Using Windows on a Mac

There are several ways of running Windows on your Mac. The easiest method would be to use the Virtual Computer Lab. This will give you access to all the software that is available in the physical labs (M210, C218, CADLab), with the added convenience of running on your own machine. A drawback of using the Virtual Computer Lab is that you cannot install your own software on it.


If you need a Windows environment on your Mac that you can install software on, the recommended route is to use a virtual machine. A relatively easy to use and free virtual machine platform is VirtualBox, which you can get from the Oracle VirtualBox downloads page.

You'll also need Windows installation media. Installation ISOs are available from  Microsoft Dreamspark. While there are a few versions of Windows available on Dreamspark, it is recommended that you use the version that is installed in the labs for the highest likelihood of success.

Once you have VirtualBox installed and Windows installation media downloaded, you can go to the  VirtualBox User Manual page for detailed instructions on how to install a VM on your machine. Simpler instructions can be found by searching for something along the lines of, "simple virtualbox windows install".

Boot Camp

We currently do not recommend Boot Camp, as the installation can get complicated, and tends to be quite fragile. If you need to install Windows on a Boot Camp partition,  Apple provides detailed instructions for doing so.

If you have any questions about using Windows on your Mac, please send an email to or stop by MacLean 126.