How to Install Windows 10 on VMware Fusion in macOS / Mac

Running Microsoft Windows 10 in a virtual machine in a macOS environment provides a versatile computing experience for Mac users. In particular, VMware Fusion 12 Pro allows us to create virtual machines on Mac computers. It also provides a seamless way to operate various systems.

In this article, I will explain how to install Windows 10 on Mac using VMware Fusion 12 Pro. First, I will explain each step, from creating a virtual machine to installing this system.

Installing Windows 10 on VMware Fusion

How to Set Up Windows 10 on Mac / macOS using Fusion 12 Pro

VMware Fusion lets you create virtual machines on Mac computers and install and run Windows, Linux, or macOS on them.

There are Pro and Player versions of the Fusion program developed by VMware for Apple Mac OS X systems. The Player version is free and suitable for personal use. The Pro version enables the use of more advanced features in VMs and is paid.

You can use the Boot Camp program when you want to install a Windows 10 system in addition to the macOS operating system of your Apple Mac computer with an Intel-based processor. Still, you will have to restart your computer when you want to switch to Windows 10.

You can choose VMware Fusion software instead of Boot Camp on your host computer. Thus, you will be able to boot up your Windows 10 operating system quickly without having to restart your system every time.

After installing Fusion Pro, you can easily install an operating system in the VM using the ISO installation media of the operating system or the CD/DVD optical drive of your physical computer.

How to Create a Virtual Machine (Guest Machine) for Windows 10

Creating a virtual machine with Fusion is quite simple and easy compared to other software. Suppose you have the operating system’s ISO file. In that case, you can quickly prepare a guest machine by dragging and dropping it into the program.

Step 1

After opening the Fusion software, you can see different installation methods on its main screen. To create a more detailed and neat virtual computer, select Create a custom virtual machine and click the Continue button.

Choose Installation Method

Step 2

You need to select the operating system that you will install on the virtual machine on this screen. Since you will install Windows 10 on the guest machine, choose Microsoft Windows / Windows 10 x64 and click Continue again.

Select Operating System

Step 3

When you decide to install older versions of Windows, you should choose Legacy BIOS for systems that do not support UEFI. If you are going to install Microsoft’s current operating system, I recommended to select UEFI / UEFI Secure Boot for VM security.

Select Firmware Type

Step 4

Suppose you have a Windows 10 virtual disk that you have previously installed. In that case, you can add the virtual disk to the guest machine using the add an existing virtual disk option. However, if you want to install Windows 10 from scratch, it would be more logical to create a new virtual disk.

Choose a Virtual Disk

Step 5

In the last step of the virtual machine creation wizard, click the Customize Settings button and configure the installation location of the VM in the window that opens.

Configuring the Installation Location

Step 6

When you open the settings of the Windows 10 guest machine, configure the amount of virtual processor and memory size in accordance with the processor and RAM characteristics of your host computer. In addition, you can use nested virtualization by enabling the use of hypervisor applications within the VM and increasing virtual system performance by converting virtual memory addresses to physical addresses with the IOMMU feature.

  • Enable hypervisor applications in this virtual machine
  • Enable IOMMU in this virtual machine

Processor and RAM Settings

Step 7

To let your guest machine get an address automatically from the DHCP server on your Mac’s network, adjust the network settings accordingly. In this case, select Ethernet if you want it to appear as a separate device on your local network.

Configuring the Network Adapter

Step 8

You must add the Windows 10 ISO file to the virtual machine you prepared. Now, in the CD/DVD settings, select the Choose a disk or disk image option from the pop-up window.

Adding Windows 10 ISO File to Virtual Machine

Step 9

At this stage, go to the location of the Windows 10 image file you downloaded to your Mac. After selecting the ISO file from the relevant area, click Open.

Choosing the Windows 10 ISO File

Step 10

If you do not want to print from the Guest machine to the printer selected by default on your Mac, delete the printer port in the Printer settings.

Deleting the Printer Port

Step 11

Enable drag-drop and copy-paste support to transfer files and copy text between the host and virtual computer.

Enabling Drag and Drop and Copy and Paste on a VM

Step 12

To increase the virtual machine performance in advanced settings, configure the Troubleshooting feature to None and also check the Disable Side Channel Mitigations option.

Turning Off Side Channel Mitigations

Step 13

After preparing and configuring the Windows 10 virtual machine, run it to start the system setup.

Running Windows 10 Virtual Machine

How to Install Windows 10 on a macOS PC

Installing Windows 10 on a Mac consists of the same steps as installing it on a physical computer in a real scenario.

Step 1

After running the virtual computer, press any key on your keyboard to start the installation when it boots with the ISO image you added.

Press any key to boot from CD or DVD

Step 2

After selecting the system display language, system time settings, and keyboard layout you want to use in your guest operating system, click Next.

Windows 10 Setup Screen

Step 3

Click the Install Now button to start the Windows installation in the setup wizard. Also, in this window, you can click Repair Your Computer and perform the relevant steps to repair your system from file errors later.

