How to Install Windows 10 on VMware Workstation

In this article, we will examine how to install Microsoft Windows 10 on a new virtual machine using VMware 16 Pro on a computer with a virtualization feature.

How to Install Windows 10 on VMware Workstation

How to Run Windows 10 on a Virtual Machine with VMware Workstation 16 Pro on a PC/Laptop

If you are going to create a network environment or a test environment using the VM Workstation program, you may need to install one of the Windows 10, 7, 8, and 8.1 operating systems or one of the Linux distributions on your computer.

You can install and run various operating systems on your physical (host) computer using virtualization programs. In addition, you can use the Hyper-V or Oracle VM VirtualBox programs to create a virtual computer on your computer, other than VMware Pro software.

If you want to install Windows 10 using Oracle virtualization software, you can check out this article.

Although the VMware Workstation virtualization program is not a free program, it is more widely used than the free VirtualBox program. We recommend that you purchase VMware Pro after trying it free for 30 days.

In this article, after creating a virtual machine with the latest version of the Workstation program, we will create a virtual computer and then install the Windows 10 20H2 version and finally install VMware Tools so that the guest machine can work more efficiently.

Before proceeding with the steps to install the Windows operating system on the virtual computer, visit this article and download the latest version of Windows 10 to your computer.

   Step 1

Now, open the VMware 16 Pro software and click Create a New Virtual Machine.

Create a New Virtual Machine

   Step 2

In the virtual machine creation wizard, select Custom (Advanced) and click Next.

Advanced Virtual Machine Wizard

   Step 3

In the hardware compatibility window, select Workstation 16.x or later and click Next.

Configuring Hardware Compatibility

   Step 4

To add the ISO image file to the virtual machine later in the guest machine setup, check the “I will install the operating system later” option and click Next.

Adding the ISO File Later

   Step 5

In the Guest operating system selection window, you must configure the system type and version you will install. In this step, select the Microsoft Windows operating system and Windows 10 x64 in the Version section.

Guest Operating System Selection

   Step 6

When you want to install a Windows, Linux, or macOS operating system with VMware, configuring the virtual machine installation location on another hard drive is very useful for performance. In fact, you get more performance by installing a virtual machine on an SSD or NVMe disk.

Configuring the Virtual Machine Name and Location

   Step 7

Continue with the UEFI selected by default in the Firmware Type window. In this step, you can enable Secure Boot or do it later in the VM’s settings.

UEFI Firmware Selection

   Step 8

In the Processor Configuration window, configure the amount of CPU you want to add to the virtual machine and the Core value per processor.

Setting Processors and Cores

   Step 9

You can assign a minimum or maximum value to the virtual machine, depending on the capacity of your computer. If your host has 32GB of RAM, setting an amount of 8GB or 16GB of RAM here will be beneficial for performance.

Setting the Amount of RAM for the VM

   Step 10

In the Network Type window, select NAT to use a separate IP block from your host’s IP address range and click Next.

NAT Network Adapter Selection

   Step 11

In the Select I/O Controller Types window, continue with the installation with the LSI Logic SAS disk type selected by default, supported by Windows 10.

I/O Controller Selection

   Step 12

One of the new features of VMware Workstation Pro is the NVMe disk type. When you install with NVMe disk type, you will get a lot of performance.

NVMe Disk Type

   Step 13

In the Select a Disk window, you need to create a new virtual disk for Windows 10 or add a virtual disk you have previously installed. For a clean Windows installation, select “Create a new virtual disk” and click Next.

Creating a New Virtual Disk

   Step 14

In the Specify Disk Capacity window, the Workstation program recommends 60GB for Windows 10. It is sometimes useful to keep this value at the maximum value, but it can take up a lot of space on your host’s disk.

So, if you are installing Windows 10 with VMware for testing only, configure a 30GB disk space and store the disk as a single file.

Backup Virtual Disk as Single File

   Step 15

In the Specify Disk File window, you can change the location to back up the VMDK extension virtual disk to a different location. If you change the value here, you may have difficulty finding the location of virtual machines later. So, to ensure that the disk file is stored in the location where the VM will be installed, leave the value here as default and click Next.

Naming the Virtual Disk

   Step 16

Click the Customize Hardware button to configure the hardware settings of the virtual machine.

Customizing Hardware

   Step 17

Click on the Processors component in the hardware settings of the Windows 10 virtual machine and tick all the options in the Virtualization Engine section on the right.

Here you can only enable the virtualization feature by selecting the “Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI” option.

Also, in the Display tab, enable the 3D Graphics / Accelerate 3D Graphics option and leave the Graphic Memory amount at the default value of 8GB.

Enabling the Virtualization Feature

   Step 18

In the virtual PC’s hardware settings, check the Use ISO image file option in the New CD/DVD (SATA) section, and then click the Browse button to go to the location of the Windows ISO file.

Choosing the Location of the Windows 10 ISO File

   Step 19

Select the Windows 10 image file and click Open.

Adding Windows 10 ISO File

   Step 20

After configuring the necessary settings, click the Finish button to close the hardware customization window.

Closing the Hardware Window

   Step 21

Run the virtual machine by clicking the Power on this virtual machine or the green start button. In this step, you can enable Secure Boot for UEFI boot for Windows 10 operating system from the Firmware Type settings in Options / Advanced.

