How To Install Windows 10 On MacBook

Though Apple has built an admirable operating system environment which lives up to the mark of modern times. Sometimes, a user simply prefers or just needs Windows. While hard for Apple to admit, thankfully it has built a specific app for that transition from macOS to Windows on its hardware. The app is called Boot Camp and is the easiest and recommended way to get Windows on your Mac.

Though many Mac users opt for Apple computers essentially for the macOS experience, still you can’t rule out the advantage of having both macOS and Windows on the same machine. Sometimes the Boot Camp Assistant might not work quite as it should, nevertheless, there is virtually always a workaround available for any such issues.

You need to back up your Mac before you go any further. Though Boot Camp is quite stable, during the partition of your hard drive anything can go wrong and you’d better want to be on the safe side.

Windows with Boot Camp

Apple has provided a special tool called Boot Camp, recognizing the captivating nature of the Windows environment for certain gaming users or just a curious soul trying out Windows 10 on Apple’s elegant hardware. Using Boot Camp you can easily install Microsoft Windows on your Mac machine. This mechanism primarily gives you dual boot option – either switch to macOS or Windows when starting your Mac.

Requirements To Install Windows 10 On MacBook

Before going ahead with the process itself make sure you have the Mac that supports Windows 10. Apple has specifically mentioned compatible models.

  • MacBook 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air 2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro 2012 or later
  • Mac mini 2012 or later
  • iMac 2012 or later
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro 2013 or later

Now if you do have a Mac that fills these criteria, that’s good news. Ensure to have at the least 64GB of free storage space is necessary, though 128GB of free storage space gives the optimum experience. An automatic Windows update requires more space for proper updates installation. Also how much memory (RAM) you have, that much storage space need to be available for Windows to work properly.

A USB flash drive is required with a storage capacity of 16GB at least, though there are some Mac variants that don’t require a flash drive for installation of Windows. The following models using OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later doesn’t require a USB to install Windows.

  • MacBook 2015 or later
  • MacBook Air 2015 or later
  • MacBook Pro 2015 or later
  • iMac 2015 or later
  • Mac Pro late 2013
  • iMac Pro (all models)

Prior to following the guide make sure to update macOS to latest available updates as to evade any compatibility issues. Backup your Mac in case something goes wrong, so you’ll be able to recover your data.

Download Windows 10 ISO file

Step 1: Head over to the Microsoft website and Windows 10 ISO file.

Step 2: Under the Select edition drop-down menu select the Windows 10 edition you want to download.

Step 3: Once selected the desired edition of Windows. Click Confirm.

Step 4: It’ll take a second to validate and then present a Select the product language drop menu. Select the language you want your Windows 10 in.

Step 5: After choosing language click Confirm.

Step 6: You’ll be presented with two versions – 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 10 download buttons. Chose 64-bit Download.

Step 7: You’ll be prompted with a download prompt box, click Save. The browser will download the Windows 10 ISO file.

As the file is 4.6GB it might take some time depending on your internet connection speed, once the ISO file is downloaded move on to the next steps below.

Download Support Software

Step 1: Start Boot Camp Assistant.

Step 2: Once it is open under the menu bar click Actions menu and select Download Windows Support Software.

Step 3: A save dialog box will appear, select the desired location for the file to save. Wait for it to download all the necessary files.  Now the system is ready to move on with the installation.

Bootable USB Installer

In case you are installing Windows on your Mac for the first time, don’t use an upgrade, use a full version of Windows. Microsoft recommends 6GB or larger install medium because the Windows 10 file itself if 4.6GB. Users advise using 8GB USB flash drive.

Step 1: Launch Disk Utility after inserting your USB flash drive into the computer.

Step 2: In Disk Utility chose your drive from the list on the left side. Press Erase and ensure there isn’t any important data you haven’t backed up yet.  

Step 3: Give it a recognizable name like WindowsInstall and in the Format section select ExFAT as your file system.

Step 4: Click Erase, it’ll clean your USB drive for Windows mounting.

Step 5: Copy (Cmd + C) all the Windows 10 installation files from Windows ISO and mount it onto your USB flash drive.

