If you’re a Mac user and have been looking to try out Windows 11 on your machine, there’s some good news. Microsoft has finally released some much-needed documentation on how to get it done.
Apparently, lots of folks had been trying to install Windows 11 on their ARM-based Macs, but they ran into various issues along the way.
In case you’re wondering, the methods for running Windows on a Mac haven’t changed much. If you’re looking to go down this road, most folks still recommend using Parallels Desktop, which Microsoft now considers an authorized solution.
With Parallels, you can use virtualization to get the job done, but you won’t be running on bare bone like you could with Boot Camp on Intel-based Macs. Unfortunately, Apple isn’t cooperating on this front, so adding Boot Camp support to ARM-based Macs isn’t currently an option.
Long Road Ahead
Until now, Microsoft had only talked about running Windows on Arm devices powered by Snapdragon processors. Even when it introduced VHDX files for virtual machines, the company only mentioned its use of Qualcomm hardware.
So officially, running Windows 11 on an Apple Silicon Mac hasn’t been supported, even though Parallels has been doing it for a while now.
According to Microsoft, running Windows on Arm (whether on PCs or Macs) can affect games that use DirectX 12 or OpenGL 3.3 or higher. Additionally, some Windows features that depend on “nested” virtualization based on Microsoft Hyper-V are not supported.
These features include the Windows Subsystem for Android, Windows Subsystem for Linux, Windows Sandbox, and Virtualization-Based Security (VBS).