Since Boot Camp was introduced on Macs in 2006, running Windows on a Mac hasn’t been too difficult. Boot Camp allows users to install Windows on a Mac, running both operating systems. However that changes with Apple Silicon.
While both Windows 10 and macOS currently run on ARM, Boot Camp doesn’t work with Apple’s M1 processor. You can still run Windows 10 on an Apple M1 chip, such as on an iMac that supports M1. But you can’t do it through Boot Camp. You will have to use virtualization software.
What you need
- A Mac with Apple Silicon. Intel-powered Macs also work, but this guide is for ARM Macs. If you have an Intel Mac, use Boot Camp for it.
- Parallels Desktop you can download here. There is a free trial, but you will need a license. The home and student versions are $79.99, while the Pro and Business versions cost $99.99 a year.
- Windows 10 ISO file on ARM, available in preview here. They were made to run in a Hyper-V virtual machine, so Hyper-V on ARM is still in preview mode, so is the VHDX image file.
- Windows 10 license.
How to run Windows 10 on Apple Silicon
Install Parallels Desktop. It’s easy and very simple. Simply open the installation file, click the button to install, and follow the instructions that appear. You will come to a screen telling you that you cannot run x86 OS on ARM PC. Click tiếp tục.
You will be redirected to a page asking what you want to create. You’ll quickly find that although Windows is the primary option, there are plenty of options for Linux as well. For this tutorial, I’m focusing on Windows 10. Click tiếp tục.
After selecting Windows, it will ask you where to get the installation image file from. It automatically searches for files on your computer, so if you have a lot of images you may have to manually select them, click tiếp tục to continue.
After selecting your image file, you will receive a confirmation that you are about to install Windows 10 on your Mac. You can uncheck that option to Install operating system manually, as I did the first few times I went through this process.
Some of the next steps are only visible if you choose to install Windows manually. If not, move on to the next step like what you see below. Now, it will ask what you will use Windows 10 for. Parallels will adjust the resources that the virtual machine will use on your Mac depending on the answer you choose here.
Next, you will choose where you want to save your Windows VM on your Mac.
You will then get a progress bar indicating that a Windows 10 VM is being created on your Apple Silicon Mac.
Next you will see your virtual machine configuration and there is a button Configure to change the settings for it.
Like any virtualization software, you can change any resource you want. You can change this later, but stay tuned tab Hardware. It will let you decide what resources the Mac M1 will allocate to the Windows 10 virtual machine.
Once done, you are ready to start your Windows 10 virtual machine!
If you use the default settings, you’ll start with a local Windows account.
When Windows 10 first starts up on your Mac M1 in Parallels Desktop, you’ll see a success message.
There’s a lot of integration with macOS here. You can see from the picture above that I started with a lot of icons on my desktop. That’s because those are actually the icons on the macOS desktop. There is also a OneDrive folder hooked up to OneDrive installed on macOS, so if you start with that local account, it should still work. You can even set your default browser to Safari.
However, you’ll want to sign in with a Microsoft account. To do that, go to Settings -> Accounts and select sign in.
You will also need to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings -> Update & security -> Activation.
Then Windows will be activated. Next, go to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Insider Program and click Get started. You may have to enable some data collection tools.
Make sure you’re signed in with your account and that it’s set to Dev channel.
Then in the Windows Update tab, check for updates. You’ll have to use the betas until the Windows 10 feature update in the fall, and you’ll get the weekly betas.
You are ready to use Windows 10! Everything should work on your Apple Silicon Mac as you expect, and Parallels has put a lot of thought into making sure that the integrations you need are there.
One thing to keep in mind is that almost every built-in app on Windows 10 will tell you that it’s updating before you can open it. Until recently, these apps didn’t work. That’s because this 64-bit ARM version of Windows 10 comes with a 32-bit ARM version of its built-in apps. These apps are actually made for Windows phones. But Apple Silicon does not support 32-bit ARM applications.
According to the XDA-Developers