Mr. Johnson, a veteran designer who started his career as a DTP (desktop publishing professional) will never exchange his Macintosh computer for a Windows-based PC.
Ever since Apple released the Macintosh on 24 January 1984, it became a rage and gained popularity with desktop publishers who, till then, were dependent on Windows PCs. Since then, it has also become popular with design specialists as well as video makers, because of its power to handle graphics easily.
Unlike computers running on Windows, the biggest strength of Apple is that it designs its software and hardware, which allows the company to develop an O/S (operating system) and a suite of applications, which are optimized and tailor-made for the Mac.
However, there are occasions when Mac users need to use a Windows PC, since not all programs, especially those developed by third-party developers, run on the Mac. For example, applications such as CCleaner, Notepad++, and many other graphic and video applications are designed to run on Windows and do not work on Apple computers.
Does this mean that Apple users have no other option apart from depending on a Windows PC when using such applications? The good news is that they can use a special app to run Windows on Mac.
Will Mac Support Windows 10?
Yes, it will, if you have software to run Windows on Mac installed on it.
In this article, we shall discuss different types of Macintosh Windows Emulators that allow Mac users to run the best windows desktop software on their Apple PCs without any problems. After installing such a Mac Windows emulator, you can start running Windows programs on Mac.
Most popular emulators allow you to install Windows 10 on Macbook and run Windows in Mac as well.
Can you imagine the vast software database you have on your hands when you can run Windows on a Mac?
Occasionally, people using a Windows PC wish to run dedicated mac software on their computers. They can depend on running Mac on Windows PC with the help of these types of programs, allowing them to use Windows for a Mac.
I am sure that by now, Mac lovers are eager to know more about Windows emulators for Mac, or a program that allows them to download, install, and run Windows on a Mac. After installing Windows on their Mac O/S, they can then install Windows-only programs on their Macintosh operating system.
Can A Mac Support Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP?
Although Mac now supports Windows with the help of the Windows platform for Mac, many people still use XP, even though Microsoft does not support this operating system anymore.
However, you can use the Mac's inbuilt Boot Camp application if you are looking for software that supports Windows XP for Mac. Although Boot camp 4 does not support Windows XP and Vista, older Mac computers running on Mac operating systems before Lion can run Windows XP and Vista on their Mac computers.
You can also install and run Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 with the help of Boot Camp Assistant in macOS High Sierra and earlier.
Although Boot camp, developed by Apple, allows you to install Windows together with macOS on your Macintosh, its downside is that you can run only a single operating system at one time.
This nifty software will enable you to partition the hard disk drive to dual-boot OS X right next to Windows. You have to restart your Mac computer each time you want to switch between Windows and macOS.
Best Option to, Conveniently, Run Windows on Your Mac (XP, 2000, Vista, 8, 7, 10 & Others)
A very good and viable option for running Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, 2000, XP, and more on your Mac will be to make use of Parallels Desktop for Mac.
This is because, apart from Windows 10, Parallels also supports other platforms and Operating Systems, which it terms as ‘Guest Operating Systems'.
Operating systems supported by Parallels also include those that are outside of the Windows family, such as:
- And many more
You can check here to see if Parallels supports your operating system.
Windows Operating System for Mac — How to Get Windows on Macintosh
Many readers who know that running Windows on a Mac is now possible with the help of Windows software for Mac, might be worried as to whether their Mac supports Windows 10 or not.
Mac Computer Support for Windows 10
The following will support Windows 10 with the Parallels software:
Mac, iMac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air running on:
- macOS Sierra 10.12
- macOS High Sierra 10.13
- macOS Mojave 10.14
- macOS Catalina 10.15
- mac OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6
- mac OS X Leopard Server 10.5
- and many more
You may check here to see how much support exists for your Mac.
If you have any of the above Mac computers, you can use Mac Windows emulation software that provides Mac support for Windows 10.
I shall also explain later on in this article how to install Windows 10 on Mac and run both programs for Mac and Windows on your favorite Macintosh.
The Windows PC emulator for Mac OS X allows you to download Windows on Mac, install it, and run Windows application on Mac.
The virtualization software for Mac is a boon for Mac users who want to use Windows-only software on their Mac.
Find below a list of popular software that allows you to install Windows on Mac. The brief details of each will help you decide the best way to run Windows on Mac.
