How to install Windows 10 on VirtualBox?

There are many reasons for one to install Windows 10 on Virtualbox instead of their primary OS. If someone deals with malicious files or apps, it’s much wiser to open or run those files and apps on a VirtualBox.

Instead of putting your host OS into a threat, virtualization will save your OS from any threat that might harm your precious personal data.

It can be also used as dual booting, instead of dual-booting both of the operating systems. For those who are doing development, using virtualization is a great way to test their projects.

Pros of using Windows 10 on VirtualBox

It can save you tons of work while installing.

  • Your files are safe from different threats.
  • Can create a sandbox like environment and test different applications and games.
  • If got fed up, can be uninstalled within few clicks.
  • No BIOS configuration and hard disk management.
  • Can be used as dual booted system too.

Related: Install Windows 10 on macOS Big Sur using Boot Camp

How to install Windows 10 on VirtualBox?

how to install windows 10 on virtualbox
how to install windows 10 on VirtualBox

Before we start the procedure make sure you have the following specs:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo with 2.5 GHz processor or better

Memory: 4GB of RAM can run it. However; for smooth performance, you will need at least 8 GB of RAM.

Storage: a total of 250-500 GB of storage is required.

Graphics: your system should support 1600×900 screen resolution while having more GPU is better.

You will also need to download Windows 10 ISO file too, which will be used on your VirtualBox. You can download from the direct links here, or download Windows Media Creation Tool and use it to download Windows 10 setup file. So without wasting any more time, let’s start the installation of Windows 10 on VirtualBox.

Related: How to Install Windows 11 on VirtualBox?

1- Creating a Virtual Machine

Note: The default setting in the Virtualbox might cause slow-down or loss in performance, so for Windows 10 to run smoothly and without losing any performance, we must edit the setting slightly, all the details will be given below, for now, let’s continue to installation.

Run your VirtualBox and click on New, which will open a drop-down menu.

In the drop-down menu, you will find New… as the first option. Click on it to open the VirtualBox wizard.

Soon the VirtualBox wizard will open. From now on, you will create a new Virtual Machine for your Windows 10. The first thing will be to insert the Name, Type of OS, and version in your VM. For each, there is a separate section, fill all the sections with essential information and continue to the next step by clicking on Next.

Starting with Name, which in our case is Windows 10 (you can put whatever you desire). Following Machine Folder, it asks you for the location where Windows will be installed. The third and last box asks for the type of operating system (Microsoft Windows for Windows 10) and version depending on which Windows 10 ISO File version you have; it can be either 32-bit or 64-bit.

In the Memory Allocating window, select the amount of RAM memory for your Windows 10 by dragging the slide bar. For example, if you have 16GB of memory, then set the memory size to 8Gb. As it’s recommended to have enough free memory for both Host and Guest OS.

Next, you will be asked; if you want to create a virtual hard disk or you already have one. A virtual hard disk is basically a storage hard disk that works and acts like your windows 10’s storage disk. You can select either one of the three options:

create a virtual hard disk now for Windows 10
create a virtual hard disk now for Windows 10
  • Do not add a virtual hard disk- If you don’t want to save data or install programs on your Virtual OS.
  • Create a virtual hard disk- Self-explanatory if you want to have a storage hard disk.
  • Use an existing virtual hard disk file- If you already have a virtual hard disk.

Select the Create a virtual hard disk option and continue to the next step. There you will select the type of virtual hard disk you are going to use. Users are required to select one of the formats explained below for their Virtual hard disk.

VDI option for Windows 10
VDI option for Windows 10
  • VDI (Virtualbox Disk Image): is the native format of VirtualBox; it offers broad compatibility with other virtualization software (like VMware…etc.).
  • VHD (Virtual Hard Disk): is the native format of Microsoft’s virtualization products.
  • VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk): is the native format of VMware, another virtualization application.

Select the VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) option, since it’s the most common one, and click on Next.

Now, select how you want your storage to be from the given options.

Dynamically allocated disks are faster to create and can grow to larger sizes. While Fixed size disks may be quicker to use, but can’t grow any larger once filled up. we will use Fixed Size Disks for now.

Windows 10 VM and storage selection
Windows 10 VM and storage selection

By default, the VirtualBox sets your Virtual hard disk to 50GB which you can change according to your use. Change the File location and size of your VM storage in the File Location and Size window and click on Create. clicking on Create will start creating VM for Windows 10 on VirtualBox.

