How Can I Run Windows on my Mac?

How Can I Run Windows on my Mac?

The world has gone mad - that Intel Mac you bought can run Windows. That’s a good thing if you need to use a Windows-only app occasionally. Here you’ll find two ways to get Windows on your Mac - one officially sanctioned by Apple (Boot Camp), and another that makes use of the virtualization technology hidden inside your Intel-based Mac.


Dual-Boot with Boot Camp

Dual-booting is a fancy term for splitting your hard drive into two bootable volumes, each with its own operating system. This method requires you to restart your Mac to switch between Mac OS X and Windows - the Parallels method doesn’t. Note that Boot Camp is still beta software, so back up your data thoroughly and be extra careful with each step.


What You Need

> An Intel-based Mac

> Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later ($129)

> Boot Camp Assistant beta 1.1.2 or later (free)

> Single-disc version of Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 ($200 to $300)


1. Get Current

First, get your Mac up to date: Fire up Software Update (Apple Menu > Software Update), and install the Mac OS X 10.4.6 update if you don’t already have it. But wait, there’s more - going dual-platform also requires a firmware update. Go to and find the latest firmware for your Mac. Follow the installation instructions that come with the firmware. Now would also be a good time to back up everything on your Mac.


2. Gather Your Tools

You need a few more items before installing Windows. Get your single-disc copy of Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 (SP2). (If you’re just doing this on a lark and don’t plan on keeping XP around, you can install it from a borrowed disc and use it for 30 days before the built-in Windows-activation police disable Windows XP.) If you’re concerned with performance, know that XP Professional supports multiple-core processors - XP Home doesn’t. Next, proceed to Apple’s Boot Camp site to download and install the free Boot Camp software - a 143MB package.


3. Install Windows

Double-click the Boot Camp Assistant icon (/Applications/Utilities) and follow the onscreen prompts as the Assistant does everything for you. First, it burns a disc of drivers you’ll need to install into Windows later; just insert a blank disc when prompted and click OK. The Assistant will ask how much of your available disk space you want to dedicate to the Windows OS (the default 10GB leaves about 1GB of free space on the Windows volume, which is fine for now). With your driver disc at the ready, insert a Windows XP installation disc and click Start Installation.


READ THIS: Boot Camp Caveats

During the Windows installation, make sure you install on the C: partition - otherwise, you’ll destroy the Mac OS partition, leaving you with a Windows-only Mac. Wipe that awful image from your mind and follow these tips to get through safely:


Emergency Eject

After you install Windows but before you install the drivers, your Mac’s Eject key probably won’t work. To eject the Windows XP install disc, go to Start > My Computer, find the optical-drive icon (labeled D:), Control-click it, and select Eject from the pop-up menu.


Weasely Warnings

If the driver installation grinds to a halt, check the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen for alerts that are hidden behind the main installer window. Windows throws up these errors for every driver that’s not certified by Microsoft - just click OK to dismiss them.


Escape Hatch

Hang on to your Boot Camp Assistant app - it can cleanse Windows XP from your Mac just as easily as it installed it.




+ Add a Comment

Tom Wickline

You can use Promo Code ( Tribeca ) and receive a 25% discount off CrossOver for Linux and Mac.



My question regards an already partitioned hard drive, where I made the mistake of using my schools version of Windows XP which my mac is saying is a bootleg version. So if I invest in a legit version of Windows XP and install it, should I have no problems?? Because now it keeps coming up with the window to make the Windows software legit.
Any help would be a great help.



It seems that Mac don't support windows.Espow has the best wireless home intercom system



I also dint know How Can we Run Windows on our Mac.

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I just bought a MacBookPro for nearly 3G's and I did so because the salesman 3000 miles away said I could intall the windows Media Center on my new Mac. I've got 7 yrs worth of collected games, flight sims and associated hardware that I can't use now. The MS people told me they would help me to install my copy of Media Center from the recovery disc, but on a 3 way call with APPLE they said it can't be done. I know someone somewhere can do it ... anybody here?




I wish that there was a version for non-intel Macs. Can't even find a Virtual PC that does this any more.


With all of the talk about running Windows on a Mac I haven't heard anyone mention Codeweavers whereas you don't need "Windows" to run "Windows" applications.



Crossover has a 30-day free trial before you pay the sixty bucks if you like it. I downloaded it, and used it for the 30 days just to play some Windows games for a while. The free trial period on the games ran out at just about the time as the free trial ran out on Crossover.



too bad this only works for intel says it right on the homepage


Jeff Jawer

VMWare and Parallels both allow you to run Windows and Mac at the same time, which you can't do with Boot Camp. These are relatively inexpensive ($80) solutions that work very well.

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