Running the Virtual Computer

How to Install Windows 10

Although it is easy to install Windows 10, you may encounter some problems while installing virtualization software such as VM Workstation. Therefore, it will be useful to follow the Windows installation steps below.

   Step 1

After preparing the Windows 10 virtual machine for installation, run the VM and press any key on your keyboard when you see the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” message.

Press One Key to Boot from CD or DVD

   Step 2

Configure the system language, keyboard layout, and time zone you want to use for the Windows operating system and click the Next button.

Choosing Windows 10 System Language, Time Zone, and Keyboard Layout

   Step 3

Click the Install Now button to start the installation process.

Install Now

   Step 4

To use an original Windows 10 license in the virtual machine, type your key in the relevant section. Please click on “I don’t have a product key” as the license key is not required for testing virtual operating system installations.

Product Key

   Step 5

Select the version of Windows (Pro) you want to install and click Next.

Selecting Windows 10 Pro Edition

   Step 6

To accept the Windows 10 license agreement, check the “I accept the license terms” option and click Next.

Accepting the License Agreement

   Step 7

Click on Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced) to perform a clean installation of Microsoft Win 10.

Custom Setup

   Step 8

Click New to configure the VMware virtual disk. To use the entire disk, leave the Size field at its default value and click the Apply button.

Creating a New Partition

   Step 9

Click the OK button in the information window that will create additional partitions on the Windows disk.

Additional Partition Approval

   Step 10

Select Driver 0 Partition 3 and continue the installation by clicking the Next button.

Choosing the Partition to Install the Operating System

   Step 11

Wait while the files are prepared for installation. This process may take some time depending on the performance of your computer and your virtual machine hardware settings.

Preparing Files for Installation

   Step 12

After the installation copies the necessary files, the virtual machine will restart automatically.

Restart Now

   Step 13

Wait while the necessary settings are made and devices are being prepared.

Preparing Devices

   Step 14

When your computer restarts, select your region, the country you live in, and click the Yes button.

Region Selection

   Step 15

Select your keyboard layout and click Yes.

Keyboard Layout Selection

   Step 16

If you want to use an additional second keyboard layout, you can click the Add Layout button. You can also add a second keyboard layout after the system setup. For now, click the Skip button and continue.

Skip Adding a Second Keyboard Layout

   Step 17

You need to choose what purpose you will use Windows for on this screen. As you can see in the image below, a screen has been added for users to choose a new installation type in the new version of Windows. Here you can configure your computer for Personal or Organization.

Select the Set up for personal use option and click Next.

Set up for Personal Use

   Step 18

On this screen, you can sign in to your computer with your Microsoft account. If you do not have a Microsoft account, click the Offline Account option.

Offline Account Setup

   Step 19

If you decide to sign in with a Microsoft account on this screen, you can click Next. In this step, click on Limited Experience to create an offline or local user account.

Limited Experience

   Step 20

On the “Who’s going to use this PC?” screen, type the user account name and continue with Next.

Setting a User Name

   Step 21

If you do not want unauthorized people to use your computer, you can create a password.

Setting a Password

   Step 22

Determine the privacy settings of your device according to your personal opinion and accept them.

Configuring Privacy Settings

   Step 23

Using Cortana is offered as a preference for users. If you want to enable it, click the Accept button or click the Not Now button to enable and use it later.


   Step 24

At this step, your computer will now be set, so do not turn off your computer.

Do Not Turn Off Your Computer During Installation

   Step 25

To check the Windows OS version, press the Windows Key + R and execute the winver command in the Run window.


Windows 10 Desktop

How to Install VMware Tools

After installing Windows 10, you also need to install VMware Tools. If you do not install it, you will not be able to use the virtual machine in full-screen mode or full resolution.

   Step 1

To install VMware Tools on the virtual machine, click on VM / Install VMware Tools from the menu.

VM / Install VMware Tools

   Step 2

If the VMware Tools image file does not open automatically on your system, open This PC and double click on the DVD drive as below.

Running the VMware Tools Setup Wizard

   Step 3

Click Next to continue in the VM Tools wizard.

Setup Wizard

   Step 4

If you select Complete as the installation type, you can import and use this virtual computer in other VMware platforms.

Installing All the Features of VMware Tools

   Step 5

Click the Install button to start the virtual pc tools installation.

Starting VMware Tools Setup

   Step 6

As you can see in the image below, the Video driver and other device drivers are being installed.

Installing Video Driver

   Step 7

As the installation is completed, the screen resolution of the virtual machine will change.

Completing Installation

   Step 8

After installing VMware Tools, click Finish to close the window.

Closing the Setup Wizard

   Step 9

Restart the VM and check if the file can be copied between host and guest machine by drag and drop method.

File Transfer Between Host and Guest


Installing Windows with Older Versions

If you are using one of the old version VMware Pro software or the version you purchased before does not provide a free upgrade, you do not have to install Windows with the new version only. You can take a look at the installation processes with old versions from the table below.

Workstation Pro
YouTube Video
12 Pro
14 Pro
15 Pro
16 Pro


   Final Word

In this article, we have examined how to install and configure Windows 10 from scratch using the virtualization program step by step. Thanks for following us!

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