Using Boot Camp, a built-in feature that creates a special partition on your Mac so that you can juggle between macOS and Windows (or Linux) on the same system, running Windows on a Mac device has historically been readily available. The ARM-based Macs recently revealed by Apple will not be able to use a Boot Camp scenario to support Windows 10. Parallels Desktop is an option worth exploring whether you intend to run Windows on one of these ARM Macs, or some other Mac. So, in this guide, we will show you how to install Windows 10 on macOS Big Sur without Boot Camp.
Instead, you should use a virtual machine. What it looks like is a virtual machine. It’s a virtual, real machine simulation. Without needing to partition your hard drive at all, you can install a virtual machine application on your Mac and use it to open and run a complete operating system like Windows on your laptop. You will get all operating systems running concurrently!
Parallels Desktop is one of the most common applications for Mac Virtual Machines. It has been around for a long time and, with support for the new machines and operating systems, is kept up to date.
Check your System & Hardware Requirements
Before getting started with this guide, make sure you have the minimum requirements for hardware. Here are the hardware system requirements to install Parallels Desktop.
- A Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor
- Minimum 4 GB of memory, 16 GB is recommended
- 500 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation
- Additional disk space for the guest operating system (at least 16 GB is required for Windows 10)
- SSD drive is recommended for better performance
- Internet connection for product activation and select features
Your Mac operating system should also be no older than four years.
- macOS Catalina 10.15
- macOS Mojave 10.14
- macOS High Sierra 10.13
- macOS Sierra 10.12
Additionally, your Mac must be able to support Windows 10.
- MacBook (2015 and later)
- MacBook Air (2012 and later)
- MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
- Mac mini (2012 and later)
- iMac (2012 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017 and later)
- Mac Pro (2013 and later)
So, without further ado, here’s how to install Windows 10 on macOS Big Sur without Boot Camp via Parallels Desktop:
Step 1. Download Windows 10 Disc Image File (ISO) to Install on Big Sur
Windows 10 is Microsoft’s new operating system, which brings back several features missing in previous editions and adds long-awaited features that have been available on rival software for some time now.
One of the key novelties is the introduction of the Start menu to the conventional desktop after it has vanished in Windows 8. From this, you will view most of the installed programs as well as the ‘Live Tiles’ on the Metro desktop, which is another major addition to the operating system: the Windows Store software can now be merged with the standard ones, meaning you can do them in windows.
Another much-anticipated addition is that it is now possible to operate concurrently on several virtual desktops. ‘Task Turn’ has greatly increased flexibility by allowing you to switch from one window and the other, meaning it’s much more fluid to use a lot of apps concurrently.
All of these features have been merged into a single version of Windows that covers all of the platforms it may possibly have. This ensures that the same version of Windows 10 will run on both desktops and ultra-compact devices.
Step 2. Download & Install Parallels Desktop on macOS Big Sur
When it comes to providing Windows experience to Mac users, Parallels Desktop 15 is unmatched. The most recent version of the software is compatible with the latest version of macOS, allowing you to emulate Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10 as a guest operating system (although you’ll want to be careful about what you’re doing with them since support for Windows XP and 7 has ended). You can also use Mac and Windows applications side-by-side without rebooting, and provide tools to move files between operating systems quickly, start programs from your Mac dock and access the cloud storage.
There are several other tricks added to the latest version, such as the ability to send email attachments directly from the Finder, sharing screenshots between operating systems, Sidecar and Apple Pencil compatibility, and many other welcome new features.
The app features a quick configuration wizard for beginners and supports DirectX 9 to 11 Retina displays and sophisticated 3D graphics. The operating systems of Linux and Solaris can also be emulated by Comparisons, but the tightest convergence is when combined with the new version of Windows. There’s also a technical version with improved integration, support, and networking options in addition to the standard app, and a corporate version with enterprise-level managers. There are $80 new licenses available, and an update to the current edition costs $40.
- Integration with macOS
- Much better than Boot Camp
Step 3. Create a New Virtual Machine
Once, you have downloaded Windows 10 ISO file and Parallels Desktop then it’s time to create a new virtual machine.
- Open your Parallels application, then select File and click New.
- Click Skip if you have already downloaded Windows 10 ISO file.
- Click the Install Windows or another OS from DVD or image file icon and then click Continue.
- Normally, Parallels will detect the installation file automatically and click Continue. However, you can also select manually by clicking Choose Manually.
- If you have the Windows License Key then enter it and click Continue. If not uncheck the box next to Enter Windows license key for faster installation option and click Continue.
- Select any Windows 10 edition and click Done. In our case, we are going to select Windows 10 Pro.
There are several ways to use Windows on Mac. Choose the option most suitable for you and Parallels will optimize your Windows experience accordingly. Parallels Desktop Lite lets you choose from using it for Productivity (general work), Gaming, Graphic Design, or Software Development. Click Continue.
- Give your virtual machine a name and select where you want it to be saved. The name could be as simple as “Windows 10” or anything you choose. Click Create.
Step 4. Install & Setup Windows 10 on Parallels Desktop
Your computer will start installing your new Windows system. Just follow the on-screen instructions. Once it’s finished installing, just open the app or click the Power button from the list of virtual machines on Parallels to launch Windows.
Finally, you have successfully installed Windows 10 on Mac via Parallels Desktop.
That’s it. This is how you can install Windows 10 on macOS Big Sur via Parallels Desktop virtual machine. Apple’s newly released ARM-based Macs won’t be able to support Windows 10 with a Boot Camp scenario. Parallels Desktop is an option worth exploring whether you intend to run Windows on one of these ARM Macs, or some other Mac.