Boot Camp is a feature in macOS that lets users install Windows 10 in a separate partition on their MacBook or iMac. Once installed, users can easily switch between macOS and Windows 10, and also view files that are stored in each operating system’s partition. Unlike a virtual machine, a Boot Camp Windows installation runs at native speed, which means that users get the full performance of their hardware. Here is a guide on how you can Windows 10 up and running on your Mac using Boot Camp.
Here’s all you need to get started with the installation:
- A compatible Mac updated to the latest version of macOS Mojave
- A Windows 10 Home or Professional license
- A Windows 10 ISO file
- A USB drive (if your Mac doesn’t support Windows installation without an external drive)
- Enough storage to install Windows. 50GB or above works the best but your mileage may vary, specially if you want to install games.
Does your Mac support Windows 10?
Although Boot Camp has been a part of macOS since a long time, for the purpose of this guide, we’ll look at the requirements for the latest version, macOS Mojave. Apple only supports 64-bit versions of Windows 10 Home and Professional, on 2012 or later Mac models.
- iMac Pro (2017)
- iMac (2012 and later)
- Mac mini (2012 and later)
- Mac mini Server (Late 2012)
- MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
- MacBook Air (2012 and later)
- MacBook (2015 and later)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
If you have the below Macs, you will not need a USB drive to create a installation disk for Windows 10. These Macs support installation directly from the ISO file.
- MacBook Pro (2015 and later)
- MacBook Air (2015 and later)
- MacBook (2015 and later)
- iMac (2015 and later)
- iMac Pro
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Download Windows 10 ISO file
The first step is to download the right Windows 10 ISO file or Disc image for your license. Luckily, Microsoft has made it really easy to download it from their website.
Go to Microsoft’s website and select the latest edition. At the moment, Microsoft has made available 2 last editions for download, since the October 2018 update had a lot of breaking bugs.
When you are given an option to chose between 64-bit or 32-bit downloads, select the 64-bit version.
The last step is to chose right right language. Your ISO file will start downloading after this.
Use Boot Camp Assistant
Once your Windows ISO has been downloaded, open Boot Camp Assistant in macOS. Click Continue.
Point ISO image to your file and select the amount of storage space you want to dedicate to your Windows partition. Chose this carefully as you cannot resize partitions after installing Windows. Click install when done.
Alternatively, if you have to use a USB drive to create a Windows 10 installation disk, plug it in at this screen and Boot Camp assistant will format it and burn the ISO to it.
Boot Camp will now download the latest version of its Windows app and drivers. The files will be saved on the USB drive, if you are using one, else the files will be saved in internal storage.
This process might take time, depending on your Internet speed. Once it’s done, you will have to restart your Mac. Your Mac will boot into the Windows 10 setup. Go through the setup prompts and select the right version of Windows based on your license so you can activate it later.
Once setup completes, Boot Camp driver and app installation will automatically start. Once it’s complete. open up Windows Update to download the latest drivers and updates, if any.
Your Windows 10 installation and basic setup is complete.
Switch between Windows and macOS
There are a few ways to switch between Windows and macOS.
- In macOS, go to System Preferences > Start Up Disk, click on your Windows partition and click Restart. You might have to click the lock at the bottom left of the window and enter your password first.
- In Windows, right click on the Boot Camp icon in the system tray on the bottom right of your screen, and click on Restart in macOS.
- Press and hold the Option key when you restart or turn on your Mac. You should see the Startup Manager. Select your desired operating system here and hit return.
Things to know
Here are a few things to note that will improve your experience while using Windows in Boot Camp:
- Enable tap to click in Boot Camp settings in Windows.
- If you have a MacBook Pro with both built-in and discrete graphics, Windows 10 will only be able to use discrete graphics. This can be annoying as it leads to your MacBook Pro heating up often. There’s no workaround this so far, but we’ll update this post if we find one.
- Although Microsoft supports something called Precision touchpad that theoretically supports improved trackpads, Apple’s trackpad doesn’t support it. You have to rely on ExtraMagic to get support for multi-touch gestures.
- You cannot customize your Touch Bar in Windows. You only get the basic function keys.
- DimBar lets you dim the Touch Bar on your 2018 MacBook Pro or just turn it off.