Windows and Mac are a dream combo — Microsoft's world-dominating operating systems run buttery smooth on Apple's quality hardware. In fact, it can be argued that Windows works better on a Mac than it does on a PC with similar specifications.
There are some significant pairings, like wine and cheese, or even mac and cheese, that never let you down. But Mac and… Windows? May sound like the oddest of couples — but it works just as well.
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That's right. Windows and Mac are a dream combo — Microsoft's world-dominating operating systems run buttery smooth on Apple's quality hardware. In fact, it can be argued that Windows works better on a Mac than it does on a PC with similar specifications.
There is only one caveat: This is possible only on Macs powered by Intel processors, i.e., pre-M1 (or early 2020) laptops.
Now, let's get down to the nuts and bolts of it — how do you install Windows on a Mac?
You need just two things, an eligible Mac and a valid copy of Windows 10.
How do I about it?
1. Download a disc image of Windows 10 from the official Microsoft website. This is called an ISO file.
2. Make sure you select the correct version (64-bit) and edition (home, enterprise, etc). If you aren't sure, just select 'Windows 10 multi-edition ISO.' It should be a 6.5-odd GB download.
3. Now, launch Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac. It will warn you to back up your hard drive before partitioning it or installing Windows. Do it (or not, your choice). Press continue.
4. The application will automatically detect the ISO
5. Allot space on your hard drive for Windows 10 by adjusting the slider that appears under ‘Install Windows.’
6. Boot Camp Assistant will install the OS, and during the installation, will prompt you to enter a valid Product Key. This will be a 25-character unique ID that comes with your copy of Windows 10.
7. Once setup is complete, Windows will install applications in the background.
8. Immediately after you log in, Boot Camp Assistant will install drivers that will let Windows make use of your Mac hardware, such as function keys and other components.
9. And you're done.
Why can't I install Windows 10 on my M1 Mac?
Apple's M1 chips are based on the ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) architecture, while Windows runs on x86-based machines. It is because of this that Windows cannot be natively installed on M1 Macs, yet. That said, Windows can still be installed on an M1 Mac, but only through a virtual machine, which is essentially a simulator. As this is not a full-fledged OS install and only a simulator, Windows 10 via virtual machine will not run as smoothly as it would on an Intel-based Mac.
Does this mean you can't install Windows 11 on your Mac?
Pretty much. As of this writing, there is no legal way to install Windows 11 on a Mac, M1 or otherwise. This is for the simple reason that one of the key components required for a machine to be eligible for Windows 11 is TPM (Trusted Platform Module) 2.0. TPM is a module that boosts security of the machine, making it harder for hackers or malicious actors to gain access to the computer.
While Macs do have TPM 2.0, it is disabled by default, and Apple has yet to allow it to be enabled through software, meaning no Windows 11 on Mac. Yet.