Open Windows Software On Mac

27.07.2020by

Install Windows on your Mac. This is the most complicated and time-consuming way to open Outlook files on your Mac but may be worth it if you use a lot of Windows only applications. Nowadays there are several ways to run Windows on a Mac but the easiest is by using a virtual machine such as Parallels. The cutoff date for Windows 7 support for most Macs is 2014 — most Macs from that date or earlier can use older versions of Apple’s Boot Camp software (version 4 or 5) to install Windows 7.

Mac vs Windows. Windows vs Mac. Why choose if you can get the best of both worlds by dual booting? Install Windows on Mac so you can jump back and forth from one operating system to another on the same computer.

By now, the practice is well-established and Windows can work on Mac well. In this article, we’ll have a deep look at installing Windows on Mac. Don’t worry, we’ll have your back the whole way through!

Boot Camp for Mac vs virtualization software

If you want to install Windows on your Mac, you have two options. You can either use Mac Boot Camp, a native feature of the macOS operating system, or you can use a third party virtualization program. Both methods have their own pros and cons, so let’s dive in.

Boot Camp is built into the operating system of all Macs. If you go to your Applications > Utilities folder, you’ll see the Boot Camp Assistant app. It makes the separate partition on your hard drive for installing and running Windows. Once Windows is installed in Boot Camp, every time you turn on your Mac, you will be asked to choose the operating system you want to run. This means that in order to switch from macOS to Windows, you need to reboot your computer.

Advantages

  • built into your operating system
  • easy to use — Boot Camp Assistant guides you through the installation process
  • puts less strain on your Mac’s memory and processing power
  • completely free (not Windows of course)
  • easy to update

Disadvantages

  • you need to reboot your computer to switch between the systems
  • transferring data between operating systems isn’t easy

Virtualization programs are third-party applications that allow to install a separate operating system on one machine. They run like any other app on your Mac, so you can see the entire Windows desktop within a window on your computer.

Among the most popular virtualization programs are VirtualBox, Parallels, and VMware. Each one has its peculiarities, but we’ll try to sum up what they have in common.

Advantages

  • you can run both operating systems at the same time
  • easy file integration between systems

Disadvantages

  • you need at least 8 GB of RAM for Mac to run smoothly
  • virtualization apps are not cheap
  • updates are not free

Depending on your specific needs, you can choose the option that works best for you. But we suggest using Boot Camp. It’s a free native feature of your operating system, running directly on your hardware. Therefore, it will be faster than any other method. And below, you’ll find all information on how to run Boot Camp on your Mac.

How to use Boot Camp: Preparing your Mac

1. Check the system requirements

Some versions of Windows require a certain processor and more hard drive space than the others. Therefore, you have to check the documentation that came with your copy of Windows to learn what you need.

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You also need to make sure that your Mac is compatible with the version of Windows you want to install. For instance, Windows 10 is supported on these models:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2012 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2012 and later)
  • iMac (2012 and later)
  • Mac Mini (2012 and later)

2. Clean up your hard drive

You need to have at least 55 GB of free disk space on your startup drive for installing Windows on a Mac. And if you don’t feel like spending the next several hours cleaning your Mac manually, you can use a powerful utility CleanMyMac X to find and remove all the junk from your startup disk.

CleanMyMac has everything to finish the 3-hour task of cleaning your hard drive in less than 5 minutes. It will scan every inch of your system and remove gigabytes of junk in two clicks. By the way, CleanMyMac finds about 75 GB of junk on average — more than enough for a smooth Windows installation.

Here’s how to clean your Mac with CleanMyMac X:

  1. Download CleanMyMac here.
  2. Run the app and click Scan.
  3. Click Run.

That’s it! Gigabytes of junk are gone from your computer forever.

3. Back up your Mac

Finally, you should also perform a backup of your Mac in case something goes wrong. Although, it happens very rarely, it’s always better to back up your important data. There are a few methods of backing up your Mac, so choose the most convenient one for you.

You can make automatic backups with Time Machine — software that comes with your Mac. It backs up all data, so you can recover individual files or your entire system from your backups. You may also store files in iCloud and access them whenever you need. iCloud comes with 5 GB of free storage but you can upgrade it any time. If you have an external storage device, you can copy some files and folders on it.

We do recommend you to back up your Mac before installing Windows as it minimizes the chance of losing important data.

How to Install Windows with Boot Camp

Here’s how to install Boot Camp. The installation can be a little time consuming, but it is by no means difficult. Check out the details below.

Step 1: Get a Windows disk image

First of all, you need to get the Windows disk image (ISO file) from the Microsoft website. Here’s how to download it:

  1. Visit the Windows 10 disk image download website.
  2. Go to the Select edition menu and choose Windows 10.
  3. Click Confirm.
  4. Choose the language of installation and click Confirm.
  5. Click 64-bit Download and then click Save.

The ISO file now will be downloaded to your Mac.

Step 2: Open Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant guides you through installing Windows on your Mac. You just have to follow the onscreen instructions. To launch the Boot Camp Assistant, go to Applications > Utilities folder. Click continue and Boot Camp for Mac will automatically locate the ISO file on your system.