Install Windows

Step 4

When you have already bought the operating system you plan to use on the guest machine, you should enter your product key on the Activate Windows screen.

However, if you will only use the VM for testing, click I don’t have a product key to continue without activating your system.

Activating Windows

Step 5

You will see the Windows 10 versions you want to install on the virtual machine. On this screen, select a suitable version depending on your business and click Next.

Selecting the Operating System Version

Step 6

Accept the software license terms of the Windows 10 Pro operating system and click Next.

Accepting the License Agreement

Step 7

If you were using an older version of Windows, you could update your system to a newer version of Windows in this window. Click Install Windows Only to install from scratch.

Install Windows Only

Step 8

You can select the virtual disk or partition where you want to install Windows. If you have added a new virtual disk, you need to create a new partition. So, after selecting Drive 0 Unallocated Space, click New and then click the Apply button to accept the disk space automatically by the wizard.

Configuring Unallocated Disk Space

Step 9

After partitioning the virtual HDD, select the Primary partition Drive 0 Partition 3 and click Next.

Drive 0 Partition 3

Step 10

Wait while the setup wizard copies the Windows 10 system files.

Preparing Files for Installation

Step 11

Restart your virtual system as soon as the Windows 10 wizard copies the necessary system files.

Restart Virtual Computer

Step 12

When your guest operating system restarts, you will configure Windows 10 system settings. Select the country you live in in the region settings of your system and click Yes.

Selecting the Region

Step 13

For the keyboard settings of your guest system, select the keyboard layout you use in your macOS system and click Yes again.

Choose Keyboard Layout

Step 14

If you want to add a second keyboard layout to your virtual system, click the Add Layout button to continue. Otherwise, if you do not want to add another layout, click the Skip button.

Skipping Adding a Second Keyboard Layout

Step 15

Suppose you are going to use your guest system in a server environment. In that case, you can add your VM to the domain environment with the Organization option. Or, if you prefer to use it personally, click Set up for personal use.

Set For Personal Use

Step 16

When you set up your Guest machine for personal use, you can sign in with a Microsoft account and back up all your data and settings to the cloud. If you do not want to log in with a Microsoft account, click Offline Account.

Create Offline Account

Step 17

Click Limited Experience to continue without choosing to use Microsoft applications and services.

Activating Limited Experience

Step 18

Type a username for your Windows 10 virtual system and click Next.

Create User Account

Step 19

You can protect your system from unauthorized people by creating a user account password that you can definitely remember. You can directly click Next to continue without making a system password.

Create a Memorable Password

Step 20

If you want to enable sending your location and diagnostic data to Microsoft in the privacy settings of your Windows 10 operating system or allow personalized advertisements, click the Accept button. If you prefer to accept some of these options, configure the relevant settings and continue.

Configuring Privacy Settings

Step 21

If you want to enable the use of Cortana after the privacy settings, click the I accept button. You can click Not Now to configure Cortana later.

Set Cortana Usage Later

Step 22

After making the necessary settings, your Windows 10 desktop environment will be ready. You can find the Windows version by executing the Winver command in the Run tool.

Verifying Windows 10 Version

How to Install and Configure VMware Tools on Windows 10 Guest Machine

After installing Windows 10 on macOS using VMware Fusion, you need to install VMware Tools in order to fix the screen resolution, increase system performance, or transfer files on the VM.

Step 1

When your guest virtual machine is running, you can install VMware Tools by clicking on Virtual Machine in Fusion’s menu. Then, click Install to mount the CD image to the system.

VMware Tools Installation

Step 2

After clicking the AutoPlay window in the lower right corner of your system, click Run setup64.exe.

Running setup64.exe

Step 3

Click Next to continue installing the virtual machine tools in the VMware Tools setup wizard.

VMware Tools Wizard

Step 4

If you are going to use your guest machine with other VMware products, select Complete in the installation options and click Next.

Select Installation Type

Step 5

Hit the Install button to start setting up the virtual machine tools. If there is a setting you want to change, you can go back with Back or end the installation with Exit.

Start Installation

Step 6

Wait while the video driver of the virtual machine and other hardware drivers are loaded.

Installing Video Driver

Step 7

You have installed VMware Tools on the Windows 10 guest machine. Now, restart the OS to activate the drivers of the virtual system, that is, to activate the changes.

Reboot Guest Machine

Step 8

You can now transfer files between your Windows 10 guest machine and your Mac computer using the drag-and-drop method.

File Transfer Between Host and Virtual Machine

How to Test Internet Connection

You have prepared your Windows 10 virtual computer on your Mac. Now, one of the other things you need to do is test the Internet connection. Because of that, the VM can access your Mac’s local network or the Internet.

Step 1

In Windows 10 VM, press Windows Key + R to open Run, type cmd in Open, and click OK. Ping the Google servers and test your network connection by executing the png command at the command prompt.

Testing Internet Connection Using Ping

Step 2

Open the Microsoft Edge web browser on Windows 10 and check that you can access the Google homepage.

