You’ve just bought a brand new MacBook, but a problem soon arises: you can’t access your software! Windows and Mac formats aren’t always compatible between two versions of the same application. Or even use the same formats. If you need to send files to your colleagues in a specific format, or if you miss the ergonomics of Windows, there’s a solution. It’s possible to install Windows on a Mac.
A word of warning!
First of all, it should be said that the process of installing Windows on a Mac is a complicated one, requiring considerable research and investment of time. If you’re not comfortable with computers, or if your time is too valuable, we offer IT services to meet your needs.
What you need to know before installing Windows on a Mac
There are a number of things to schedule before you can install Windows on a Mac. Firstly, not all Mac models – MacBook, iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro – can support it. MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini and iMac built after 2012 can. MacBooks, however, must date from 2015 or later. All iMacs can make the switch, and Mac Pros can’t if they date from before 2013.
Check your processor
A very important fact to know! Only devices with an Intel processor can support this installation. Newer Apple computers have M1 and M2 processors that are manufactured by Apple itself, so won’t be able to make the changes. To find out your processor company, open the Apple menu at the bottom left of your taskbar. Then click on the “About this Mac” tab. The information should appear on the screen.
To complete your installation, you’ll need some space. We recommend that you have at least 64 GB of available space on your computer. If you want to put your Windows on a USB stick, make sure you have at least 16 GB of space on the stick. This is a minimum, as less space would not allow you to include all Windows files on your disk or stick. You’d end up with an incomplete Windows that only runs halfway. We recommend that you have at least 128 GB of space to allocate to your Windows, whether on a USB key or on your disk. Windows will have more freedom and, above all, will be much smoother. Non-portable computers, on the other hand, require 128 GB on the boot disk.
USB key or disk?
Some Macs and MacBooks require a USB key to start Windows, others do not. How can you tell? Macs that don’t require a USB key for installation are generally those running OS X El Capitan or later. Older versions require a USB key to install Windows on a Mac. To find out your computer’s OS and whether it’s possible to perform this operation, you can view the list of OS used by Apple on their website.
Alternatively, choose the services of Ton Consultant for an easy, hassle-free installation!
Version that can be installed from Windows on Mac
For those wishing to have the most recent version of Windows, i.e. Windows 11, this is still possible. However, there is no Apple or Microsoft-approved way of doing this. Since Apple computers don’t appreciate users making unplanned manipulations, this installation is not recommended. Instead, you’ll need a 64-bit Windows 10 product key (family or professional). It’s important that the Windows version is a full version, not a simple upgrade. Please note that if you have an installation disk, you’ll need to make a disk image from it (for the more Old School).
Preparing the boot disk
It’s important to set your hard disk to its highest security setting. Although the setting can be lowered later, it must be at its highest during installation. If your key is not genuine, the drive may refuse to install, saving you a lot of trouble.
The Boot Camp wizard, your new best friend
The Boot Camp Assistant is usually installed by default on your Apple computer, but it may not be. To do so, install it directly from the Apple website. The Boot Camp Wizard will then provide you with a number of on-screen instructions. It’s also at this point that the wizard will ask you for either a USB key, or your copy of Windows that you’ve retrieved from the Microsoft site. The wizard will also ask you how much space you want to give Windows. Make your choice carefully, as it’s irreversible. If you run out of space or make a mistake, you’ll have to start the installation all over again, and buy a new Windows key.
Among other steps, you’ll need to format your Windows partition. Just as in music, a partition structures your hard disk. Formatting it returns it to a blank state. At this point, your computer will reboot and ask you to perform some manipulations. This is perfectly normal. The computer may ask you on which partition you wish to install Windows. Simply select the partition with the name BOOTCAMP and format it. Many computers will do this automatically, but there are many exceptions where you’ll have to do it manually.
Installing Windows on a Mac
It’s important to disconnect anything you don’t need to install Windows on your computer. A computer mix-up can always occur and attempt to install Windows on something other than what you intended. After that, Windows should install just as it would on any other computer. Follow the steps provided by Windows. Then let the computer do the rest.
You’re almost there! You’re now looking at a Windows screen on your Mac, but a pop-up window will open. This is the Boot Camp wizard window, asking you for a few final instructions. If the window doesn’t open by itself, it’s important to open it manually. This step is crucial, as the installation will really be complete when the wizard tells you so. The last step is to restart your computer to check that everything is working properly, and that’s it! You’ve just installed Windows on your Mac.
What about my old system?
The magic of this procedure is that you can still access your old operating system. If you want your old data and software back, just hold down Options and ⌥ while the computer goes through its boot cycle.
No problem. It’s a process that requires a huge amount of due diligence and only works under certain conditions. We’re well aware that it’s not something that’s accessible to someone who doesn’t know their way around a computer. That’s why we offer a computer troubleshooting service through our Saint-Jérôme marketing agency, which can help you with this installation.