Install Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine With VirtualBox

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Windows 10 takes a radically different approach to the operating system we’ve all come to know, and sometimes hate. It will be free for the first year for users of Windows 7 and up. What does that mean for the second year? We don’t know yet.

But Windows 10 is trying to right all the wrongs of Windows 8. Windows 10 is actually customized for what Windows does best – productivity. Features like virtual desktops, the return of the Start menu, Cortana, and the desktop as the default go to prove that.

The official release of Windows 10 might still be as much as a year off, but MS has provided us with a free Technical Preview. And the best and least destructive way is to load it up on a virtual machine, as Technical Previews are nowhere near stable.

Why VirtualBox?

VirtualBox is the only good free virtual machine software out there. It’s made by Oracle and supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. Below you’ll find instructions on how to install Windows 10 on VirtualBox on a Mac but other than the VirtualBox installation, the process for other platforms is the same.

Installing VirtualBox

Step 1: Head out to VirtualBox’s downloads page and download the host files for Mac OS X. When the file is downloaded, open it. This will bring up a window like the one below. Double-click the package to start installing VirtualBox.

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Step 2: You’ll see a popup asking for authentication. Click Continue. Click the Continue button once more in the main app window.

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Step 3: On the Installation type screen you can either choose to install the app for all users or a specific directory. Once that’s done, click Install. To begin the installation process, you’ll be asked for your password.

Installing Windows 10 on VirtualBox

To run the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you’ll need to sign up for their Insider Program. Once signed up, go to the ISO downloads page and download the ISO for your language. Take a note of the key you’re provided here.

Step 1: Open the app and select New.

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Step 2: Here give the machine a name and choose Microsoft Windows in Type. Because VirtualBox doesn’t have a version selection for Windows 10 yet, go for Windows 8 32 or 64 bit, depending on the Windows 10 version you downloaded. Click Continue.

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Step 3: Allocate the memory size. 2 GB is default but you can drag it to 1 GB if you’re running an older Mac. 2 GB is recommended as you’re running a whole OS here.

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Step 4: Next, you’ll be asked to create a virtual partition. The default size is 25 GB. Choose Create a virtual hard drive now and press Continue.

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Step 5: In the hard drive type, select VirtualBox Disk Image and press Continue. Choose if the hard drive should be dynamically created or be of a fixed size, confirm the settings and press Create.

Step 6: Now, power up the Windows 10 VM we created and specify the path to the ISO file that we downloaded before.

Configuring Windows 10 Install

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Now, you’ll see the virtual machine boot up and the familiar Windows logo greet you.

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Go through the wizard, sign in with your Microsoft account and hurrah, you’ve got an early beta version of Windows 10 on your system.

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How Do You Like It?

Is Windows 10 treating you well? Let us know in the comments below.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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