Step 3: Create a partition for Windows

When you are done with the Assistant, your Mac restarts to the Windows installer. When you are asked where you want to install Windows, choose the BOOTCAMP partition and click Format.

*Note that this step is only required if you’re using a flash drive or optical drive to install Windows. In other cases, the right partition will be selected and formatted for you automatically.

Open Windows Software On Mac

Step 4: Install Windows

To finish the installation, you have to follow the onscreen instructions. Take a long breath — the next 12 steps may seem like climbing Everest, but it’s much easier than you think. Here’s how to install Windows on a Mac:

  1. Choose your ISO file and click the Install button.
  2. Type your Password and click OK. You will see the Windows Setup screen.
  3. Select your language.
  4. Click Install Now.
  5. Type your product key if you have it. Otherwise, click 'I don’t have a product key'.
  6. Select Windows 10 Pro or Windows Home and then click Next.
  7. Click Drive 0 Partition X: BOOTCAMP.
  8. Click Next. Windows 10 will be installed.
  9. When the Setup screen appears, click either Use Express Settings or Customize Your Installation. We recommend you to choose the Customize button and disable most, if not all of the switches.
  10. Then you’ll be asked to create an account. Type a username. You can also add a password if you want.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Choose whether you want to use the Cortana personal assistant or not. You can disable it by clicking Not Now button.

Windows will boot fully so you can use it normally.

On the Welcome to Boot Camp Installer box, click Next and accept the terms in the license agreement. Then click Install to proceed. When the installer completes, click Finish to reboot your machine.

Step 5: Restart your Mac

By default, your Mac will still boot to macOS. To access Windows, you have to turn your Mac off and then turn it on while holding the Option (Alt) key. You will be asked from which drive you’d like to boot.

Note that while in Windows, the Mac’s Command key functions as the Windows key, while the Option key functions as the Alt key. If you have a Touch Bar, you’ll see a complete set of buttons, similar to the Control Strip in macOS.

How to remove Windows from your Mac

If for some reasons you don’t need Windows anymore, you can permanently remove it from your Mac. Follow these steps:

  1. Boot into macOS, launch Boot Camp Assistant and click Continue.
  2. Choose 'Remove Windows 7 or later version' or 'Remove Windows 10 or later version'.
  3. Click Restore when you see the Restore Disk to a Single Volume option.

The Boot Camp Assistant will automatically remove Windows from your Mac.

Warning: All data, including software and files, stored on the Windows partition will be deleted, so make the backup copies first.

That may seem like a lot of steps, but it doesn’t take all that long to install Windows on a Mac. Now you can enjoy two operating systems and switch between them right when you need. Cheers!

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Jun 12, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

Mac’s impressive library of apps gives you everything you need but let’s face it: Windows has a far larger library.

Haven’t you ever come across software native to Windows which endear themselves to you? But since they all come with the EXE file extension, your Mac is incapable of running them. Well, there are workarounds to this problem and you’ll learn about them today.

It’s possible to safely open and run EXE files on your Mac using mediums like Boot Camp, Remote Desktop, CrossOver, Virtual Machine and WINE, to mention the most prominent ones. And you don’t need to be an expert to do this. As long as you can follow simple instructions, you’re all set.

Part 1: Can You Run an EXE File on a Mac?

Yes, you can. With how innovative and creative developers have become, it was only a matter of time before they devised a means to run EXE files on Mac, even though such files are incompatible with macOS.

Open Windows Software On Mac

What’s an EXE file, though? It’s a file extension that denotes an executable file format. Okay, but what’s an executable file? It’s any file capable of being executed as a program. To put it simply, it’s what makes the installation and running of software possible.

EXE files are used in a few operating systems, the most notable of them being Microsoft Windows. You can think of EXE files as the Windows version of APP files (APP files, if you’re unaware, are executable files under macOS).

Go further and learn how to fix MS Word not responding on Mac.

Running EXE files on Mac is very possible but only through backdoor means, so to speak. You need an emulator (WINE is by far the most popular), or you install a virtual machine software on your macOS to enable you to load Windows VM, or make an extra partition on your disk where you can simultaneously have both macOS and Windows in your Mac.

Part 2: How to Open EXE Files on Mac

Again, you have several options to choose from when attempting this. So many software out there can help you open EXE files on Mac. You are advised to go with the Parallel Desktop.

Parallel Desktop

This software is simplistic and won’t take up much on your time because it doesn’t even require a Mac restart anytime you wish to run a Windows application. A copy of Microsoft Windows is required though. You have to install it on your hard disk but it’s easy to do:

Step 1: Windows Installation

  • Open up your Mac’s Application folder and double-click on the “Parallels” icon (you have to do this to install Windows).
  • Click on “File.”
  • Click on “New.”
  • Click on “Install Windows or another OS from DVD or image file.”
  • Click on “Continue.” You can easily install Windows either from a DVD or the more popular .iso disc image; or even a bootable USB drive.
  • You can even switch to the manual mode, locate the source for the Windows installation, and choose it by clicking on “Select a file…”
  • Click on “Continue”. You will be taken to a Windows product key window.
  • Leave the “Express installation” as it is, input the key and click “Continue.”
  • You will be asked to select how you wish to use Windows: Whether for productivity, games only, software development, design, etc. Once you’re done selecting, click on “Continue.”
  • Type in a name for the virtual machine and select the directory or location for the Parallels Desktop.
  • Click on “Continue” and the Windows installation will commence. All Intel-based Macs are compatible with both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows: From Windows XP to Windows 10.
  • Once the installation concludes you can open up Windows by clicking on the “Power” button in the list of the Parallels Virtual Machine.