Testing the Internet Using Microsoft Edge

How to Use USB Flash Memory in Virtual Machine

It is straightforward to connect your USB flash drives or USB storage devices to the Windows guest machines you use on macOS.

When you connect a device to your Mac’s USB port, the Fusion program will ask you where you want to connect that device. In this window, you can connect your USB device to your Mac or Windows guest machine.

Step 1

Plug a USB stick into your Mac computer and click Connect to Mac to connect it to your macOS system first.

USB Memory Usage in VM

Step 2

Open Disk Utility and right-click on the USB device you connected from the External section, then click Erase.

Formatting a USB Stick in macOS

Step 3

You cannot use an NTFS-based USB device on Mac systems. So, change the format of your USB device to ExFAT and click Erase again.

Formatting USB Disk as ExFAT

Step 4

You can now copy or create a file or folder inside the flash memory called KINGSTON on your Mac computer.

Checking Flash Memory is Writable

Step 5

After making your flash drive usable on Mac, click Virtual Machine / USB & Bluetooth / Connect KINGSTON (Kingston DataTraveler 3.0) in the Fusion tool menu to connect it to your Windows guest machine.

Connecting Flash Disk from macOS Host to Windows 10 Guest Machine

Step 6

In Windows 10 virtual PC, you can now use your USB stick and transfer files between your host and your VM via USB.

Checking the Contents of USB Memory in Windows 10 Guest

How to Connect to Guest OS using Remote Desktop Connection on Mac

You can continue to do your work by connecting to a Windows guest machine running on your Mac with a Remote Desktop Connection. After downloading and installing this software for macOS on your system, you need to allow remote connections on your guest machine and create a password for your user account.

Step 1

After right-clicking on My Computer on your Windows 10 machine, click Manage from the options that appear. Then, when Computer Management opens, click Users under Local Users and Groups on the left.

To set a password for the user named User in the user list on the right panel, right-click on it. Then, click Set Password. Click the Proceed button in the warning window informing you that you have chosen to reset the password for the local user account.

Creating Password for User Account

Step 2

In the “Set Password” window, pick a password that’s easy for you to remember, then click “OK” to continue.

Creating User Password

Step 3

To allow remote connections in Windows 10, open computer properties and click Remote Settings on the left. Then, go to the Remote tab in the System Properties window and turn on Remote Desktop.

Allow Remote Desktop Connections

Step 4

After downloading the Microsoft Remote Desktop application to your Mac, double-click the pkg installation file.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Setup

Step 5

Click Continue in the Microsoft Remote Desktop setup wizard.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Wizard

Step 6

Accept the license agreement to continue using the Remote Desktop software.

Accept License Agreement

Step 7

Click Continue again to start the installation without changing the installation location.

Start Installation

Step 8

To start the installation, type your macOS user account password and click Install Software.

Typing User Account Password

Step 9

Open Applications on your Mac and run Microsoft Remote Desktop.

Running the Microsoft Remote Desktop Application

Step 10

Click OK if you want to allow the use of your computer’s camera and microphone devices on remote connections.

Allow Camera and Microphone on Remote Desktop Connection

Step 11

After opening the Remote Desktop application, click Add PC to add your Windows guest machine.

Adding the VM to Connect to

Step 12

Execute the ipconfig command in CMD to find out the IP address of your guest machine. Type the IP address of the guest machine in PC Name and click Add User Account from the User Account options to automate the remote login.

Typing PC's IP Address and Defining User Account

Step 13

When you open the Add a User Account window, type the user account name and password of the Windows 10 guest machine and click the Add button.

Adding User Account

Step 14

After typing the necessary information, add your virtual computer to the remote desktop program.

Adding the Virtual PC

Step 15

Connect to the PC you added to the homepage of the Microsoft Remote Desktop program and click Continue in the certificate warning window.

Connecting to the Guest Machine Remotely

Step 16

You have successfully connected to a Windows 10 guest machine via a remote desktop from your Mac.

Remote Desktop Connection from Host to VM

How to Configure Shared Folder

You can use the Shared Folder feature on Fusion to make the file transfer between your host computer and your VM easier.

Step 1

Click Virtual Machine / Settings from the tool menu to enable Shared Folder while the guest machine is running.

Configuring Shared Folder

Step 2

When you open the settings of the Windows 10 machine, click Sharing.

Sharing Settings

Step 3

After enabling Shared Folder in the virtual machine, click the + button to add a location on your Mac.

Enabling Shared Folder and Determining Location on Host

Step 4

You can access the files you have added or created to the Shared Folder location created on your Windows 10 virtual computer directly from your macOS system.

Transfer Files Between Mac and VM using Shared Folder



As a result, we can use VMware Fusion 12 Pro to run Windows 10 on Mac. This software provides flexible and seamless virtualization on our Mac PCs. You can create VMs, whether for professional purposes or personal use. Afterward, you can install and run various operating systems on these fake PCs.

If you are a Mac user, you can install Windows 10 on your host system by following every step I explain in this article. This way, you get enhanced productivity and functionality on your Mac computer. With the power of virtualization, you can quickly switch between different operating systems!

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