How to Install Windows 10 on a Mac Using Boot Camp

Khamosh Pathak

If you’re looking for an authentic Windows experience on a Mac, Boot Camp is the only way to go. Yes, you can use a VM like VirtualBoxor Parallels but now you’re just running Windows.. in a window.

Boot Camp Windows 10 header

When you Boot Camp, you create a separate partition for Windows which is formatted according to Windows specs, you can install apps without any problems and your Mac basically turns into a PC. And let me tell you, a Mac is the best hardware to run Windows on. And Boot Camp-ing into one couldn’t be easier. Seriously, it’s a breeze. Other than the time it takes to download Windows support data (depends on your PC), you’ll be done in 30 minutes flat. So if you have a fast enough internet connection and the Windows 10 ISO file ready, you’ll go from OS X to booting into Windows 10 in under 30 minutes.

And Mac will take care of everything. Drivers, which is usually the biggest problem when installing Windows even on hardware that’s designed for Windows, is not at all an issue here. Boot Camp helper will install all the relevant drivers once Windows 10 boots up. I mean, I’ve had worse experience when upgrading Windows on Windows hardware.

Ok, let’s get started.

Mac PC

What Boot Camp means: When you install Windows 10 using Boot Camp, you’re installing it in a separate partition. OS X will still be there. You’re essentially dual booting OS X and Windows 10 this way. One important thing to note here is that because both partitions will be formatted differently, they won’t be able to read or share data between their partitions by default.

TL;DR – Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’re not going to read the whole thing, here are the pointers you need to be aware of.

  • Back up your Mac using Time Machine before getting started. Or back up the important files using Dropbox.
  • You’ll need a USB drive with at least 8 GB of free space.
  • You’ll need to download the 64-bit version of Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft’s website. (32-bit won’t do).
  • You’ll need the product key to activate Windows 10. Although you can skip this step till after Windows 10 is set up.
  • It might take a long time to create the bootable USB. Chill out, do some push-ups, read up on all our Windows 10 articles in the mean time.
  • While going through the Windows 10 installer, the Boot Camp drive will need to be formatted.
  • After it’s all done, hold the Option key right after booting up (when you hear the chime) to bring up the boot menu. From here you can select which partition to boot into.

Before you install Windows 10: Here’s a quick-read on everything important you need to know about Windows 10.

Get Started With Boot Camp

The Boot Camp Assistant app itself help you create the bootable USB drive for Windows 10. Bring up Spotlight, type in Boot Camp Assistant and select the app. Or find it from the Utilities folder in Applications.

Spotlight Boot Camp

Step 1: You’ll be greeted by an introduction. Select Continue here.

Boot Camp Intro

Step 2: From the second, Select Tasks screen, make sure both Create a Windows 7 or later version install disk and Install Windows 7 or later version are checked. Then click Continue. This means that as soon as the USB drive is ready, the installation process will begin.

Boot Camp Select

Step 3: From the next screen, you’ll be asked to select the ISO file you downloaded. Boot Camp would have found it automatically. If not, click the Choose button and select it. Then click Continue.

Boot Camp Select ISO

Step 4: Boot Camp will now tell you that the USB drive will be erased. Click Continue.

Boot Camp Erase USB

Step 5: Now comes the hard part. Waiting. Here, Boot Camp will create the bootable drive and will download the latest Windows support apps. Depending on your internet connection, this can take a long time. On my 3.5 Mbps connection, it took around 1 hour. So be patient and don’t quit the process even if the progress bar is stuck for a long time.

Boot Camp USB Burning

Step 6: Once the drive is ready, you’ll be asked for the password.

Boot Camp Password

Step 7: Now you’ll be asked the size for the Windows partition. Keep it at least 30 GB. I have a 1 TB drive and I plan on using Windows 10 extensively so I went with 150 GB. Click Install and the process will begin.

Boot Camp Parition

Installing Windows 10

Your Mac will boot up now and you’ll see the Windows 10 symbol with a progress bar. After a while you’ll see the Windows Setup screen that oddly still carries over the Windows 7 theme.

Step 1: From the first screen select the language, time and keyboard format.

Windows Installation

Step 2: On the next screen you’ll be asked to type in the Windows 10 key. You can skip this part right now if you want.

Windows 10 Product Key

Step 3: Next, select the version of Windows 10 you want to install. I went with Pro. This will also depend on the kind of Windows 10 key you have.

Windows 10

Step 4: Click I accept the license terms and then select Next.

Windows 10

Step 5: Ok here’s a pretty important step. Click the partition drive that says BOOTCAMP and then select FORMAT. You won’t be able to install Windows without doing this.

Windows 10

Step 6: From the next pop-up, select OK.

Windows 10

Step 7: The partition will now be formatted. The BOOTCAMP name will be gone. Now select it and click Next.

Windows 10

That’s it. Windows will start installing the OS. It will boot up a couple of times but don’t worry about that.

Windows 10

Setting Up Windows 10

Once Windows 10 is installed, it will boot up and you’ll be asked to go over some settings. Either click Use Express Settings or click Customize settings.

Windows 10

Then you’ll be asked to give the computer a name and password.

Windows 10

After that, you’ll be in Windows 10.

But we’re not done yet. Installing drivers is left. Fortunately, you don’t need to do anything at all here. Boot Camp helper app will launch automatically.

Step 1: Click Next when the Boot Camp installer shows up.

Windows 10

Step 2: Accept the license agreement and click Install.

Windows 10

Step 3: It will go through the driver installation. Once it’s done, click Finish.

That’s it, Windows 10 is now set up. Go to the Windows Store app and sign in with your Microsoft ID. If you don’t have one, create it. You’ll need it to use the awesome features like Cortana.

Customize Windows 10: Now that you’ve got Windows 10 installed, it’s time to customize the Start screen just the way you want and learn about the Mission Control like window management in Windows 10. Also, you’ll want to know how to switch the default browser from Microsoft Edge to Google Chrome (it’s not as obvious as it should be).

Also, this is Windows, so remember, the Command key is now the Windows key. And the Control key is now the Control key in Windows (the equivalent of Command key in OS X).

What Made You Try Windows 10?

You’re running a Mac. And I can personally say that OS X is pretty awesome. So what made you try Windows 10, and that too directly in Boot Camp? Share with us in our forum.

Also See
#OS X Yosemite #Software

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