Step 6: Paste (Cmd + V) all the Windows 10 files onto your USB flash drive.

Step 7: Also copy the WindowsSupport folder content you downloaded a little while ago to the root directory of your USB installer. Copy the content of the WindowsSupport folder don’t just drag the folder to the USB drive.

Now your Windows 10 installation USB is ready to roll.

Mac Internal Drive

Now you need to open Boot Camp Assistant while your USB flash drive is still attached. And prepare your Mac’s internal drive for the dual boot setup and Windows 10 installation.

Step 1: Open Boot Camp Assistant with your USB flash drive connected.

Step 2: Press Continue to proceed with the process.

Step 3: Uncheck both Create a Windows 7 or later install disk and Download the latest Windows support software from Apple. Because we’ve already performed both the tasks.

Step 4: Check to Install Windows 7 or later version.

Step 5: Press Continue to proceed.

Step 6: Now you’ll be presented with Create a Partition for Windows screen. Where you can assign drive space for your Windows partition. You can either chose Divide Equally or hold and drag the slider to divide the space sharing among Windows and macOS partitions.

Step 7: Press Install, you’ll be asked to put an administrator password to proceed with the installation. macOS will partition the drive and ask again for the password, once you input the password system will restart and Windows installer will begin.

Note: If the content of the WindowsSupport folder is not properly copied you’ll be presented with an error message about missing Windows support software. Ensure that you copy the content to the root of your USB drive.

Install Windows 10 on Mac

Windows installer will begin automatically after the system restarts. In case it doesn’t boot up to the Windows installer or accidentally canceled by you, you can easily resume or restart the process.

Step 1: Enter the Windows 10 USB installer.

Step 2: Restart your Mac in case it is running.

Step 3: Press Option key while your Mac boots, this will show the boot menu.

Step 4: Choose the EFI Boot and select the arrow to start the installer.

Rest of the process is the same, go through the regular installation process of Windows 10. When asked to enter product key, you can go with I don’t have a product key to continue the Windows 10 install process. Though it is recommended to buy a product key if you want to enjoy all the features of Microsoft Windows. Mac will download any drivers missing for your system including Boot Camp drivers. Mac will boot into Windows 10 once the process is finished installing Windows 10.

Step 5: Once the Windows 10 install setup reaches the point where you have to specify the partition where you want to install the Windows. Use partition named BOOTCAMP in the list, Format it first and you’ll be able to proceed. Press Next to further the installation process.

Configure & Install Drivers

Once your Windows get installed you’ll be asked to enter some information like your region and keyboard layout. Most probably the wireless adapter will not work with Windows inherently, so press Skip for now when you are asked to connect to a network.

Create a user account the same way as you’d on another machine, select a password and add a couple of security questions, Windows will configure your desktop. The system will restart a number of times after that Windows will be set for use. The Windows beings with the Boot Camp installer running. Press Next and then Install to proceed with the driver installation. This will allow you to install all the necessary drivers to work with your Mac. Click install on any other popup that you see while the installation of Boot Camp. The screen will flicker somewhat and you’ll be prompted to restart the Windows after the installation is finished.

Upon rebooting into Windows, every feature of Windows should work properly. You need to go to the Start menu and run Apple Software Update which will install any additional updates that your system might need. Also, you need to run Windows Update from Settings then Update & Security and Check for updates. Now everything including wireless network, scrolling with fingers, media keys, etc. will work perfectly.

Switch between macOS and Windows 10

One of the amazing features of Boot Camp Assistant is that it allows you to switch back and forth between both the operating systems.

On Windows

Step 1: In Windows 10 taskbar press the Show hidden icons button.

Step 2: Press the Boot Camp icon.

Step 3: Press Restart with OS X. That’s this simple.

Your Mac will now restart into macOS.

On Mac

Step 1: Open System Preferences and click the Startup Disk.

Step 2: At the bottom of the window press the Lock icon to unlock, you’ll need to authenticate with your password.

Step 3: Now you need to select BOOTCAMP Windows and click Restart, this will automatically boot you into the Windows 10.

Another pretty simple alternative is you could press and hold the Options key while your system restarts until a boot menu appears. From where you can choose which operating system you want to boot into.