Windows 11

How to run Windows 11 on Mac? Software and Hardware Requirements

How to run Windows 11 on Mac? Software and Hardware Requirements

Recently, the Windows 11 Insider build is released. Many PC enthusiasts like ourselves are excited to try this new operating system. Also, some Mac users are keen to try it on their systems. It is now not surprising that Windows 11 can run on Mac. You can do that both on Apple Silicon M1-based Mac and Intel Mac. Before getting into the details of how to run this OS on Mac, let’s first know the hardware requirement:

Hardware requirements to run Windows 11 on Mac:

All Macs are not eligible to operate Windows 11 because this OS comes with more strict hardware requirements than Windows 10. Here are the hardware requirements:

  • 64-bit CPU with more than 2 cores and 1 GHz clock speed
  • At least 64 GB disk space
  • At least 4 GB RAM
  • TPM (Trusted Platform Module) version 2.0
  • UEFI and Secure Boot Compatible
  • Direct X 12 or above graphics card
  • Internet connection

Things you need for running Windows 11 on Mac:

  • A working Mac computer
  • Windows 11 ISO Image
  • USB flash drive (USB 3.0 preferable)
  • Mac Backup Software (Time Machine)

Method-1: Run Windows 11 Virtual Machine on Mac:

If you want to efficiently run Windows 11 on Mac without much power consumption of the Mac hardware, then this method is perfect. It is a faster one compared to other methods in this list. If you want to use Windows 11 occasionally, it is recommended to create a Windows 11 virtual machine. It is an easy and safe method, but the only limitation is it offers poor performance. Few of the big games or apps may not run smoothly.

For creating a Windows 11 virtual machine on Mac, choose either VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop. They are one of the finest virtual machine software for Mac. Also, they come with an easy setup process. One prime benefit of these virtual machines is they don’t need to reboot or dual-boot your Mac each time you use Windows 11.

Here are the steps:

  • Install virtual machine software like VMware Fusion from the following link:

  • Now import Windows 11 ISO.
  • Set memory, CPU core, and hard disk for that particular virtual machine.
  • Follow the default option to finish the process.
  • After the Windows 11 virtual machine is set up, you can now run Windows 11 and macOS without rebooting.

Method-2: Run Windows 11 on Mac through external SSD:

The above method (Option 1) will not work for a Mac that has only 128 GB of internal storage because Windows requires at least 70 GB to operate smoothly. In that case, the alternative approach is to install the OS on an external USB and then connect it to Mac.

For the same, WintoUSB Pro software is perfect. It needs a Windows virtual machine or Windows PC.

Follow these steps:

  • Connect an external SSD to a PC and then format the drive to FAT32 (Not NTFS).
  • Now download and install WintoUSB Pro software from the below link:

  • In this step, add Windows 11 ISO image to the program and choose a Windows version.
  • Now you will be prompted to choose the drive to install Windows 11. So, select the attached drive on this PC.
  • Select a boot and setup mode. Render the settings by default and click on the ‘Start’ button to install Windows 11 on an external SSD.
  • Connect the SSD to Mac and hold the ‘Option‘ key during restart.
  • Choose the SSD from Mac Startup Manager, and eventually, you will see Windows 11 loading on Mac.

Method-3: Run Windows 11 on Mac through Boot Camp:

Apple’s app –Boot Camp allows you to set up a Windows boot with macOS on a solitary hard drive. This app contains macOS by default. So, there is no need to download or install any other software. No additional settings are needed. The Boot Camp app looks after all technical details.

Follow these steps:

  • Open Launchpad and search for ‘boot camp.’
  • Run Boot Camp Assistant app from the search result, which will then show the Boot Camp app on the screen.
  • Now on macOS Big Sur, it is necessary to discard external storage devices presently connected to the computer. It implies that you first need to copy Windows 11 ISO on your Mac.
  • Click the ‘Continue’ button to proceed. (At this moment, Boot Camp verifies the system information to know whether this Mac is fully compatible with installing Windows 11 or not. Confirm that your Mac has at least 42 GB free space else; you will get an error.)
  • Install Windows screen will be shown. From that screen, choose Windows 11 ISO file and then load it to the Boot Camp app.
  • Now you will observe the current disk divided into two partitions –one for macOS and another for Windows 11. In this step, you need to create more room for Windows partition if you prefer to use Windows 11 extensively on the Mac.
  • Click on the ‘Install’ button at the bottom to begin the installation of Windows 11.

After installation completes, Boot Camp will install Windows Support Software to confirm that all hardware is working well when Windows 11 is used on the Mac.

Method-4: Run Windows 11 on Mac and Run without Boot Camp:

Though Boot Camp comes with useful features, it has several restrictions. If the Boot Camp does not work correctly, then you can still run Windows 11 on Mac. For that, you need to create a Windows 11 bootable USB. Here are all the steps:

  • Firstly, back up important files on your Mac.
  • Insert a USB flash drive and then install UUByte ISO Editor on Mac. Use the following link:

  • Open the UUByte app and click on the ‘Burn’ tab present on the welcome screen.
  • In the following window, import Windows 11 ISO and choose the drive name for USB.
  • Click on the ‘Burn’ button to begin creating a Windows 11 bootable USB. (Once the burning process completes, you will see a message.)
  • Open the Disk Utility app and choose Apple SSD.
  • In this step, you have to make a partition for the installation of Windows 11. Click the ‘Partition’ menu at the right menu bar and select ‘Partition’ from the pop-up window.
  • Go to the blank space of the Apple SSD and click on the ‘+’ icon to create a new partition.
  • Assign a name to the newly created partition and select the partition format as MS-DOS (FAT).
  • To alter the size of the Windows partition, drag the small circle to vary the size.
  • Click on ‘Apply’ to make a new Windows depending on the parameters defined by you.
  • Now insert the bootable USB and reboot your Mac.
  • When Mac restarts, continue pressing the ‘Option’ key.
  • Click on the USB drive name, and then the Windows 11 installation screen is displayed.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to install Windows 11.
  • Choose a partition for installation. It would help if you chose MS-DOS (FAT) partition, which was already created.

After the installation process completes, you can directly run Windows 11 on the Mac.

If any of the hardware is not functioning properly in Windows partition or during installation, you need to install Windows Support Software on a USB drive with the help of the Boot Camp Assistant app. After the download completes, a WindowSupport folder will be available on the USB drive. Now switch to Windows 11 and double-click on the setup.exe present in the WindowsSupport BootCamp folder. Doing this installs the missing drivers for Windows 11 operating system.

Concluding Note:

From the discussed methods for running Windows 11 on Mac, you can prioritize the Boot Camp app method if the app is working well on Mac. If you don’t use Windows 11 extensively on Mac, the virtual machine method discussed above can be helpful. For the Mac with limited storage space, it is recommended to run Windows 11 on an external SSD and boot it from Mac once installation completes.

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