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How to Install Windows on your Mac with Boot Camp

How to install Windows on your Mac with Boot Camp

Boot Camp helps you install Microsoft Windows on your Mac. After you install, restart your Mac to switch between macOS and Windows.

Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need:

  • An Intel-based Mac
  • A Microsoft Windows installation media or disk image (ISO) containing a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 8 or later, Home or Pro editions.* If you're installing Windows for the first time, use a full installation (not an upgrade) disc or disk image.
  • An Apple keyboard, mouse, or trackpad, or a USB keyboard and mouse
  • At least 55GB of free disk space on your startup drive
  • A blank 16GB-or-larger USB 2.0 flash drive. (If you have one of these Mac models, you don't need a flash drive)

*Read more about system requirements to find out whether your Mac supports installing a specific version of Windows, or to learn about installing older versions of Windows. You can also learn about the requirements and steps for installing Windows 7 on your Mac.

1. Check System Requirements

Some versions of Windows require a certain processor and more hard drive space and memory (RAM) than others. Check the documentation that came with your copy of Windows to find out what you need. Then use System Information to see what your Mac currently has.
 

2. Get a Windows disk image

When you buy Windows, it comes as a disk image file (ISO) that you download or as an installation disc or USB flash drive. If your copy of Windows came on a DVD, you might need to create a disk image of it to work with Boot Camp. If your version of Windows came on a USB flash drive, you can download an ISO from Microsoft.
 

3. Open Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant guides you through installing Windows on your Mac. Open this app from the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder. Then follow the onscreen instructions to repartition your startup disk and download related software drivers for Windows. If you're prompted during installation, plug in a blank USB 2.0 flash drive.
 

4. Format your Windows partition

When you complete the assistant, your Mac will restart, opening up to the Windows installer. When you're asked where you want to install Windows, select the BOOTCAMP partition, then click Format.

This step is required only if you're using a flash drive or optical drive to install Windows. In all other cases, the correct partition is selected and formatted for you automatically. 
 

5. Install Windows and Windows Support Software

Unplug any external devices, such as displays and disks, that aren't necessary during installation. Then follow the onscreen prompts to install Windows. When installation is complete, your Mac starts up in Windows and launches an installer for Windows support software. If the screen that says "Welcome to the Boot Camp installer" doesn't appear automatically, you can install Windows Support Software manually.
 

6. Switch between macOS and Windows

After installing both Windows and Windows support software, you can switch back to macOS using the Boot Camp system tray item in Windows. Select the macOS volume, then restart your Mac. To switch from macOS to Windows, use the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Boot Camp volume, then restart your Mac. You can also hold down the Option key after restarting your Mac to choose between macOS and Windows.


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