How to Install macOS Big Sur 11 in VirtualBox on Windows 10

In this article, we will examine how to run macOS Big Sur 11 on a new virtual machine using the Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization program on the Windows 10 x64 Bit PC.

How to Install macOS Big Sur 11 in VirtualBox on Windows 10

How to Set Up macOS Big Sur 11 on a Virtual Machine using VirtualBox 6 on Windows 10

Before purchasing a MacBook Pro or iMac computer, if you are a Windows operating system user, you can test and experience the Mac operating system by installing it on virtual machines.

You can use one of the virtualization programs to run and use the macOS operating system on a desktop or laptop computer without an Apple Mac computer. You can install Big Sur on Windows 10 by using one of the VMware Workstation or VirtualBox virtualization programs.

We couldn’t create a new virtual PC for macOS Big Sur without using the Unlocker program on VMware. On Oracle VM VirtualBox, you do not need to use a program such as Unlocker. After creating a virtual PC for macOS in VirtualBox, you only need to run a few codes before starting the installation.

Before proceeding with the installation steps, download the Big Sur ISO file from this link to your host computer. You can also use this image file on VMware Workstation, Fusion, or ESXi server.

How to Create a New VM for macOS Big Sur

Before starting to create a virtual machine, install VirtualBox on your Windows 10 system, and then download and add the Extension Pack.

   Step 1

After running the virtualization program, click the New button in the tool menu to create a new virtual computer for macOS Big Sur.

In the Create Virtual Machine window, type the version of the macOS system in the Name field and select Mac OS X from the Type field. In the Version section, select which version of macOS you will install, and then click the Next button.

Creating a macOS Virtual Machine

   Step 2

You need to allocate RAM size to the virtual machine according to the hardware performance of your host computer. If the capacity of your host RAM is 16 GB, assign 8 GB RAM size in the Memory Size window. Under normal conditions, a macOS virtual computer runs smoothly with a memory size of 4096 (4 GB).

Configuring RAM Size

   Step 3

If you have the virtual machine disk installed, you can add it to the virtual hard disk window and run your macOS system directly. But if you are doing a clean installation, choose the Create a virtual hard disk now option and click the Create button to continue.

Create a New Virtual Hard Disk

   Step 4

Select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) as the virtual hard disk type you will create and click Next.

VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)

   Step 5

If you configure the virtual hard disk as Fixed Size while creating a virtual machine with VirtualBox, a space equal to the size of the virtual disk will be allocated on your host disk. On older computers, a fixed-size virtual disk will provide an extra performance boost.

If your host computer’s disk is SSD or NVMe, it would be better to configure the virtual disk as Dynamically allocated.

Dynamically Backing Up a Virtual Disk on a Physical Disk

   Step 6

Back up the installation and virtual disk location of the virtual computer to the external disk and do not fill the capacity of your host disk unnecessarily. Determine the size of the virtual disk according to the workload you will do in the macOS virtual system. If you just want to install and test, 50 GB disk size will be enough.

Configuring the Size of the Virtual Disk

   Step 7

After preparing the guest virtual machine, open its settings and remove the Floppy device from the System / Motherboard / Boot Order settings and configure the optical drive as the primary device.

Changing the Boot Sequence

   Step 8

Add 4 processors to the macOS machine in the System / Processor tab. Otherwise, you may encounter the Load_init_program error during installation.

Increasing the Number of Virtual Processors

   Step 9

By enabling the virtualization feature on the virtual computer, you can set up faster and increase system performance. Click on the Acceleration tab and tick the Hardware Virtualization feature. In addition, if you plan to use a virtualization program within the VM, you can enable Nested Paging.

Enabling the Virtualization Feature

   Step 10

Finally, configure the Video Memory of the macOS Big Sur guest machine to 128 MB.

Increasing the Memory of the Video Adapter

   Step 11

To increase the performance of the virtual disk, enable Host I/O Cache on Controller: SATA. Thanks to this, the disk of the virtual computer will run a little faster.

Enable Host I/O Cache

   Step 12

To add the macOS Big Sur ISO file to the virtual computer, select the optical drive from the Storage devices, and then click the CD/DVD icon and click Choose a disk file.

Adding macOS Big Sur ISO File to a Virtual Machine

   Step 13

Select the ISO image you downloaded to your host computer and click the Open button.

Selecting the macOS Big Sur ISO File

   Step 14

After adding the Big Sur installation image to the virtual machine, check its settings again.

