What you need to install Windows 10 on Mac
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- MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
- MacBook Air introduced in 2012 or later
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2012 or later
- Mac mini introduced in 2012 or later
- iMac introduced in 2012 or later1
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later
The latest macOS updates, which can include updates to Boot Camp Assistant. You will use Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows 10.
64GB or more free storage space on your Mac startup disk:
- Your Mac can have as little as 64GB of free storage space, but at least 128GB of free storage space provides the best experience. Automatic Windows updates require that much space or more.
- If you have an iMac Pro or Mac Pro with 128GB of memory (RAM) or more, your startup disk needs at least as much free storage space as your Mac has memory.2
An external USB flash drive with a storage capacity of 16GB or more, unless you're using a Mac that doesn't need a flash drive to install Windows.
A 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro on a disk image (ISO) or other installation media. If installing Windows on your Mac for the first time, this must be a full version of Windows, not an upgrade.
- If your copy of Windows came on a USB flash drive, or you have a Windows product key and no installation disc, download a Windows 10 disk image from Microsoft.
- If your copy of Windows came on a DVD, you might need to create a disk image of that DVD.
How to install Windows 10 on Mac
To install Windows, use Boot Camp Assistant, which is included with your Mac.
1. Use Boot Camp Assistant to create a Windows partition
Open Boot Camp Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. Then follow the onscreen instructions.
- If you're asked to insert a USB drive, plug your USB flash drive into your Mac. Boot Camp Assistant will use it to create a bootable USB drive for Windows installation.
- When Boot Camp Assistant asks you to set the size of the Windows partition, remember the minimum storage-space requirements in the previous section. Set a partition size that meets your needs, because you can't change its size later.
2. Format the Windows (BOOTCAMP) partition
When Boot Camp Assistant finishes, your Mac restarts to the Windows installer. If the installer asks where to install Windows, select the BOOTCAMP partition and click Format. In most cases, the installer selects and formats the BOOTCAMP partition automatically.
3. Install Windows
Unplug any external devices that aren't necessary during installation. Then click Next and follow the onscreen instructions to begin installing Windows.
4. Use the Boot Camp installer in Windows
After Windows installation completes, your Mac starts up in Windows and opens a ”Welcome to the Boot Camp installer” window. Follow the onscreen instructions to install Boot Camp and Windows support software (drivers). You will be asked to restart when done.
- If the Boot Camp installer never opens, open the Boot Camp installer manually and use it to complete Boot Camp installation.
- If you have an external display connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port on your Mac, the display will be blank (black, gray, or blue) for up to 2 minutes during installation.
How to switch between Windows and macOS
Restart, then press and hold the Option (or Alt) ⌥ key during startup to switch between Windows and macOS.
If you have one of these Mac models using OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later, you don't need a USB flash drive to install Windows:
- MacBook introduced in 2015 or later
- MacBook Air introduced in 2017 or later3
- MacBook Pro introduced in 2015 or later3
- iMac introduced in 2015 or later
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro introduced in late 2013
To remove Windows from your Mac, use Boot Camp Assistant, not any other utility.
For more information about using Windows on your Mac, open Boot Camp Assistant and click the Open Boot Camp Help button.
1. If you're using an iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) or iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) or iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) with a 3TB hard drive and macOS Mojave or later, learn about an alert you might see during installation.
2. For example, if your Mac has 128GB of memory, its startup disk must have at least 128GB of storage space available for Windows. To see how much memory your Mac has, choose Apple menu > About This Mac. To see how much storage space is available, click the Storage tab in the same window.
3. These Mac models were offered with 128GB hard drives as an option. Apple recommends 256GB or larger hard drives so that you can create a Boot Camp partition of at least 128GB.
These advanced steps are primarily for system administrators and others who are familiar with the command line. You don't need a bootable installer to upgrade macOS or reinstall macOS, but it can be useful when you want to install on multiple computers without downloading the installer each time.
Find the appropriate download link in the upgrade instructions for each macOS version:
macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, ormacOS High Sierra
Installers for each of these macOS versions download directly to your Applications folder as an app named Install macOS Catalina, Install macOS Mojave, or Install macOS High Sierra. If the installer opens after downloading, quit it without continuing installation. Important: To get the correct installer, download from a Mac that is using macOS Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Capitan 10.11.6. Enterprise administrators, please download from Apple, not a locally hosted software-update server.
OS X El Capitan
El Capitan downloads as a disk image. On a Mac that is compatible with El Capitan, open the disk image and run the installer within, named InstallMacOSX.pkg. It installs an app named Install OS X El Capitan into your Applications folder. You will create the bootable installer from this app, not from the disk image or .pkg installer.
Use the 'createinstallmedia' command in Terminal
- Connect the USB flash drive or other volume that you're using for the bootable installer. Make sure that it has at least 12GB of available storage and is formatted as Mac OS Extended.
- Open Terminal, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
- Type or paste one of the following commands in Terminal. These assume that the installer is still in your Applications folder, and MyVolume is the name of the USB flash drive or other volume you're using. If it has a different name, replace
MyVolumein these commands with the name of your volume.
- Press Return after typing the command.
- When prompted, type your administrator password and press Return again. Terminal doesn't show any characters as you type your password.
- When prompted, type
Yto confirm that you want to erase the volume, then press Return. Terminal shows the progress as the bootable installer is created.
- When Terminal says that it's done, the volume will have the same name as the installer you downloaded, such as Install macOS Catalina. You can now quit Terminal and eject the volume.
* If your Mac is using macOS Sierra or earlier, include the
--applicationpath argument, similar to the way this argument is used in the command for El Capitan.
Use the bootable installer
After creating the bootable installer, follow these steps to use it:
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- Plug the bootable installer into a compatible Mac.
- Use Startup Manager or Startup Disk preferences to select the bootable installer as the startup disk, then start up from it. Your Mac will start up to macOS Recovery.
Learn about selecting a startup disk, including what to do if your Mac doesn't start up from it.
- Choose your language, if prompted.
- A bootable installer doesn't download macOS from the Internet, but it does require the Internet to get information specific to your Mac model, such as firmware updates. If you need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, use the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar.
- Select Install macOS (or Install OS X) from the Utilities window, then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.
For more information about the
createinstallmedia command and the arguments that you can use with it, make sure that the macOS installer is in your Applications folder, then enter this path in Terminal:
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