Step 2: Using Parallels Desktop

  • The very first time Windows restarts, “Parallels Tools” will be installed. This will be what ultimately integrates your Mac with your Windows desktops. After the installation is done, you will be asked to restart Windows.
  • Open up your Parallels Desktop from “Spotlight.’
  • Click on “Virtual Machine.”
  • Select “Configure” in the drop-down menu which appears.
  • Click on “Options.”
  • Click on “Shared Folders.”
  • Click on “Add.”
  • Click on “Choose.” Doing this will add a location from your Mac’s desktop to the virtual machine. Simply put any EXE file in this location to enable Windows to access and install them

Part 3: How to Run Windows APPs on Mac

The question now is not whether you want to run EXE files on your Mac, but rather how to go about it conveniently. There are countless of great Windows apps that never made it to macOS, and they probably never will. A lot of them have very attractive features that make Windows the envy of all Mac owners.

Running EXE files on Mac is made easy and convenient via Boot Camp and Remote Desktop. You can use any. It depends on preference and what you find more convenient.

Boot Camp

This application makes it possible for you to install Windows on your Mac. Switching between macOS and Windows thus becomes a matter of you restarting your system and deciding which OS to log into.

Step 1: Windows Installation File

  • Boot Camp is compatible with Windows 8,8.1. and 10 (you will need an ISO file of any of these three releases).

Step 2: Launch Your Mac’s Utilities folder

  • Type in “Utilities” in your Mac’s search bar, then click it.

Step 3: Launch Boot Camp Assistant

  • The app’s icon looks like a grey hard drive. Click it.

Step 4: On-screen Instructions

  • You will be instructed to choose the Windows ISO, the drive you intend to install it on, and restart your Mac.

Step 5: Your Mac Will Restart

  • Once you’re done setting up Boot Camp, you will be asked to restart Mac.
  • After that, you will be taken to the Windows installer screen.

Step 6: Install Windows

  • Follow the instructions to install the version of Windows you chose.

Step 7: Startup Manager

  • Once the install has been completed, your system will restart. Press and hold the “Option” key while this happens and the “Startup Manager” will appear.
  • Let go of the “Option” key and you will see all the drives you can boot your Mac from.

Step 8: Boot Camp

  • Select “Boot Camp” and click on “Return”.
  • Your Mac will now be loaded into Windows.
  • Navigate to your EXE file and run it.

Remote Desktop

This free tool does what many others fail at: lets you take full advantage of your Windows apps from your Mac. That’s pretty convenient, don’t you agree? Even though you’ll need Mac and PC to use the Remote Desktop, it’s still a great software that deserves praise. Here’s how you use it:

Step 1: Get Your PC Ready

  • Open the start menu and navigate to “Settings”, then “System”, then “Remote Desktop.”
  • Turn “Enable Remote Desktop” on and “Confirm.”

Step 2: Know Your IP Address & PC Name

  • Still on the “Remote Desktop” menu, and below the “How to connect to this PC”, jot down your PC name.

Windows For Mac

  • Go to your “Settings’, then “Network & Internet”.
  • Click “Wi-Fi” and select the network you’re connected to. This will bring up the network connection properties screen. At the bottom of the page is your “IPv4 address”. Jot it down.

Step 3: Install the Mac Version of Microsoft Remote Desktop

  • Pick up your Mac and open up your Mac App Store, then search for “Microsoft Remote Desktop.”
  • Download and install it.

Step 4: Open Add Your PC to Remote Desktop

  • Open up Remote Desktop on your Mac.
  • Click on “Add Desktop.”
  • A dialogue box will pop up. Type in the PC Name you jotted down; if it doesn’t work, type in the IP address.
  • Click “Save”.

Step 5: You Can Now Connect

How To Open Windows Software On Mac

  • Keep your PC turned on and make sure it is connected to the network your Mac is connected to.
  • Remote Desktop will now show your computer below “Saved Desktops.”
  • Double-click on it to connect.
  • You will be required to enter your username and password.
  • Click “OK.”
  • A security warning will pop up. Since you’re on a private network, ignore the warning and click “Continue.”
  • That’s the last step. You can now view and use your Windows on your Mac via Remote Desktop.

Closing Words

Well, there you have it. Running your EXE files via your Mac is now a thing of the past. As long as you have the right tools, you can do it in a matter of minutes.

These tools make your Mac more versatile than even Apple intended and anticipated because they enable you to go beyond what your Mac is capable of doing. You can achieve an end goal that would have otherwise been impossible. That’s the power of a Mac for you.

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