How to Install Windows 10 on M1 Macs

In 2020, Apple launched the new Macs with an M1 processor (no longer Intel). It may have been a good optimization choice, however most developers have yet to adapt their software to the new architecture. One of the biggest shortcomings is using Windows 10 with BootCamp.

How to Install Windows 10 on M1 Macs
How to Install Windows 10 on M1 Macs

How to Install Windows 10 on M1 Macs

In fact, Microsoft has not yet released the ability to use their own version of Windows 10 ARM. As such, the only available way to use Windows 10 on M1 Macs is through the Parallels open beta (free).

This tutorial will allow you to boot Windows 10 ARM on new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini with Apple M1 chip. Of course there are still some bugs, the arm32 applications are not usable and it is not possible to suspend the virtual machine: you can only shut it down.

Create Windows 10 virtual machine on Mac M1 (free)

Step 1: Download Parallels Desktop 16 for M1 Mac Technical Preview by clicking here or on the button:

Log in to Parallels

Once the link is opened, click on the TRY TECHNICAL PREVIEW button. Now you need to log in with an existing account or register a new one.

To do this, select “I am a new user” at the top and then complete the registration form or register faster via Google, Facebook or Apple.

You will be automatically redirected to the download page. Scrolling further down click on the word “ DOWNLOAD” to download the Parallels 16 Technical Preview installation file. And copy the activation key to use it after the installation is complete.

Step 2: Sign up for the Windows Insider Program with your Microsoft account and download the Windows 10 ARM image by clicking here. I recommend: you will be able to download the VHDX file from the second link only if you have already registered for the Insider program.

Step 3: Open Parallels 16, log in or register a new account and finally enter the activation key I advised you to copy earlier. At this point, drag the Windows VHDX file.

Continue the various installation steps and in a few minutes you will be able to use Windows 10 on your Mac M1. However, there are some settings to change to allow the virtual machine to function correctly.

Step 4: To avoid unusual crashes and other issues related to Windows 10 ARM virtual machine on M1 Macs, you need to disable time synchronization. To do this, just go to Actions, in the menu bar at the top, and then select Configure > Options > More Options and finally from the drop-down menu change the item from “Sync from Mac” to “Do not Sync”.

Enable support for x64 emulation

It’s not over yet! Now you need to enable x64 emulation support to run normal software on Windows 10 ARM. In the Windows search bar, search for “Insider” and click on the Windows Insider Program Settings. Click the Go to diagnostics and feedback settings link and turn on optional diagnostic data.

Now Link a Windows Insider account and log into your Microsoft account (the same as the one you used previously). Once logged in, click  Beta Channel (Recommended)  in Internal Settings and select  Developer Channel to access the latest updates.

In this way, returning to the main Windows settings page, clicking on Update and security and then on Check for updates in Windows Update you should find an update available to download and install.

When the installation is complete, restart the virtual machine and wait for the new Parallels Tools installation and then restart Windows 10 again.

Conclusions

At the moment this is the only working method for running Windows 10 on new Mac M1s. As you have seen, there are still some limitations and some bugs.

We hope in the future to be able to get back the possibility of installing Windows 10 in dual boot with Bootcamp or at least using completely stable virtual machines that are able to exploit all the power offered by these Macs.

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