You can use Boot Camp to install Windows on supported Mac models that have OS X Yosemite or later installed. It’s not that easy switching from a Windows to a Mac and I know there are the many of you out there who currently face this problem. Boot Camp is a very simple and straight-forward process that enables you to run Windows 10 Operating System on your Mac. This doesn’t mean your Mac seizes to be a Mac; Boot Camp installs Windows in a dual-boot configuration.
Do you really need Boot Camp?
Before we proceed with the details on how to install Windows in Boot Camp, you should first stop and think about whether or not that is the best choice for your needs, because there are also a couple of drawbacks to consider.
If all you need to do is run a few Windows applications on your Mac, and those applications aren’t games or something that requires a lot of resources, you might consider using a virtual machine like Parallels (there’s a free trial), VMware Fusion, or VirtualBox to run that software instead. The vast majority of the time you don’t actually need to use Boot Camp, and you’d be better off using a virtual machine.
The benefit of Boot Camp, of course, is that you are running Windows directly on the hardware, so it will be a lot faster than a virtual machine.
- 8GB or more USB Drive (High Recommended) . This will be used to install Windows and the appropriate drivers on your Mac.
- Apple recommends backing up your files before partitioning or installing Windows. It’s always good to have backups before doing something that could potentially be destructive. If you make a mistake or the partitioning process fails due to a bug, you could lose your files. If you’re careful, this shouldn’t happen.
- You need support software (drivers) installed with Boot Camp to use Windows 10. This software is automatically downloaded when you use Boot Camp Assistant. Boot Camp supports 64-bit versions of Windows 10 when used with a supported Mac.
- Windows 10 is available from Microsoft as an ISO file and a USB flash drive. You need an ISO file of the 64-bit version of the Windows 10 installer to install Windows on your Mac. If you purchased the USB flash drive version you can download an ISO from Microsoft and use the Windows installation key that came with your flash drive. If you’re installing Windows for the first time, make sure the Windows installer you’re using is for a full installation (not an upgrade installer).
- If you’re installing an ISO of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update using a flash drive, make sure it’s USB 2. Installation using a USB 3 flash drive doesn’t work.
Perform a new install of Windows 10
Use these steps if you’re installing Windows on your Mac for the first time:
- Make sure you have a Mac that supports Windows 10.
- Check for software updates to make sure macOS, your Mac firmware, and Boot Camp Assistant are up to date.
- Open Boot Camp Assistant from the Utilities folder (or use Spotlight to find it).
- Use Boot Camp Assistant to install a new copy of Windows.
Perform an upgrade install of Windows 10
If you have an earlier version of Windows already installed on your Mac, you can use these steps to upgrade to Windows 10:
Upgrading from 64-bit versions of Windows
You can upgrade existing 64-bit installations of Windows 7, or 8.1 to Windows 10. You need at least 10 GB of free space on your Windows partition. If you have Windows 8.0, update to Windows 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10.
- Make sure you have a Mac that supports Windows 10.
- Start your Mac from macOS.
- When your Mac desktop appears, choose App Store from the Apple menu. Click the Updates tab in the App Store window to check for software updates. Make sure macOS and your Mac firmware are up to date.
- Start your Mac from the version of Windows you currently have installed.
- Open Apple Software Update for Windows and install available updates, including the FaceTime Camera Update.
FaceTime is not available in all countries or regions.
- Use the Windows installer to upgrade Windows.
- After installation is complete, open Apple Software Update for Windows again and install available updates to make sure the Windows Support Software (drivers) for Boot Camp are up to date. As part of driver installation, your Mac might restart one or more times.
After driver installation is complete, log in to Windows to begin using Windows 10 on your Mac.
Upgrading from 32-bit versions of Windows
If you have an existing 32-bit installation of Windows on your Mac, you will need to back up your important files so that you can remove the existing Windows partition and install a 64 bit version of Windows.
- Back up any important files from your Windows partition.
- Use Boot Camp Assistant to remove the existing Windows partition.
- Use Boot Camp Assistant to install a 64-bit version of Windows 10 on your Mac.
- After you install Windows, copy your important files back to your Windows drive.
Features supported in Windows 10
The current version of Windows support software (drivers) available from Boot Camp Assistant includes support for the following features of your Mac in Windows 10:
- USB 3
- Built-in SD or SDXC card slot
- Built-in or USB Apple Super Drive
- Your Apple keyboard, track pad, and mouse
Credit: Apple Inc