A Word About Wine
I shall not be discussing Wine, a program that will enable users to run PC on Mac, as it is buggy and does not support all Windows programs. You can, however, use it to try to run Windows apps on your Mac. It is available for free download.
CrossOver is a good application that runs Windows-based software on the Mac. Based on Wine, It has a nice GUI and focuses on officially supporting popular Windows programs.
If you face any problems with any software, contact CodeWeavers, its developers, and they will try their utmost to make the unsupported program work. I strongly suggest that you check the list of Windows programs that CrossOver supports before you purchase it.
If you have two computers, one running on Windows O/S and the other on Mac O/S, I suggest you opt for Remote Desktop. This Windows desktop for Mac software allows you to access your Windows computer from the desktop of your Mac.
If you use Chrome on your Mac, you can use Chrome Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows-based computer running Chrome too. It facilitates Mac and PC integration for business as well.
Parallels Desktop — The Best Windows Platform for Mac
Parallels Desktop is the best Mac computer software in this category. It offers Windows access for Mac and is the most used Mac compatible Windows software.
Parallels Desktop is the friendliest and fastest way to run Windows software for the Macintosh for most users who want to run Windows PC software on Mac. Once you install it on your Mac, you can use it to run all Windows apps on Mac. I have tested many Windows apps for Mac and Parallels Desktop is the indisputable winner.
It is easy to install and provides users the option to open Mac files in the Windows app, a boon for people who are using graphic programs like those offered by Adobe on both their Mac and Windows O/S.
You can use this application to install macOS virtual machines directly from the Mac recovery partition.
I was pleasantly surprised by its flexible folder and file tools, as well as its tight integration with guest operating systems.
Other customized software for the Windows O/S typically does not run on the Mac as their coding does not support the latter. You require special emulation software for using Windows programs on Mac.
How to Get PC on Mac
Parallels Desktop is the ideal choice for people searching for the best PC software for Mac, as it supports, virtually, all versions of Windows.
Unlike some other similar and free programs that allow users to run Windows on Apple Mac, Parallels Desktop is subscription-based. Apart from the professional and business editions, it is also available for students and home users.
When you install and launch Parallels, it offers a menu for creating a brand new virtual machine or opening an existing one. It is because of this that Parallels forges ahead of the others.
Installing Windows on Mac with Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop does not expect users to have a Linux or Windows disk image or installer disk ready when users launch it.
On the contrary, this nifty application allows you to purchase Windows 10 directly from Microsoft. If you already have a license key, just download the Windows 10 installer and install it.
Fast And Seamless Operation
I installed Parallels windows on Macbook Pro and was surprised by the speed at which this application launches Windows. It is twice as fast as VMware in this respect.
The application supports printer integration as well as the ability to open Mac files with Windows apps and vice versa. It solves the problems of Mac users who need a Windows virtual machine on Mac.
Smoother Gaming Experience
Since version 17 of Parallels has support for DirectX 11 and has been engineered for exceptional performance, gamers, too, will not face any lag as they used to in the previous versions of this application. In this way, you may not need to install any additional Mac-boosting software on your computer.
Parallels offers the ideal answer for individuals and businesses wanting to run Windows PC on Mac. Parallels is, without doubt, one of the leading programs to run Windows on Mac.
Those who have installed Windows O/S previously know the headaches they have to face during the installation process. Users can now, effortlessly, install Windows on their Macs.
There are several new functionalities in version 17.
With macOS Catalina, there is support for Apple Pencil and Sidecar. Some of the compatible applications include Microsoft Project, SketchPad, Corel Painter, and CorelDraw. Those who want to play PC-based games will love the support for the Xbox 360 controller.
I strongly advocate upgrading to this version or, even, the macOS 12 Monterey because they have access to DirectX 11 supported applications, speed improvements, as well as support for Sidecar in Catalina.
All Intel-based Macs, the latest macOS releases, and Apple M1 are now supported by Parallels 17 for exceptional performance.
Those who have the old Home & Student version can always upgrade to the latest version, while Business and Pro version users can also do the same.
Go for Parallels. The icing on the cake is the program's ability to perform Windows download for Mac automatically. It allows you to create a virtual machine that runs on your Mac, just like any other Mac application.
Does Macintosh Support Virtual Machines?
