MCCC Knowledge Base

Installing Windows on an Apple Computer


Installing Windows on an Apple Computer

There are several reasons one might need to install Windows onto their Apple computer.

  • If you need :
    • Windows version of Microsoft Office
    • Software that is only available for Windows (SolidWorks, DevC++, Microsoft Access)
  • Personal preference


We  highly recommend  starting with a Time Machine back-up of your system before installing Windows.


When deciding to install Windows on your Apple device, there are a few options to decide from.

OptionProsConsInstructional videosTips & Notes
Apple Boot Camp
  • Stable
  • Good performance
  • Full Windows installation
  • Easy to remove
  • Moderate technical knowledge needed
  • Installation failure may lead to loss of data and/or permanent damage to machine
  • Time required to install: ~5 hours.
    • Includes: performing backup, configuring Boot Camp, installing Windows and completing Windows Boot Camp setup 
  • Boot Camp   requires at least OSX 10.10.
  • Boot Camp example on a MacBook with 4GB RAM, 2.7GHZ i7 CPU and a 500GB hard-drive
Oracle VM VirtualBox
  • More accessible to novice users
  • Less intricate install
  • Easy to remove
  • Performance varies depending on task
  • May require settings changes to improve performance
  • Risk of data loss in the event of installation failure.
  • Time required to install: ~3.5 hours.
    • Includes: updating OSX, downloading, installing and configuring VirtualBox, downloading and installing Windows and then updating Windows 
  • VirtualBox requires your OSX version to be at least 10.8.5
  • VirtualBox example on a MacBook with 4GB RAM, 2.5 GHZ Core 2 Duo CPU and a 200GB hard-drive
  • The video above for setting up a VirtualBox VM includes information about customizing the VM for better performance, which is highly recommended. 
The following are recommended configuration guidelines for VirtualBox:
  • Roughly one half of your total available RAM, up to 3 or 4 GB for Windows 7 32-bit
  • In the video, he recommends 1 CPU at 100% capacity. If possible, it is recommended to choose 2 CPU at 100% capacity to improve performance.
    • Note: This video showcases a MacBook with a 2.7 GHZ i7 processor, which is a quad (4) core CPU. A slower processor, or an in the example of the Dual Core processor, may need more processing allocated to the VM.
  • Maximum allowed graphics processing (GPU)
    • In the video, he was able to allocate 256MB, this may vary by machine based on available resources.


The accuracy, completeness and resulting success based on the above information is not warrantied and is only as reliable as the sources from which it was obtained. MCCC and its employees are not responsible for the loss of any data nor damages of any kind. 

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