Checking the Virtual Computer's Settings

   Step 15

Before you can run macOS systems using VirtualBox virtualization, you need to add additional settings to the virtual machine using the CMD command prompt.

Close the Oracle VM VirtualBox program and type the codes in a new text document on your desktop and save the file as .cmd. Or, after running CMD as administrator, you can apply the codes in order.

The point you need to pay attention to here is to type the name of your VM in the highlighted places in the script file.

cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”
VBoxManage.exe modifyvm “Your Virtual Machine Name” –cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff
VBoxManage setextradata “Your Virtual Machine Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct” “iMac11,3”
VBoxManage setextradata “Your Virtual Machine Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion” “1.0”
VBoxManage setextradata “Your Virtual Machine Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct” “Iloveapple”
VBoxManage setextradata “Your Virtual Machine Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey” “ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc”
VBoxManage setextradata “Your Virtual Machine Name” “VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC” 1

You can copy the commands from the Github page: https://gist.github.com/TolgaBagci/5920088af310dec9dcf25bc6abb19502

VirtualBox macOS Codes

   Step 16

After editing the macOS code and saving it as cmd, run it as an administrator.

Applying macOS Codes

   Step 17

After making all the settings of the macOS virtual computer, run the virtual machine.

Running the macOS Virtual Machine

   Step 18

Select the macOS ISO file as the startup disk of the virtual machine and click Start.

Choosing the macOS ISO File

How to Install macOS Big Sur

After making the necessary settings to install the Mac operating system on VirtualBox, run the virtual machine and complete the installation process as if you were installing on a physical Mac.

   Step 1

Wait while the virtual machine boots from the ISO image.

Turning on macOS System

   Step 2

Select the system display language you want to use in your macOS virtual operating system and continue.

Selecting the System Language

   Step 3

You must format the virtual disk before system setup. Therefore, select Disk Utility on the Recovery screen and click the Continue button.

Opening Disk Utility

   Step 4

Select the VBOX HARDDISK Media virtual disk and click the Erase button.

Formatting VBOX HARDDISK Media

   Step 5

After clicking the Erase button, configure the name, format, and schema structure of the virtual disk as follows and click the Erase button again. After VBOX HARDDISK Media is formatted, click the Done button.

  • Name: macOSBigSur
  • Format: APFS
  • Scheme: GUID Partition Map

Formatting Virtual Disk as APFS

   Step 6

Now, select the Install macOS Big Sur option and click the Continue button to start the system installation.

Install macOS Big Sur

   Step 7

When the system setup wizard opens, click the Continue button to proceed.

Starting macOS Setup

   Step 8

After reading the license agreement of the macOS Big Sur operating system, accept it.

Accepting the Apple Software Agreement

   Step 9

Select the Hard Disk you formatted and click the Install button.

Selecting the Disk to Install

   Step 10

Wait while the wizard copies the installation files.

Copying System Files

   Step 11

When the macOS guest machine reboots, the setup wizard will continue where it left off. Less than a minute remaining on this screen may take time depending on your computer’s performance. Before preparing this article, the “Less than a minute remaining” part was completed in about 30 minutes during installation.

About 28 minutes remaining

   Step 12

After selecting the country or region you live in, click the Continue button.

Country and Region Selection

   Step 13

Set the keyboard layout and system display language you want to use in the VM and click Continue.

Configuring Written and Spoken Languages

   Step 14

On the Accessibility screen, you can adjust various settings to further personalize your system. You can change these settings later in System Preferences.

Editing Accessibility Features

   Step 15

On the Data & Privacy screen, you can click Learn More to learn more or click Continue to proceed.

Data and Privacy Settings

   Step 16

You can easily transfer your data from a Windows PC or MAC computer on this screen. However, if you do not have any data or want to transfer the files later, click Not Now.

Migration Assistant

   Step 17

You can sign in with your credentials on the Apple ID screen. If you do not have an Apple ID, you can create it with the Create new Apple ID option, or you can try to recover your forgotten password. If you do not want to log into the macOS VM, click Set Up Later.

Sign in with Apple ID

   Step 18

Accept the license terms of the macOS software.

Confirming Software License Terms

   Step 19

Type your user account information for your virtual operating system and click the Continue button.

Creating a Computer Account

   Step 20

If you want to allow Apple services such as Find My Mac to use your location and to send crash data you encounter in applications to Apple, click Continue directly. If you want to edit these settings, you can click Customize Settings.

Configuring Apple Services

   Step 21

You can help improve the macOS platform by enabling the sharing of usage and error data of the applications you will use with application developers.

Confirming Data Sharing for Developers

   Step 22

Screen Time provides you with information about the usage rates of the applications you commonly use on your system or the web pages you visit. It also allows parents to create profiles of children suitable for all ages.

Any settings you make on Screen Time will automatically sync across Mac, iPhone or iPad devices signed in with the same Apple ID.

Setting Screen Time

   Step 23

By activating Siri on your Mac or guest operating system, you can access apps faster, find any resource on the Internet more easily, or get quick solutions by asking about anything.

Enabling Siri

   Step 24

You can change how the Dock, menu, buttons, and windows appear on the Choose Your Look screen as Light, Dark, and Auto.

Selecting the System Theme

   Step 25

After completing the installation of the virtual macOS system, you can click About This Mac from the Finder application to check the system version.

Checking the System Version

How to Change the Screen Resolution

After installing macOS Big Sur with VirtualBox, you can see that the screen resolution is 1024×768 by default. You can change the screen size of the VM by pressing Ctrl + C together, but this process may not be very efficient.

You have to manually change the screen resolution due to the Guest Additions error on macOS Big Sur.

   Step 1

To find out the macOS screen size, you can see the value in the Displays tab in the window that opens after clicking About This Mac in the Finder tool.

Changing the Screen Resolution

   Step 2

After shutting down the Guest operating system, run CMD as an administrator and execute the commands below to change the screen resolution.

cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\Virtualbox”
VBoxManage setextradata “macOSBigSur” VBoxInternal2/EfiGraphicsResolution 1280×720
Values: 1280×720, 1920×1080, 2048×1080, 2560×1440, 3840×2160, 1280×800, 1280×1024, 1440×900, 1600×900

You can copy the commands from the Github page: https://gist.github.com/TolgaBagci/00b5cbca032c6dc7e5cb6ced09e4c080

Changing the Resolution Size

   Step 3

When you open your guest virtual system again in VirtualBox, this time you can see that the screen resolution is 1280×720.

1280x720 Screen Size

macOS Installation Errors

   Setup Cannot Continue and System Automatically Enters Recovery Mode

If the virtual machine enters Recovery Mode automatically after the setup wizard has copied the system files, you can boot your system normally by executing the following commands on the UEFI Interactive Shell screen.

After opening UEFI Interactive Shell, execute the commands below until the boot.efi command.

fs1:
cd "macOS Install Data"
cd "Locked Files"
cd "Boot Files"

Add the ISO file back to the virtual machine and then execute the boot.efi command.

boot.efi

How to Install macOS High Sierra

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23 Comments

  1. Avatar for Mustafa Mustafa 6 May 2018

    Top Website for ever thx…

    Reply
  2. Avatar for Wouter Wouter 10 May 2018

    Seems to stay stuck at step 2: wait while the macos is starting

    Reply
    • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 11 May 2018

      Hello there. The wait time may vary depending on your computer’s specifications.

      Please wait a little longer in step 2, the MacOS installation will continue.

      Reply
      • Avatar for Alec Alec 20 June 2018

        I’m also stuck at step 2 where it says end randomseed. does it really take that long? or am It’s not doing anything? I notice the task manager that virtualbox has no cpu usage.

        Reply
        • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 29 June 2018

          Yes it takes a little longer during the installation phase. You can try the old version of VirtualBox if you want.

          Reply
          • Avatar for Ahmed Hamad Ahmed Hamad 22 July 2018

            STUCK on step 2. after randomseed message it won’t proceed.

          • Avatar for Irina Irina 31 July 2018

            It can be very specific and common problem for many users. Actually, I’ve tryed for several times to install MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4 with various builds of VB and several MacOS ISO’s. And, ya, step 2 will never ends. Try to notice one thing: text from step2’s screenshot is repeating! You can wait as long as you want, but instalation will never starts because of endless repeating of tries to install. I don’t know why does it happend (I don’t understand this log from screen). But it’s a fact.

            P.S.: Sorry for my bad english

  3. Avatar for Paul Paul 12 May 2018

    Got through the second stage of installation okay after running boot.efi but then when it restarts it just drops back to the UEFI shell again.

    I’m using the ISO provided by this site and the latest version of virtual box. I’ve tried the whole process 3 times now. Any ideas?

