Thursday, March 10, 2016

How to Install Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro using VMWare

I just bought a shiny new MacBook.  Here's how to install Windows 10 with VMWare.  It's very easy and takes about 30 minutes.

Why install Windows 10 on a MacBook?  Well, it's one of the best hardware platforms today and it gives you the flexibility of running the Mac OS or Windows.

Why use a virtual environment instead of Bootcamp?  With Bootcamp you have to create a special partition and set aside a fixed amount of space for Windows.  With a virtual host all that can be done dynamically.  You forfeit some speed using a virtual host, but gain flexibility.

1. Visit and download the appropriate Windows 10 ISO image - 64 bit.
2. Download the "Win10_1511_English_x64" ISO image to the "Downloads" directory or a USB drive with at least 4.1 GB of free space.

3.  Go to and download the fusion eval install.

4. Run the VMWare installer
 You can skip the license key and use the 30 day free trial version.  Answer the remaining questions as appropriate.

Select  "Install from disk or image"

 Select the location of your ISO windows install file.  I used a USB thumb drive.

 Being paranoid, I selected "More isolation" to reduce the security risks.  I'll use dropbox to transfer files.
5. Install Windows normally.  When asked for the license key, leave it blank to use the 30 day free trial period.
6. Enjoy.

Visual Studio 2015 looks great on a retina display:
A few notes on VMWare Fusion:
Fusion has three modes for hosting Windows 10: Unity, Single Window, and Full Screen.
1. Unity is the cool, hip one.  In Unity your Windows applications appear alongside your OSX apps in OSX windows.  You can cut and paste between the Windows 10 windows and OSX windows.
In Unity mode there is no Windows 10 screen with the start menu and metro app icons, the screen and start menu functionality are hidden inside the VMWare icon on the mac.  Right click and you can start your Windows applications.

2. Single Window  mode creates a OSX window which looks just like the desktop on Windows, with the start menu and app tiles.

To switch between them right click on the VMWare icon and select the top item, "Windows 10 ...".  This will put the VMWare menu at the top of your screen.  Select "View" and then your desired mode.  If the View modes are disabled, go to a Windows app and press "Shift-Command-U".

1 comment:

frank said...

Thanks for walking me through this. I have wanted to run Visual Studio on my Macbook for a long time, but it seemed too hard.