CrossOver Mac Version 16 supports Windows apps going back to Windows 98, and all the way up to 64-bit Windows 10. Pricing for CrossOver Mac depends on several options: a one-time purchase of the. The Mac OS supports both a left-click and a right-click for the mouse. In addition, you can hook up the mouse you use on your Windows PC to a Mac. While Apple's Magic Mouse may seem like it is a single button, clicking it from the right side produces a right-click.
Choosing to use a Mac doesn’t mean you have to leave behind Windows OS and all of the software. You can set up a dual-boot system to run both in parallel, or use a Windows emulator for Mac. In fact, if you have to deal with various platforms then a Mac would even be a great choice.
With powerful hardware, Mac computers can run any operating system flawlessly. Using Mac computers is also the only way to run (legally) Windows, macOS, and Linux. That’s obviously one of the advantages.
For those of you who are looking for an easy way to run Windows on your Mac, just keep reading and I will show you everything you need right below.
macOS does have built-in support for Windows called Boot Camp. This feature let you turn your Mac into a dual-boot system with both macOS and Windows installed on it. But if you just need to get Windows up and use a particular application, using a Windows emulator will be a better solution and save a lot of hassle.
In this article, I’m going to show you the list of best Windows emulators (FREE & PAID) that I have used and had good experiences with. Just scroll down, learn about them and choose a good one for your Mac!
1. Parallels Desktop
Parallels is the virtual machine software that lets you run Windows on your Mac without rebooting and use Windows applications like they are native to Mac or PC. It also supports plenty of other operating systems such as Chromium, Android, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu.
Parallels gives you several ways to run Windows. You can clone an existing computer by using the “Transfer Windows from a PC”, or install a fresh version from Microsoft. If you’ve used Boot Camp before, you can reuse this existing Boot Camp installation. Parallels also allows you to purchase and download original Windows ISO file right from within the program.
What I love the most about Parallels is its Coherence, which is a view mode that allows you to run Windows apps on your Mac, as though they were native Mac applications.
Under the Coherence mode, you can run Windows apps directly from the Mac Dock and easily switch between both your Windows and Mac apps without managing two separate desktops or rebooting.
Another key feature of Parallels is the ability to install and let users play Windows games. Note that it’s just a virtual software, so using Parallels would be ideal for playing certain games casually or games that don’t require a lot of powerful processing. If you want to try big games that are graphically intensive, I recommend Boot Camp.
2. VMWare Fusion
VMWare Fusion & Parallels do fundamentally the same thing, but they have some differences in features, performance & user subscriptions.
Parallels calls their windowed mode support “Coherence”, while in VMware Fusion it’s called “Unity”. There are some minor differences between the ways that each program handles these modes, but they work in essentially the same way. They both allow you to run Windows apps on your Mac desktop so you can copy, paste between Windows and Mac apps, move and resize them.
About the performance of these two Windows emulators, TekRevue has benchmarked both of them and VirtualBox – the virtual machine I will show you right below. And according to LifeHacker, Parallels tends to do best in CPU-related tests, while VMware does best in graphic-related tests.
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When it comes to the costs, both VMware Fusion & Parallels have the same price tag of $79.99 for an annual license. The difference? Well, Parallels is licensed on a per Mac basis while Fusion is licensed per user. So if you have multiple Macs, VMware Fusion would be the best bet.
VirtualBox is another Windows emulator for Mac but unlike Parallels and VMware, it’s open source software and completely free.
With VirtualBox, the set-up process of virtual machines is more tricky than two commercial competitors above. You’ll need to tweak a bunch of system settings, including how many processor cores & how much memory the virtual machine gets. Then, you’ll need an installation disc, USB drive, or ISO file (you can download to your Mac) to install from.
In terms of features and performance, it’s also not as polished as VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop. The windowed mode of VirtualBox named Seamless Mode hasn’t worked with Windows 10 yet. And it has no feature that allows you to open up individual Windows apps from the dock. That means you’ll have to launch the virtual machine manually before using your Windows apps.
However, if you just want a Windows emulator that can run some simple Windows apps on your Mac, a free service like VirtualBox may suit your needs. There are many tutorials on how to set up a virtual machine with VirtualBox out there so I don’t think it’ll be a big hassle. You can give it a try before considering VMware or Parallels.
WineBottler is not a virtual machine application but it can provide you with an easy way to wrap a Windows application into something that will run natively on OS X. This is an ideal solution if you just need to run one application and don’t really want to mess with all other stuff.
Once you’ve installed WineBottler, you can choose a program from the list within the app. WineBottler will then automatically download, install, and configure the program for you.