2- Enable Shared Clipboard and Drag and Drop

Now, open VirtualBox settings by selecting Windows 10 VM on the left side and clicking on the Setting icon on the right side. In the General setting, click on Advance and enable Shared Clipboard and Drag’n’Drop option. It allows users to exchange files between Virtual OS and primary OS.

3- Configure Windows 10 VM

In the System setting, unmark the Floppy from Boot order and bring Optical to the top by clicking on the up arrow on the side.

Here you can also change the amount of RAM assigned for the Virtual Machine. If you are going to install Windows 10 in UEFI mode, then enable the EFI option too.

In the Processor tab, you can configure the number of processors for your VM according to your host CPU. For example, if you have an 8-Core Processor, select 4 virtual cores for your Windows 10’s Virtual Machine.

In the Display setting, configure your Video Memory size to the maximum, so VirtualBox uses more GPU, resulting in better graphics. You can also enable 3D acceleration to get better performance.

In the USB setting, enable the USB Controller and select the USB 3.0 Controller. The Storage setting will appear, click on the Controller: SATA and enable the Host I/O Cache option. This will allow you to avoid a common performance problem after installing Windows 10 in VirtualBox.

Note: For better performance, you can also configure the VDI extension file (under Controller: SATA) as Solid-State Drive (SSD). The SSD is faster at data reading and transferring as compared to HDD.

open Windows 10 iso file
open Windows 10 iso file

Click on the Empty option under the VDI extension file and on the side, click on the disk icon. It will open a window, where you will select Windows 10 ISO File. Now, locate the downloaded Windows 10 ISO file and click on the Open button.

Windows 10 ISO file selected to boot
Windows 10 ISO file selected to boot

If you have reached here, it means that you have configured the settings. Now close the settings by clicking on the OK button.

Related: How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB without Third-party apps?

4- Boot Windows 10

Now that we have created a Virtual PC and have configured the settings. It’s time to install Windows 10. Before you begin the installation, you will need to boot Windows 10 here. Click on the Start button to initiate the installation of Windows 10. A start-up disk will appear, select the Windows 10 ISO Image File and click on Start.

5- Installation of Windows 10

Simply follow the steps given below to install Windows 10 properly.

1. Select your Windows Language, Keyboard layout, and Time format and click on Next.

install windows 10
install windows 10 on VirtualBox

2. This window is only helpful if you’re looking to repair and or have already installed Windows, but now which is not the case, simply click on the Install now.

3. Enter your Windows 10 product key if you have one. Otherwise, click on I don’t have a product key.

select Windows 10 edition on VB
select Windows 10 edition on VB

4. Select Windows 10 editions that you want to install on your VirtualBox from the given list and click on the Next button.

5. Read carefully and accept Windows 10 License Terms to continue.

6. Since we are installing Windows 10 from scratch, select the Custom Install Windows only option.

7. In this window, you can configure your Windows disk storage by selecting the Unallocating Space and clicking on New > Apply. A window will pop up, ensuring you that windows will create a separate disk to make it work correctly.

8. To continue, select your already partitioned disk and click on the Next button.

9. The system will start installing Windows 10 on VirtualBox. This process can take time; it will depend upon how fast your system is. During the installation, many reboots will happen. Once the installation is done, the setup wizard will give a countdown to restart the system. You can also manually continue the system by clicking on the Restart now button.

Related: How to Enable Hyper-V in Windows 10?

6- Personalize Windows 10 on VirtualBox

Note: If a window appeared with Press any key to boot from CD or DVD…; then please be patient and don’t press any button. The Virtual Machine is booting again your Windows 10 setup file.

Windows might take longer than usual in its first start-up since its preparing all the services and features.

1. Once the startup is done, you will be asked to either Customize or use Express settings. If you want to customize the settings, click on the customize option or continue with Express settings.

2. Next, you have to select the Windows owner; it can either be for Personal use or for Work purposes. Choose your preferred option and click on Next.

3. You can either Login with your Microsoft account to make your computer more secure or simply skip it by clicking on the Skip this step option.

4. In this window, you are required to make a username and password.

5. Last but not least, you will meet Cortana (a windows personal assistance). You can either use Cortana as your assistance or disable it by clicking on Not now.

Now that you have set up your Windows, you just have to wait for windows to prepare everything. Once the preparation is done, you are good to go. You can now use your Windows 10 on VirtualBox.

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