Mac computers can run Mac OS or Microsoft Windows OS.
iMac, Macbook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini can all run Mac OS AND Windows OS, so you can have the best of both world’s, however this is not possible on a Windows PC or Laptop.
Mac computers are preconfigured with Mac OS (El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra etc) but do not come with a Microsoft Windows licence. A genuine copy of Windows 7 Pro or higher is required. A Mac computer can run Microsoft Windows OS in two or more ways:
- Bootcamp – Bootcamp is a FREE built-in Apple Mac OS utility which allows the user to restart the mac in a choice of OS (Mac OS or Windows OS)
- Parallels – Is a paid third-party program which allows for both Mac OS and Windows OS to run simultaneously on the one computer, allowing the user to flick between Mac OS and Windows OS or display both on twin monitors at the same time.
If you only need to run Windows OS on your Mac with an occasional use of Mac OS then Bootcamp may well be suitable, is FREE and has less demanding hardware requirements than the alternative.
If you need to easily and quickly run programs on both OS and have sufficient RAM and disk space and are willing to pay the annual licence fee, then Parallels should be your choice.
Bootcamp can be setup in one of two ways, to always start in a particular OS or to give the optional choice on startup.
Use Startup Disk preferences
When you use Startup Disk preferences to select a startup disk, your Mac starts up from that disk until you choose a different one.
- Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click Startup Disk.
- Click and enter your administrator password.
- Select your startup disk, then restart your Mac.
If you see a message that your security settings do not allow this Mac to use an external startup disk, check the External Boot setting in Startup Security Utility.
Use Startup Manager
When you use Startup Manager to select a startup disk, your Mac starts up from that disk once, then returns to using the disk selected in Startup Disk preferences.
- Hold down the Option key immediately after turning on or restarting your Mac.
- Release the Option key when you see the Startup Manager window.
If your Mac is protected by a firmware password, you can release the key when you’re asked to enter the password.
- Select your startup disk, then click the arrow under its icon, or press Return.
If you press and hold the Control key during this step, your selection is saved in Startup Disk preferences, so it persists until you change it.
Parallels allows you to run one or more instances of Windows OS (Windows 7, 8 or 10) in a Mac OS Window or full screen.
Parallels can be licenced in a number of ways, but the “Home” version would be suitable for most non-corporate clients or individual users
A Mac with 8GB of RAM and an SSD drive is recommended but not essential.
Parallels can be run in a Mac OS window or Fullscreen.
Need more help?
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