’t have any issues, particularly with speed.
Running Windows on Mac – Pros and Cons
Before you decide on which software to run Windows applications on Mac, we want to make sure you fully understand all of the pros and cons.
Running Windows on Mac – Pros
- Although you may have to purchase a license, you will still save money compared with having to buy a Windows laptop;
- You will be able to conveniently work from one computer, saving you time and space at your work station;
- You can stick to the comfort and of your familiar Mac hardware, something you may only appreciate once you’ve tried using a Windows PC after a Mac.
Running Windows on Mac – Cons:
- You may find you will have to sacrifice quite a bit of storage space;
- Viruses! Be very careful here. We love Mac because of the heightened security but when running Windows files or apps, your Mac can become a host for a Windows virus. You will need to make sure you have antivirus software installed.
Probably one of the first questions you are going to ask about an Apple Laptop versus Windows laptop (or a desktop) is the price. There is no denying this, Apple will cost more.
And so, can Windows run on macOS? Absolutely!
Does running Windows on a Mac slow it down? Generally speaking no.
What is the best way to run Windows on a Mac? That may depend on what you intend to do.
For any serious gaming or if you find you have sufficient issues with business compatibility, your best bet is to use Apple’s BootCamp. If it’s just the odd file that doesn’t justify installing the whole Windows operating system, we found WineBottler to be an excellent solution.a
The most important thing is that you can keep using your beloved Mac with all its glory and still run everything you need to from Windows.
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