Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Microsoft has been showing if its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at its BUILD conference in California this week, and while I may be completely dedicated to my Mac, I can’t help but think Windows 8 looks pretty darn nice.

We’ve already showed you how to install the Developer Preview on a Boot Camp partition on your Mac, but there is an easier method for those of you who just want to play around. In this how-to, we’ll take you through the setup for installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine — in just four simple steps.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Step 1: Download Windows 8 Developer Preview

The first thing you’ll need, if you haven’t already got it, is the Windows 8 Developer Preview build. You can download this from dev.windows.com. You’ll have a choice between the 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I recommend you go for the former — it’s just 2.9GB as opposed to 3.6GB, and it’s all you’ll really need to play around with.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

The Windows 8 download will be a .iso file, and will likely be saved to your ‘Downloads’ folder. However, be sure to keep a note of its location — you’ll need this in step 3.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Step 2: Download VMware Fusion 4.0

Once you have your Windows 8 Developer Preview, you’ll need an application to run the virtual machine. We’re going to use VMware Fusion for this for two reasons: Firstly, it’s the easiest to set up, and secondly, if you don’t already have it you can download a free 30-day trial.

VMware Fusion 4.0 launched just last week, and is completely compatible with OS X Lion. Once you’ve downloaded the application, install it on your Mac.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Step 3: Setup Your Windows 8 Virtual Machine

So, now you have your Windows 8 download and you’ve installed VMware Fusion 4. Open up VMware Fusion and choose to create a new virtual machine. Click the ‘Continue without disc’, and then ‘Choose a disk or disk image…’.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Step 4: Locate Your Windows 8 Download & Install

Navigate to your Windows 8 Developer Preview .iso file and click ‘Next’. VMware will now ask you to choose your operating system. Windows 8 will not be available, so just select Microsoft Windows 7 instead. Click ‘Continue’ and then click ‘Finish’ in the next window.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Now wait while VMware Fusion performs its magic and sets up your Windows 8 partition. This shouldn’t take too long, but it will depend on the speed of your Mac.

Install Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine on Your Mac in Just 4 Simple Steps [How-To]

Your Windows 8 virtual machine will now be set up and ready for you to play around with. Enjoy!

  • Andri Yadi

    What about Parallels? I found it can’t install Parallels Tool in Windows 8.

  • Hyismaple

    Parallels 7 is also usable?

  • MacRat
  • ajcrow93

    I’ve used version 6 with no issues (Other than there being no sound drivers) so I should think so. 

  • KillianBell

    It sure is, however, I heard there were a few issues with Parellels, so I chose to use VMware Fusion instead. Maybe I’ll do a Parallels how-to next week if you guys would like to see one?

  • m_hardwick

    No issues with Parallels 7 that I am aware of. You could also use Virtual Box, it’s free and reportedly has no issues with Windows 8.

  • DavidWMartin

    No issues Killian – except most people try to use the Wizard in Parallels to do the install which basically won’t work for unsupported (at last officially) guest Operating Systems. You have to buy pass that and do it “manually. ” After that is works funny. Funny how your comments about how Windows 8 looks so nice compared to mine in my gallery post. lol. 

  • DavidWMartin

    I heard that as well, but haven’t had a reason to try it yet. 

  • DavidWMartin

    Yes

  • Herhor

    have a look here: http://lifehacker.com/5841065/

  • Mussett_92

    Yeah dont use parellels, VMWare Fusion is the most stable form of software.

  • Rcmcfe

    windows 8 = flipboad app on iPad…

  • EmmaMitch550555516512

    awww

    Heyy Guys, I just got a $829.99 iPåd2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for.
    I use “BïdsFïrst,com

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    Doesn’t work with Fusion 3.1.3 on Lion. Fusion crashes after you click ‘Finish’. And I don’t feel like paying $50 to play with Windows 8.

  • Brad Ashburn

    Hmm. It looks nice, but I can’t get Win8 to recognize my network connection even after installing VM Tools. 

  • John

    If i were to install this, how would i uninstall it? 

  • EmilyWolf

    ,.. I just got a $827.89 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HTV for only $251.92, they are both coming tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prîces at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for.
    I use ÉgoWin.com

  • Sharkaat

    ????

  • Logan

    Why would I want to run windows? I bought a macbook for a reason.

  • Matthew Wheeler

    What kind of stupid question is that? Macs are able to run Windows. Lots of people dual boot. Why else would someone want to run Windows 8? Because it’s new and looks interesting and people want to try it. Now for a real question. Why bother asking pointless questions?

  • P8ntpain

    Anyone else get the “hal_initialization_failed” message?

  • GrimWit

    yes, please.

  • Steve

    There is no interesting. Macs totally more genius in OS developing. When you have Mac you don’t need to install Windows, you’ll never find something “cool” or “interesting”. So, Logan was right – FOR WHAT? Stupid articles on Mac blogs.

  • jeanlouisnguyen

    I installed Windows 8 on my 2011 MBA 13.3′ using Parallels 7. As long as you don’t use the wizard, there should be no issues at all. Trackpad, webcam and sound are all working. Make sure to disable floppy disk in the VM settings. On a side note, I must say Parallels 7 is a pleasure to use with Mac OS Lion. Switching between OS is seamless and fast (Windows 7, Chrome OS and Linux – all working perfectly side-by-side).

  • RameezRafeeq

    Then why are reading this section

  • m_hardwick

    you blind son. Fusion is no where near as stable as Desktop.

  • LauraTurner55656

    If i were to install this, how would i uninstall it? ..

    Heyy Guys, I just got a $829.99 iPåd2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for.
    I use “BïdsFïrst,com

  • MacGoo

    Please don’t troll – even though this is CoM, let’s be fair: Windows 8 shows promise. It’s free to try. Why shouldn’t we try it?

  • MacGoo

    You can also use VirtualBox: http://download.virtualbox.org

    It’s free (not just a 30-day trial) and the install is about the same. If you have trouble, here’s a step-by-step: http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/15

    Note: if you’re unable to launch apps once installed, it is likely due to the Windows’ default resolution. Change the Windows 8 resolution to no less than 1280×720 and that should fix the problem.

  • Rpeacoc1

    Tried procedure with Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and VM Fusion Version 3.1.3 (416484).
    It would not let me select windows file downloaded.
    What is the procedure for my machine I cannot up date to Lion its a 32bit machine!

  • olipyle

    Yes, I am

  • Mr BKam

    Useful article, but why should we use windows on a mac?

  • baz

    Ive installed the 32-bit version of Windows 8 using parallels desktop 7. However i have no sound and cant allocate mac files from windows 8.. help..

  • baz

    Ive installed the 32-bit version of Windows 8 using parallels desktop 7. However i have no sound and cant allocate mac files from windows 8.. help..

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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