Hardware Virtualization a.k.a Hyper-V is a feature in Windows that allows you to create virtual machines on the system without additional hardware or software support. You can create multiple virtual machines, each with its own OS, in case you work on multiple operating systems. You can have virtual hard drives, switches, and other stuff on an individual virtual machine.
Most people aren’t aware of this feature, owing to the complexities around it. Therefore, we will try and explain it in the simplest possible terms to help you get acquainted with the concept.
Why do I Need Hardware Virtualization?
There are multiple situations where Hyper-V could be your go-to option. Here are some of them.
- If your work requires you to operate multiple OS, Hyper-V would help create virtual machines and install different OS on each.
- You can run most of the software which doesn’t run on the current OS, by installing the suitable one.
- If you design software, you can test them all on the same computer by installing the different OS.
Now that you understand the concept of Hyper-V and its various benefits, let’s see how you enable it on Windows 11.
Check if Hardware Visualization is Enabled in BIOS
Before we move forward, check if Hardware Visualization is enabled in BIOS. In case it’s disabled, the option to enable ‘Hyper-V’ or its components will be greyed out.
Here’s how you check and enable Hardware Visualization in BIOS.
Note: The steps below are for an HP laptop and the interface, terms and keyboards inputs may differ for other manufacturers, although the concept remains the same. We recommend you either look up the manual or the web to find out the procedure for your computer.
Shut down the system and then turn it on. Now, press the ESC key as soon as the screen light up to launch the ‘Startup Menu’. Next, press F10 to enter the ‘BIOS Setup’.
In the ‘BIOS Setup’, navigate to the ‘Advanced’ tab at the top.
Next, click on the ‘Device Configurations’ option under ‘Device Settings’.
Now, scroll down, locate the ‘Visualization Technology (VTx)’ option, and tick the checkbox next to it to enable Hardware Visualization.
Now, click on ‘Save’ at the bottom to save the changes.
Click on ‘Yes’ to confirm the changes.
After you have saved the changes, exit the BIOS settings.
Now, wait for the changes to come into effect. It might take a few minutes to complete, but once it’s done, Windows will boot normally.
You can now enable Hyper-V either from the Control Panel, Command Prompt, and Windows PowerShell. We have discussed each under a separate section for your understanding.
Enable Hype-V from Control Panel
To enable Hyper-V from the Control Panel, search for ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ in the Start Menu and click on the relevant search result to launch it.
In the ‘Windows Features’ window, locate the ‘Hyper-V’ option and either click on the plus icon before it or double-click on the option itself to expand and view the various options under it.
Now, tick the checkbox for both the options that appear under ‘Hyper-V’. When you have selected both, click on ‘OK’ at the bottom to save the changes.
Windows will now apply the changes and the progress for the same will be displayed on the screen. The process may take a couple of minutes.
Once Windows has made the required changes, you will be asked to reboot the PC. Click on ‘Restart now’ at the bottom to do the same.
When the system restarts, the Hyper-V feature will be enabled and you can access easily access it.
Enable Hyper-V with Command Prompt
A lot of users prefer the Command Prompt over the conventional GUI (Graphic User Interface) approach, owing to hassle-free execution and quick results.
To enable Hyper-V with Command Prompt, search for ‘Windows Terminal’ in the ‘Start Menu’, right-click on the relevant search result and select ‘Run as administrator’. Click ‘Yes’ on the confirmation box that appears next.
By default, it’s the ‘Windows PowerShell’ that opens when you launch the Windows Terminal app. However, you can either open Command Prompt within the Terminal app or set Command Prompt as the default profile in the settings, so that it open every time you launch the Terminal app.
To open Command Prompt in Terminal, click on the downward-facing arrow at the top where the tabs are listed, and select ‘Comand Prompt’ from the menu.
In the ‘Command Prompt’, type or copy the following command and press ENTER to execute it.
DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /All /FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V
Once is command is executed, it will start to enable the Hyper-V feature and the status for the same will be displayed in the Command Prompt screen.
Once the operation is successfully completed, you will be asked to restart the Windows. Press Y to restart the Windows right away.
Once the PC restarts, you will find that Hyper-V has been enabled and can be accessed.
Enable Hyper-V with Windows PowerShell
Like the Command Prompt, you can execute various tasks using shell commands in Windows PowerShell.
To enable Hyper-V with Windows PowerShell, launch the ‘PowerShell’ tab in Windows Terminal as discussed earlier. Once you have PowerShell open, type or paste the following shell command and press ENTER.
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All
Windows will now start the process to enable the Hyper-V feature and a blue box will appear that will show the progress.
Once the Hyper-V feature has been enabled, you will be asked to restart the computer. Press ‘Y’ to restart the system right away.
The restart will take more time than usual, since Windows will install the necessary files and apps.
After you enabled ‘Hyper-V’ on Windows 11, the ‘Hyper-V Manager’ will be installed on the system. Access it to make the required changes and raise your Windows experience up a notch.