Run Mac in Virtual Machine on Windows

Running macOS on virtual machine in Windows OS involves creating a virtualized environment within your Windows to emulate Mac. This allows you to install and run macOS as if there is a standalone system.

This approach offers several advantages, such as the ability to test macOS applications, develop software for the Mac platform, and experience the Mac ecosystem without needing to purchase a physical Mac computer.

Applications used for this purpose

There are a few popular virtualization applications that you can use to run macOS on a virtual machine within a Windows operating system. Some of these applications include:

1. Oracle VirtualBox


VirtualBox is a free and open-source virtualization software that supports running macOS as a guest operating system. It might require some additional configuration and workarounds due to Apple’s licensing restrictions, but it’s a popular choice for running macOS on Windows.

2. VMware Workstation Player

vmware workstation for linux

VMware offers a virtualization platform that allows you to run various operating systems, including macOS, as virtual machines on a Windows host. The VMware Workstation Player is user-friendly and provides good performance.

3. Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop is a commercial virtualization application specifically designed for running macOS on Mac hardware, but it can also be used to run macOS on Windows systems. It tends to offer better integration between macOS and the host system compared to other options.


QEMU is a versatile emulator that can be used to run macOS on a Windows machine, but it usually requires more technical knowledge and configuration compared to other options.

5. Hackintosh

“Hackintosh” refers to the practice of installing macOS on non-Apple hardware. It involves creating a custom configuration and using bootloader tools to trick macOS into running on non-Apple systems. While this can provide a more authentic macOS experience, it can also be more challenging and may have compatibility issues.

macOS versions to run on VM

Various versions of macOS, depending on compatibility and virtualization software capabilities, can be run as VMs within Windows. This enables users to explore different iterations of the macOS environment. Here are some of the macOS versions that you can run on VM:

Run macOS on VM on Windows

Run Mac in Virtual Machine on Windows
Run Mac in Virtual Machine on Windows

To install a virtual machine (VM) on Windows, create a VM, and run macOS inside it:

Installing a Virtual Machine (VM) on Windows

1. Choose Virtualization Software

Select a virtualization application such as Oracle VirtualBox, VMware Workstation Player, or Parallels Desktop.

2. Download and Install

Download the chosen virtualization software from their official websites and follow the installation instructions.

Creating a VM and Running macOS

1. Download macOS Installer

Obtain a macOS installer (DMG or ISO file) from a trusted source. Make sure it’s compatible with the virtualization software.

2. Open Virtualization Software

Launch the virtualization application (e.g., VirtualBox).

3. Create New VM

  • In VirtualBox: Click New to create a new VM. Follow the wizard and allocate resources (RAM, CPU, storage).
  • In VMware: Click Create a New Virtual Machine and follow the wizard to configure settings.
  • In Parallels: Click File > New and select Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file. Choose the macOS installer.

4. Configure VM Settings

  • Assign sufficient RAM and CPU cores for optimal performance.
  • Create a virtual hard disk with enough space for macOS.

5. Install macOS

  • In VirtualBox: Select the created VM, click Settings, and navigate to Storage. Add the macOS installer ISO as a CD/DVD drive. Start the VM, and it should boot from the macOS installer. Follow the installation process.
  • In VMware: Start the VM and boot from the macOS installer ISO. Follow the installation process.
  • In Parallels: Start the VM and follow the on-screen instructions to install macOS.

6. Complete macOS Setup

Once macOS is installed, go through the initial macOS setup process, including creating a user account and configuring settings.

7. Install Tools (Optional)

Some virtualization software offers tools or extensions to enhance the integration between the host and guest systems. Install these tools if available.

You can now use macOS within the virtual machine on your Windows host.


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