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How to Run Windows on M1 Mac

Apple’s Mac sales continue to expand in most enterprise areas. And the fact that the M 1 Macs don’t currently have official Windows support doesn’t hinder that since it’s possible to use virtualization tools like Parallels to run Windows. Aside from utilizing Windows 365, running Windows on a Mac is no official option. However, Windows support is something many users would like to experience.

Since an agreement between Microsoft and Qualcomm is due to expire, you will soon be able to run Windows on the Mac M1 series. According to the article, the arrangement will quickly pass, which means that Samsung or MediaTek, and other companies will get an opportunity to produce Arm-based CPUs for Windows — and Mac customers will be able to use Windows on the M1 Mac.

So can M1 Macs run Windows? After months of testing, Parallels has released a complete edition of its popular emulation tool that runs on M1 Macs and is friendly with ARM Windows. So we can say that M1 Macs can run Windows. And this article shows you how to do it, avoiding possible glitches.

What is the Point of Running Windows on an M1 Mac

Parallels is a virtual machine tool that is required if you wish to start running Windows on your Mac M1. It performs this action by running a second operating system on your Mac in a mimicked computer (known as a virtual machine). For example, with Parallels, you may use a mode called Coherence to run Windows and Mac apps or quickly launch a Windows desktop to interact with your Mac documents in Windows apps.

Parallels 17 makes it simple to use a flawless virtual machine to run Windows 11 on a Mac M1. For example, on an Intel Mac, you can run Windows 10 or Windows 11 on an M1 Mac alongside your favorite Windows and Mac apps. Here’s how to install the system, according to our review.

Unlike Boot Camp, which requires installing Windows on a different sector on your Mac’s SSD or hard drive, Parallels does not need you to install Windows on a new part of your Mac’s SSD or HDD. You can only use one operating system at a time with Boot Camp — whether MacOS or Windows, but never both — and switching between systems requires a reload.

Unlike Boot Camp, Parallels allows a smoother and more flexible transition between Windows and Mac. M1 Mac owners may now run Windows on Arm programs, regular apps, and iOS apps, thanks to the recent Parallels Desktop edition. However, because it uses its very own app emulator, there will be some app constraints, although it will eventually offer x64 app emulation.

How to Install Windows on Mac M1

Boot Camp will not operate if you have an Apple M1 chip, as it requires an Intel processor. To install Windows 10 on M1 Mac, you could use the Parallels Desktop version for Mac. Even though boot camp for Mac M1 doesn’t enable typical x86 Windows installs, Windows Setup on your M1 Mac is quite simple. Parallels 16 for Mac was recently launched, including compatibility for M1 Macs.

You’ll also need a licensed Windows 10 or 11, which you can get from Microsoft after you’ve installed the operating system. Downloading the Windows ISO free from Microsoft’s web page is also straightforward. And then, you will learn how to correctly run the installation process of Windows 10 for Mac M1.

# 1 Download and Install the Parallels

Parallels 16 is the latest official Parallels version for MacOS users. In addition, the program is universal, which means it will run on Apple and Intel systems.

# 2 Register as a Windows Insider

Before downloading and installing Windows OS on Mac M1, you must register as a Windows Insider. Signing up as a Windows Insider is free — click the link.

# 3 Download Windows OS on the Insider Preview

Microsoft’s website has Windows 10 for ARM machines such as the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and a new iMac. However, remember that if you want to download the OS, you must be signed in as an Insider.

# 4 Set Proper Configurations of Windows 10 Via the Installation Assistant

First, you should open Parallels to customize your Windows 10 installation once you’ve downloaded Windows 10 on your Mac. The procedure, in this case, is as follows: Install on ARM → Create a New window Install Windows OS from an ISO file.

Parallels will automatically look for the Windows install image on the Select Installation Image window. Continue if it finds Windows 10.VHDX file that you should have downloaded in a previous Step 3. Otherwise, select Manually from the menu. And then follow the prompts:

  • Drag the Windows 10.VHDX file to the Select Installation box and click Continue.
  • On the “I’ll primarily use Windows for” pick Productivity –> Continue.
  • We recommend keeping the Name and Save location, although you can change these options.
  • Uncheck the option Create an aliason the desktop.
  • Before you install, make sure you check the Customize
  • Select Create from the drop-down menu.