The answer is yes. There are several options, including Boot camp. However, if you decide to install it, you will not be able to access your Mac O/S while running Windows. Rebooting your Mac is the only option if you want to switch between Macintosh to Windows and vice versa.
It can prove to be a headache if you plan to switch between the operating systems several times a day. Your best option is to opt for programs that support virtualization, which allows you to run the Windows operating system as well as Windows-based applications from right within the macOS.
In reality, this means that you can run both the operating systems simultaneously.
Other Noteworthy Mentions
We have already discussed Parallels Desktop and Crossover. There are other noteworthy Windows emulator for Mac OS X that support virtualization as you'll see in the diagram below.
You can create a virtual machine after installing any of the above programs, install Windows on it, and then install any Windows-only application on the virtual machine. The unique advantage of such a system is that the virtual machine runs in its own window on the Mac desktop, allowing you to switch between the two operating systems effortlessly.
Warning! Ensure that your Mac has plenty of processing power and memory to provide decent performance for the virtual machine. I suggest that you opt for a multi-processor Mac with quad-core processors.
If you plan to run more than one virtual machine, ensure that you devote 4GB or more of memory to each virtual machine to ensure that the Macintosh virtual PC runs smoothly.
Run Windows Apps on macOS Catalina & Monterey
Like I mentioned above, Parallels software works best for the macOS Catalina and Monterey. These have full support for DirectX 11.
You will also be surprised to know that you can run Windows apps on macOS Catalina by using VM software for Mac, freely available.
However, ensure that you have the Windows 10 ISO image ready for you to download and install this other program for the macOS. Run the program and create a new virtual machine, and add the Win 10 ISO image to it. Once you have done this, run Windows 10 Emulator and end the process by selecting the “Install Guest Tool” option.
For the uninitiated, this other Virtual software is free and permits you to run the same operating system or a different operating system within an operating system. Apart from being powerful, it is a good virtual PC for Macintosh.
The “guest” option of this Windows on Mac software extends the integration between the host and the guest system. Post-installation of the guest (Windows O/S), you can use Windows on Mac and effortlessly run Macintosh PC software.
I have checked several free PC emulators for Mac, but very few of them are as powerful as this offering from Oracle, the software giant.
PC Emulators for Mac
For those looking for a virtual machine for Mac, you can find it in this free program. It allows you to run your favorite PC software on your Macintosh since it creates a virtual space on your computer's hard disk drive where you can install the Windows operating system.
Since both the operating systems run independently of each other, you can switch between them instantaneously without shutting down the other O/S. Go for this software if you are looking for a good and free Windows PC emulator for Macintosh.
With Windows PC on a Mac, you can use applications for both the operating systems on the same machine. Use it to install Windows inside Mac OS X and surprise your friends by showing them Windows running on Mac. Enjoy the best of Windows and Macintosh software on the same computer by installing this virtual machine for Mac.
Best Emulator Software for Mac Computers
Are you still using Windows XP and want to use it on your Mac's virtual partition and use your existing Macintosh computer software?
Some of the emulators reviewed above allow you to install Windows XP on the virtual machine.
You can now enjoy Windows 10 for Mac with the help of programs like the free software or Parallel Desktop. Install the Mac-to-Windows PC software to install and run the best applications developed for both the operating systems. You can also download a trial version of Parallels Desktop from the vendor's website.
Macintosh users who have no idea about these emulators do not know that they can avail of Windows for Macintosh too. Any of the emulator software mentioned above will allow them to run Windows on Macintosh. Since one is using a legal version of Windows, they will also receive Windows support for Mac.
Windows Emulator for Mac OS X – Conclusion
I have covered all popular apps for running Windows on Mac in this review. You can use any one of them in case you need a virtual PC for Mac OS X to run Windows apps on Mac. I have also explained how Mac supports Windows 10 with the help of emulator software.
You can get some for free unless you plan to purchase Parallels Desktop, which is my preferred choice among the Mac virtual PC programs reviewed above, as it is blazing fast. I suggest that you download its trial version to check its awesome features.
Once you do, a trial will convince you. Install Parallels Desktop, the ultimate Mac Windows software that allows you to use both Windows and Mac together in one computer.
By the way, only Parallels permits automatic Windows downloads for Mac and also has support for DirectX 11.
Become a wizard and run Windows applications on Mac. Depend on Parallels to perfectly emulate Windows on Mac.