Create a Windows 10 virtual machine on macOS with VirtualBox

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If you’re a macOS user and you need to use apps available on Windows platform only, usually there are two options for you:

  • Dual boot
  • Virtual machine

Which option is better for you?

The Dual boot option can provide you with a stronger performance than the virtual machine does. However, you cannot use the two operating systems at the same time. In other words, if you need to use apps on the Windows platform, you have to shut down macOS first, then restart your Mac to boot from Window OS.

In contrast, the virtual machine option allows you to run Windows OS directly on macOS, which means, you can use these both macOS and Windows OS at the same time. That’s cool, right? However, the virtual machine is always a big consumer of your Mac system resource. So, it might not be a good choice to install a Windows 10 virtual machine on the Mac that equipped with a small memory.

*In this post, I’d like to focus on the latter option: how to create a Windows 10 virtual machine using VirtualBox. After reading it, you’ll be able to install a Windows 10 VM with VirtualBox quickly and easily!

What is VirtualBox?

Oracle VM VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Created by Innotek, it was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008, which was in turn acquired by Oracle in 2010 (excerpt from Wikipedia).

VirtualBox can be installed on the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • Solaris
  • OpenSolaris

How to create a Windows 10 virtual machine using Virtualbox?

  1. Download and install the latest version of VirtualBox on your Mac.
  2. Download the Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft.
  3. Launch VirtualBox. Click New to start creating Windows 10 VM.
  4. Name your Windows 10 VM, then select where you’d like to store your VM. As for Type and Version, select Microsoft Windows and Windows 10 (64-bit) respectively. Then click Continue.
  5. Move the slider to allocate the memory size of your Windows 10 VM. Then click Continue.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to decide whether you need to add a virtual hard disk or not. Here I’d like to select the second option and click Create.
  7. Select the file type of the virtual hard disk.If you don’t need to use this VM with other virtualization software, you can select the first option. Then click Continue.
  8. Choose whether you’d like the virtual hard disk file to be dynamically allocated or not, then click Continue. In this step, I’d like to select the second option: Fixed size.
  9. Confirm the file location for this VM. Move the slider to allocate the file size of the virtual hard disk. The recommended file size is 50 GB. Then click Create. It make take some time to complete.

  10. Click Start.
  11. On the popping-up window, click the file icon to locate the Windows 10 ISO file you downloaded.

    Click Choose.

    Then click Start.
  12. Follow the instructions on the popping-up window to install Windows 10 (VM). It may take some time to finish the installation process. During installation, the Windows VM will restart several times.
  13. If you see the Windows 10 desktop in VirtualBox, Congratulations! You’ve created a Windows 10 VM on your Mac.

That’s pretty easy, right? If you have any questions or suggestions on this issue, you’re more than welcome to leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading!