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 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.
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.
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).
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.
Select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) as the virtual hard disk type you will create and click Next.
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.
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.
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.
Add 4 processors to the macOS machine in the System / Processor tab. Otherwise, you may encounter the Load_init_program error during installation.
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.
Finally, configure the Video Memory of the macOS Big Sur guest machine to 128 MB.
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.
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.
Select the ISO image you downloaded to your host computer and click the Open button.
After adding the Big Sur installation image to the virtual machine, check its settings again.
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.
After editing the macOS code and saving it as cmd, run it as an administrator.
After making all the settings of the macOS virtual computer, run the virtual machine.
Select the macOS ISO file as the startup disk of the virtual machine and click Start.
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.
Wait while the virtual machine boots from the ISO image.
Select the system display language you want to use in your macOS virtual operating system and continue.
You must format the virtual disk before system setup. Therefore, select Disk Utility on the Recovery screen and click the Continue button.
Select the VBOX HARDDISK Media virtual disk and click the Erase button.
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.
Scheme: GUID Partition Map
Now, select the Install macOS Big Sur option and click the Continue button to start the system installation.
When the system setup wizard opens, click the Continue button to proceed.
After reading the license agreement of the macOS Big Sur operating system, accept it.
Select the Hard Disk you formatted and click the Install button.
Wait while the wizard copies the installation files.
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.
After selecting the country or region you live in, click the Continue button.
Set the keyboard layout and system display language you want to use in the VM and click Continue.
On the Accessibility screen, you can adjust various settings to further personalize your system. You can change these settings later in System Preferences.
On the Data & Privacy screen, you can click Learn More to learn more or click Continue to proceed.
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.
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.
Accept the license terms of the macOS software.
Type your user account information for your virtual operating system and click the Continue button.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can change how the Dock, menu, buttons, and windows appear on the Choose Your Look screen as Light, Dark, and Auto.
After completing the installation of the virtual macOS system, you can click About This Mac from the Finder application to check 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.
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.
After shutting down the Guest operating system, run CMD as an administrator and execute the commands below to change the screen resolution.
When you open your guest virtual system again in VirtualBox, this time you can see that the screen resolution is 1280×720.
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.
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.