Apple’s macOS operating system is more than capable of performing most of the tasks that Windows PCs can. However, there are times when there is a specific piece of software that you need that is only available on Windows. So what can you do? Short of buying a brand new separate Windows PC, there are actually a couple of ways to run Windows apps on a Mac.

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Running Windows On A Mac Using Boot Camp

Within macOS, Apple actually bundles a utility called Boot Camp. This allows Mac users to install Windows on their Mac computers and allow it to boot up into Windows, essentially turning your Mac hardware into a PC running on Windows. You will, of course, need a copy of Windows, and here’s how you can get started.

Download Windows 10 First

  1. Download the Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft’s website
  2. Select your language
  3. Select 64-bit Download

Install Windows 10 Using Boot Camp Assistant

  1. Launch Boot Camp Assistant
  2. Click Continue
  3. Under ISO image, select the Windows 10 ISO file that you just downloaded
  4. Boot Camp Assistant will then suggest how you can partition your drives, and you can drag it to the left or right if you want to give Windows more or less storage, depending on your needs
  5. Click Install and wait for Boot Camp Assistant to download all the necessary software like drivers and support files
  6. Your Mac will restart once the installation is complete
  7. Upon reboot, your Mac will now boot up Windows
  8. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the Windows installation process
  9. If you have a Windows 10 product key, enter it, if not click “I don’t have a product key” at the bottom of the installation window
  10. Once you’ve completed the installation process and Windows 10 has been launched, you’ll be greeted by the Boot Camp installer
  11. Click Next and wait for Boot Camp to be installed and your Mac will then restart
  12. You should now have a fully functional version of Windows 10 running on your Mac

Switching Between Windows And macOS

If you want to switch back to macOS, you will have to shut down your Mac and reboot to Windows.

  1. Click the System Tray
  2. Click on Boot Camp
  3. Select Restart in macOS

You can also switch from macOS to Windows, although this is slightly tricky.

  1. Click the Apple icon in macOS
  2. Click Restart
  3. Press and hold the Option key immediately after clicking Restart
  4. You will then be given the option to boot into either macOS or Windows, so select Windows if you want to use Windows.

Using Windows Apps

Once you’ve got Windows 10 up and running and installed on your Mac computer, you can go ahead and use it like you would a regular PC. You can download apps and use software that is specifically designed for Windows, so if you are familiar with the Windows 10 operating system, then this won’t be any different.

Running Windows On A Mac Using Parallels

Unlike using Boot Camp which basically installs a full fledged version of Windows, Parallels is basically a virtualization software. This means that it runs an emulated version of Windows within macOS itself. The upside is that it makes it easier to switch between Windows and Mac which is handy if you just need to access certain Windows-exclusive software for a short period of time.

The download is that it can take up more system resources compared to running Windows by itself. This is because with virtualization, you would essentially be running an operating system within an operating system, so unless you don’t mind a bit of drop in performance or if you have a very powerful and capable Mac, Boot Camp could be the better option in terms of optimization and experience.

However, like we said, if you do prefer using virtualization and don’t want the hassle of rebooting and switching back and forth, then read on.

Download Windows 10 First

  1. Download the Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft’s website
  2. Select your language
  3. Select 64-bit Download

Download Parallels For Mac

  1. Download the latest version of Parallels
  2. Follow the install instructions on the screen
  3. If you have a Windows 10 product key, enter it, if not uncheck the box
  4. Select the primary reason why you would use Windows for
  5. Follow the Windows 10 installation instructions on the screen and wait for Windows 10 to be installed
  6. Once Windows 10 is installed, you should be pretty much to go and can use it like you would a Windows computer

If you are experiencing any performance issues like slight lag, like we said, this is because virtualization means that you are running two operating systems at once and can be taxing on your Mac’s hardware. For those with lower-specced Macs, this could result in a less than ideal experience, but it is admittedly a lot easier and convenient than having to reboot back and forth between both macOS and Windows 10.

There are also upsides to using virtualization as you can drag and drop files into folders, as well as launch Windows apps within the dock. For Mac computers with the Touch Bar, there will also be some Windows specific features that will appear on the Touch Bar. There is not necessarily a right or wrong path to choose, and it’s entirely up to you and your own personal needs.

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