Installation Assistant will now create the virtual machine, which takes a few seconds. After a while, the Configuration window will emerge, allowing you to adjust the virtual machine’s memory and CPU cores. Then it would be best if you did the following:

  • Select the Hardware.
  • Choose the settings of processors and memory work.
  • We recommend using only four cores if you have an M1 Mac with an 8-core CPU.
  • If your machine has 8GB of memory, you’d better use 4096 MB.
  • If you have 16GB of memory on your device, then use 8192 MB of memory.
  • Once you’ve finished with that, close the Configuration

# 5 Install Windows on Apple M1 and Sign in to Your Account

To begin the installation of Windows for Mac M1, tap Continue. And suppose after a few minutes, you suddenly exclaim, “Oh no, my computer isn’t turning on!” you should immediately go to the Howly consulting service website, where experienced specialists will quickly fix the problem with your M1 Mac.

If you have done everything correctly, you’ll soon get the Installation Complete message, which you must click to continue. To acquire full access to a program’s capabilities, you must first sign in to your Parallels account. Consider that this is an obligatory demand.

Every virtual machine created by a new user in Parallels automatically gets a 14-day trial. Following that, you’ll be asked to pay. You can choose from numerous payment plans at Parallels based on your demands. The most affordable option is $79.99, which contains the following:

  • 8GB RAM
  • 4 vCPUs
  • 30 days of support by email or phone

That’s not a wrong configuration for M1 Mac users because you wouldn’t want to exceed 8GB RAM/4 cores for an M1 setup. However, for owners of more advanced machines, such as the forthcoming M1X or M2 hardware, those configuration constraints may not suit their demands.

Parallels, however, provide other options, such as the Pro Edition, which contains 128GB vRAM, 32 vCPUs, and unlimited phone and email support for $99.99 per year. Please remember that the edition for $79.99 is available only for Parallels 16, not for future Parallels versions.

Install Windows on Apple M1 and Sign in to Your Account

# 6 Check for Windows Updates

After successfully installing Windows on your M1 Mac, you’ll want to keep it updated with the newest software and security patches due to the following actions: Start → Settings → Update & Security → Update.

Remember that if you’d like to stay on the Windows 10 Insider Preview, you’ll need to go to Settings → Windows Insider Program → Go to Diagnostics & Feedback, and enable the Optional diagnostic data toggle. After that, you must link the Windows Insider account in Settings → Windows Insider Program.

If the optional diagnostic data option is not activated, your device will eventually stop getting Windows Insider preview builds. That’s not necessarily negative, as offering optional diagnostic data would mean sacrificing privacy. Then, run Windows Update for the second time to ensure nothing is missing. You might also get a request to re-install the Parallels Tools, which requires a PC restart. Well, we’re almost done, and the only thing left to discuss is the difficulties that may arise when installing Windows on an M1 Mac.

Potential Issues and How to Fix Them

Since ARM Windows is still in beta, we should expect bugs and regular system updates. After launching Parallels 16 for Mac, we have only had a few problems. On the other hand, ARM Windows is not the final product. Since you’re using an unlicensed beta version of Windows, your customization options are limited at best.

Parallels Desktop creator Corel claims that the latest update improves performance and battery life compared to using the program on Intel-based Macs. In addition, Corel claims the 16.5 updates will consume significantly less power than the Intel-based MacBook Air and run a version of Windows 10 on the M1 Mac instead of virtual Windows 10 on the MacBook Pro, promising up to 60 percent more DirectX 11 performance and up to 30 percent more overall virtual machine performance.

Along with support for Windows Arm on the M1, Parallels Desktop 16.5 will also support Linux distributions. The most significant drawback is that you must install a trial version of Windows to make it work. Microsoft offers a preview build of Windows 10 on Arm, which you can download from the Windows Insider site. Nevertheless, running Windows 10 on an M1 Mac is now finally possible.


Apple products always become successful, so competitors of a well-known brand often follow in its footsteps. Qualcomm recently announced its intention to create hardware that competes with the Apple M1 by 2023, with support from Nuvia and former Apple hardware team developers. XDA-Developers doesn’t know when the agreement with Qualcomm will expire, but things could get interesting when it does.

Not only could we see a lot of faster PCs with Arm and Windows processors, but also Microsoft’s operating system on the Mac with the M-series. The good news for Mac users is that after Microsoft and Qualcomm end their partnership, Apple can license Windows 11 support for the M1 family of processors. Since Mac M1s don’t have Boot Camp, the only way to run Windows on them is in a virtual machine. Even better performance can be achieved by running the system in natural mode, which is ideal for gaming.

Christine Tomas
Christine Tomas
Christine Tomas is a tech expert, consultant, and aspiring writer. She writes for different news portals and thematic blogs for tech experts that helps her stay at the heart of programming, technology news.


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