    Alsothespacebardoesn’tworkinthiscommentwindow. TotypetherestIhadtotypeitinnotpadandpaste.

    Reply
    • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 12 May 2018

      Hello, Paul. Thanks for your comment.

      Before running the boot.efi command, insert the ISO file on the MacOS virtual machine.

      In addition, two videos were made with this ISO file. These videos are available on our YouTube channel.

      Paul, can you try the processor value of your MacOS virtual machine by setting it to 1? And make sure you set a minimum RAM value of 4 GB.

      Reply
      • Avatar for Paul Paul 13 May 2018

        Okay I’m trying re-installing again using one processor.

        One thing I’ve just noticed when I’ve gone in to the disk utility is that it’s automatically become an APFS Partition.

        I definitely selected Mac OS Extended (Journaled) when I created it. Is this normal?

        Reply
        • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 15 May 2018

          Hello there.

          Did you install MacOS with VirtualBox?

          Yes, Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is automatically selected.

          APFS: Apple’s new file system is more resistant to data corruption due to bugs and power failures.

          Reply
  4. Avatar for Max Max 18 May 2018

    The MacOS did not work for me on Virtualbox.

    It kept restarting the Step 2

    Reply
  5. Avatar for Syed Ali Al Uraidhi Bin Syed Alwi Syed Ali Al Uraidhi Bin Syed Alwi 19 May 2018

    It start to intall back macOS after I shut down my installed macOS, where is my installed macOS?

    Reply
  6. Avatar for Paul Paul 1 June 2018

    Yes it was installed with Virtual Box exactly as described in the guide.

    Every single time I’ve used Mac OS Extended (Journaled) but it’s always become an APFS partition automatically by the time I’ve done the second stage of the installation and just falls back to the UEFI shell instead.

    Reply
  7. Avatar for Evan Evan 22 June 2018

    **Your tutorial is bad and you should feel bad.**
    Followed the instructions exactly; three times even.

    Everyone commenting that the virtual HD is not bootable after installing is correct.
    Don’t waste your time here. You did everything right; this is just a bad disk image and / or bad guide. Move along.

    Reply
    • Avatar for tolqabaqci tolqabaqci 29 June 2018

      I certainly do not agree with your opinion. Many people are thanking me. I think you’re making a mistake during installation.

      Carefully follow the MacOS installation steps again.

      Reply
  8. Avatar for A A 12 July 2018

    So I finally got this to work past Step 2 where it boot looping in the shell

    After re-reading this I noticed that it had specified you MUST close VirtualBox before applying the command line changes, then reopen it. If you don’t do this you will be stuck in the same boot loop before it reaches the grey screen with the Apple logo.

    I reiterate, CLOSE VIRTUAL BOX before running the command line stuff, will get you past step 2!

    Reply
  9. Avatar for Irina Irina 19 July 2018

    Do not try to use VB 5.1! You will not pass Step 2 even with some another ISO. Even if you close VB before CMD things.

    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

    Reply
  10. Avatar for Joe Joe 8 November 2019

    This is not working anymore. I get the following message after setting up the installation volume:
    This copy of the install MacOS High Sierra.app application is damaged. I checked the date of the system, and it’s current. I also tried to set a past date, but no,luck.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Mate0 Mate0 24 January 2020

      on “macOS Utilities” screen where you select install macOS, on the tool bar above is a Utilities drop down, select Terminal. Disconnect your internet connection, then type date 010101012017 and hit enter. Select Terminal drop down and select Quit terminal to return to main screen, then select install macOS and it should work this time. Can reconnect to internet after.

      Reply
      • Avatar for Tom Tom 13 February 2020

        This worked for me, thanks.
        guest: macOS 10.13.6
        host: linux

        Reply
  11. Avatar for Lior Lior 17 October 2020

    I’m stuck in step 8, I erased the disk and named it exactly as you did, I even installed the EXTACT SAME iso image as you did, I followed exactly your steps, everything worked until i clicked install macOS and it says: “This copy of the install macOS High Sierra application is damaged, and can’t be used to install macOS”.
    I’m using the latest VB but it really doesn’t matter, it doesn’t work and I need help please.

    Reply
    • Avatar for Tolga Bagci Tolga Bagci 17 October 2020

      Open Terminal in the macOS Utilities screen and execute the “date 121401582018” command. Then quit the terminal and try the installation again.

      Reply

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