If you can’t find the program you want, you can download the .exe file of the program and open it by right-clicking on it and selecting Open With > Wine. You can then either execute the .exe file directly or choose to create the .app file for Mac and install.
Note that WineBottler doesn’t work well with some Windows applications. In this case, it may crash or not run at all.
5. Windows Emulator: CrossOver
CrossOver is another commercial choice for running Windows on Mac. It works just in the same way as WineBottler. It is proprietary software with out-of-the-box support for many commercial Windows applications like MS Office, Adobe Lightroom, DirectX, etc.
You can also use this software to play some popular Windows games such as Counter-Strike, Diablo, StarCraft,… CrossOver will be a better choice than WineBottler for professionals and organizations. Its licenses start at $39.95.
Dan is a web developer, a digital nomad, and a lifelong Apple fan. At iPhonebyte, his job is to help you get the most out of your iOS and Mac devices. Read the story about him and the website here.
By AppleInsider Staff
Monday, February 05, 2018, 03:09 pm PT (06:09 pm ET)
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Why would you want to run Windows on an Apple machine in the first place? First of all, there's quite a large number of programs and apps that only work on Windows, especially professional software. If you're a gamer, you can't go without Windows as the selection of games on macOS is extremely limited.
So why not just buy a Windows computer? Well Apple computers are known for their reliability and they hold their value very well compared to PCs. Some people still buy used Apple laptops that are a few years old, something almost unheard of for Windows laptops.
Mac owners can use Apple's built-in Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows for free. The first-party assistant makes installation easy, but be forewarned that you will need to restart your Mac whenever you want to access the Windows provision.
Another option is Parallels Desktop, a third-party service that allows you to switch back and forth between macOS and Windows without having to reboot, but that product requires an annual subscription.
Before we begin installing Windows using Boot Camp, make sure you're on an Intel-based Mac, have at least 55GB of free disk space on your startup drive, and have backed up all of your data.
The first thing we need is a Windows disc image file, or ISO. Use Google to search and find the 'Download Windows 10 ISO' file page on Microsoft's website. Once there, select 'Windows 10,' and hit 'Confirm.' Choose your language and select '64 bit' unless you're running an older Mac that only supports 32 bit programs.
If you're not sure, click the Apple logo at the upper-left hand corner of your Mac's home screen and select 'About this Mac.' If it says 'Core Duo' in the processor section, then your Mac is 32-bit.
If you're running OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later on a Mac, Windows installation is going to be a breeze since those models use the computer's internal drive to temporarily store Windows installation files. If not, you'll need to insert a blank 16GB or larger USB flash drive or external SSD to complete the installation.
Once your ISO file is done downloading, open Spotlight Search or Launchpad and search for 'Boot Camp Assistant.'
Click continue, then click choose and select your newly downloaded ISO file. Next, Boot Camp will ask you to adjust the size of your Windows partition. You should make it larger if you plan on downloading and playing games or using professional software.
If you're on an older Mac operating system, you'll see some options to create an install disk and download the latest Windows support software. Make sure all of them are checked, then click continue.
Now choose your ISO image file, and the destination disk, which is your USB Flash drive. Then click continue, choose the partition size for Windows 10, and click install.
If the installation is successful, the system will ask for your Mac's password. Make sure to save any important documents or files, as your Mac will instantly restart into Windows once you enter your password.
After the reboot, you'll be greeted with the windows setup menu. If your mouse isn't working, click a couple of times and the mouse pointer should show up.
Click Next, then enter your Windows 10 activation key if you have it. If you don't have one yet, click 'I don't have a product key.' In that case, choose which version of Windows 10 you want to install. We chose Windows 10 Home. Accept the terms and click next on the next page to begin the installation.
When it's finished, Windows will automatically restart and bring you through the rest of the installation. Once at the Windows desktop, the boot camp installation program will show up. This will install all the necessary drivers for Windows to run properly.
Your system will restart one more time and then Windows is ready for use!
To get back to macOS, find boot camp at the bottom right hand corner of the screen, right click on it? And click 'Restart in MacOS'
If you get an error message, don't worry. Just restart your system while holding down the option key to choose which operating system to start up in.
To get back to Windows from macOS, you can either use the restart while holding the option key method, or you can use Spotlight search to open the Startup Disk settings. Click the lock and authenticate to unlock the settings, then click on Bootcamp, and click restart.
If you want to completely remove the Boot Camp partition, open Boot Camp Assistant again and click Restore. Just remember that this operation will delete all data and contents on the Windows partition.