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Windows on a Mac

Running Windows on a Mac:

To run a copy of Microsoft Windows on your Mac, you have a couple of options:

  • Install Windows via Bootcamp on your Mac.  Bootcamp is a utility built by Apple to allow you to install Windows and run it natively on your computer as if it were a regular PC.  In this setup, you cannot have the Mac operating system running at the same time as Windows.

For support visit: apple.com/support/bootcamp

Some resource intensive applications like video editing and CAD software will perform better if run under Bootcamp instead of Parallels or VirtualBox.

  • Use a third party program to install Windows as a virtual machine on your Mac.  Doing this allows you to run Windows while using Mac OSX at the same time.  There is one utility available via the listed link:

Parallels Desktop - Education discount available following the link: go.vcu.edu/parallels

  • There is a free utility offered by Oracle called VirtualBox, but it comes with no support from the manufacturer and may require advanced IT knowledge for installation.

Virtual Box: virtualbox.org

Obtaining Windows for a Mac:

Windows upgrade copies are available to students for free through the VCU On the Hub portal. Faculty and staff may also obtain a personal copy of Windows for a download fee of $9.75. Please, note that upon download, you are only authorized one license of each version.  

To obtain the software, simply visit this page.  When selecting a version please note the following:

Windows 10:  No special selection necessary

Windows 8:  Select "Mac" under the "choose a platform" list

Windows 7:  No special selection necessary

After adding the copy of Windows to your cart and checking out, you will need to follow the instructions on the site for downloading the software.

This special download site is for personal use only, NOT for departmental purchases. Other items to note when using the On the Hub portal site:

  • When you select a product for download, the product and the key are only visible for 30 days, after which the access expires. If you want more access time beyond 30 days, you can purchase this up front for $5.95 which provides two full years additional access or, reinstate it for 60 days for an $11.95 fee if you do not opt for extended two-year access initially.
  • Be sure to save your downloads and keys for future needs such as transferring to a new computer or if your operating system and applications need to be reloaded.

More Information: