How to Run Windows 11 on Mac (M1 and Intel)

Mac running Windows 11

Boot Camp not supporting Windows 11 installation? Learn how to run Windows 11 on your Intel or M1 Mac and enjoy the latest Windows builds on your Mac.

All macOS device users were able to run the latest Windows operating system using Boot Camp. However, starting Windows 11 Microsoft has added a TPM 2.0 and SecureBoot to its requirements list that is eliminating many Windows laptops and even Macs too since Macs do not have TPM hardware built into their motherboard.

This basically means you will not be able to run Windows 11 on your macOS devices at all. However, the ‘Parallels’ app is third-party software that bypasses the TPM requirement on your macOS device and enables you to run Windows 11 on your macOS machine.

What is Parallels App?

Parallels app is a third-party offering for macOS devices to run a virtual machine of all major operating systems. The USP of the ‘Parallels’ app is unlike the Boot Camp utility, it allows you to run both the operating systems at the same time on your Mac and even allows you to drag and drop files across the operating systems.

The ‘Parallels’ app is designed to let experienced users have fun with the flexibility of using both the operating systems as well as people just making the switch from Windows to macOS as it even allows you to run Windows applications right from your dock or the home screen just like macOS’s.

Download and Install Parallels 17 App on your Mac

Before you can run Windows on your Mac, you will first need to download the ‘Parallels’ app (version 17) on your macOS device.

To do so, first head to www.parallels.com from your preferred browser. Then, tap on the ‘BUY NOW’ button and then choose the ‘NEW LICENSE’ option from the overlay menu, if you wish to purchase it. Otherwise, tap on the ‘Download Free trial’ option present on the screen.

Once downloaded, head to your macOS device’s ‘Downloads’ directory and then run the Install Parallels Desktop.dmg file by double-clicking on it. This will open a separate window on your screen.

Next, double-click on the ‘Install Parallels Desktop.app’ icon from the separately opened window.

After that, your Mac might bring up an alert on your screen. Read it carefully and then click on the ‘Open’ button present at the bottom right corner of the overlay window.

Then, the ‘Parallels’ app installer will start downloading the complete app onto your system. Let it finish downloading.

Once the Parallels app has finished downloading, it will bring up the installation window on your screen.

Now, click on the ‘Accept’ button situated at the bottom right corner of the window to proceed further.

Next, enter your user account password or provide a Touch ID to move to the next step of the installation.

Next, if you have disabled to let any app make changes to your system (which is also the default setting) you will receive an alert on your screen. Parallels app requires loading a system extension file to work properly.

Thus, click on the ‘Open Security Preferences’ button from the alert window. This will open the ‘Security Preferences’ window on your macOS device.

Then, from the ‘Security Preferences’ window, click on the ‘Allow’ button to allow access to the ‘Parallels’ app

Your installation is now complete and you will be able to see the home screen of the ‘Parallels’ app.

Install Windows 11 using a Bootable Disk, ISO File, or an Optical Drive

The ‘Parallels’ app allows you to install a Windows operating system using a bootable disk, using an optical drive, or straight away install the operating system by simply locating an ISO file present on the local storage of your macOS device. For demonstration, we are going to use the bootable disk option.

Now first, launch the ‘Parallels’ app from the dock or the launchpad of your macOS device.

Note: If you have created a bootable USB drive for installation, please insert it before proceeding ahead.

Then, click on the ‘Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file’ option present on the ‘Parrallels’ app window. Then, click on the ‘Continue’ option to proceed.

On the next screen, the ‘Parallels’ app will automatically detect and populate a list of ISOs, bootable drives, and optical drives capable of installing Windows 10 or later. Click to choose your preferred source of installation and click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Alternatively, you can also manually choose a source, by clicking on the ‘Choose Manually’ button present on the bottom center of the ‘Parallels’ app window.

Then, select the source type and click on the ‘select a file’ button to browse the source file or USB using Finder.

After that, the ‘Parallels’ app would ask you to enter a Windows License Key. You can enter it in the space provided, otherwise, you can click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Enter Windows license key for faster installation’ option to enter it later. Then, click on the ‘Continue’ button.

Now, you will need to select the primary use of your virtual Windows machine. Click to choose your preferred option and then click on the ‘Continue’ button to proceed.

Next, you will have to enter a ‘Name’ and ‘Location’ for the installation of your Windows virtual machine.

To do so, enter an appropriate name in the text box following the ‘Name’ field. Then, click on the drop-down menu and locate a directory using finder to change the default directory of installation if you wish to do so. Then, click on the ‘Create’ button present on the ‘Parallels’ app screen.

Now, for some users, the ‘Parallels’ app might bring up an alert regarding the memory allocation for it. Read the alert carefully and then click on the ‘Change’ button.

Now, the ‘Parallels’ app will start installing Windows 11. Wait till it completes the installation.

Once done click on the ‘Click to continue’ option and you will be greeted with Windows 11 home screen.


Install Windows 11 on your Intel Mac Without a Bootable Disk or ISO File

Before installing Windows 11 on your macOS device using the Parallels app, you will first need to install Windows 10. After that, if you are already enrolled in Windows Insider Program you will simply need to log in with your credentials and you will receive a Windows 11 update and would be ready to go.

(Change this to enroll for Windows Insider + enroll in Dev Channel)

First, launch the Parallels app from the dock or the launchpad of your macOS device.

Then, click on the ‘Get Windows 10 from Microsoft’ icon. Next, click on the ‘Continue’ button present at the bottom right corner of the Parallels app window.

Then, click on the ‘Download Windows 10’ option present on the ‘Parallels’ app window and then click on the ‘Continue’ button present on the bottom right corner of the window.

Now, the ‘Parallels’ app will start downloading Windows 10 on your mac. Wait till it finishes downloading Windows 10.

Once the downloading has been completed, the Parallels app will start the installation of Windows 10 on your macOS device.

However, for some users, the Parallels app will alert the allocation of more memory than recommended. Read the alert carefully and click on the ‘Change’ button to ensure the best performance on your macOS device and the virtual machine.

Next, the Parallels app will request the ‘Camera’ access; Click ‘OK’ to let the apps you might run on the virtual machine access the peripheral. In case you do not want to let it access the Camera, click on the ‘Don’t allow’ button.

Similarly, the Parallels app will request the ‘Microphone’ access. Click to choose your preferred option from the alert to proceed further.

Finally, the Parallels app will start installing Windows 10 virtually on your Mac. Wait till it finishes installing.

For the installation to be completed, your virtual machine will restart once at the end of the process.

Once the virtual machine boots up, you will be able to see the ‘Installation Complete’ overlay screen. Then, click on the ‘Click to continue’ button to proceed further.

Now, you can either log in to your Parallels account or create one. Otherwise, you can also sign in using other services like Apple, Facebook, and Google.

After you sign in, you will be greeted by the Windows 10 home screen along with all your desktop items currently present on your macOS device.

After that, click on the ‘Start Menu’ and then click on the ‘gear’ icon to open Windows ‘Settings’.

Next, head to the ‘Update & Security’ tab present on the ‘Settings’ screen.

Now, click on the ‘Windows Insider’ option present on the left sidebar of the screen.

Then, click on the ‘Get Started’ button present under the ‘Get Insider Preview Builds’ section present on the left section of your screen.

Next, click on the ‘Register’ button from the blue ribbon present on your screen. This will bring up an overlay window on your screen.

Now, read the information regarding joining the Windows Insider Program and click on the ‘Sign Up’ button present on the overlay window.

Then, click on the checkbox preceding the ‘I’ve read and accept the terms of this agreement’ option and click on the ‘Submit’ button.

It will take Windows a moment to register you to the program. Once registration is completed, you will receive an alert on your screen stating that.

After that, click on the ‘Link an account’ option from the blue ribbon present on your screen. This will open an overlay window on your screen.

Next, select your Microsoft account and then click on the ‘Continue’ button from the overlay window present on your screen.

After that, you will be able to see all the available channels of the Windows Insider Program for your virtual machine. Then, Click on the ‘Dev Channel’ option as you will be getting Windows 11 updates much faster relative to the other two channels. Next, click ‘Confirm’ to proceed further.

Note: If you are not able to see the ‘Dev Channel’ option for your machine, choose any one channel and complete the enrollment. After that, jump to the last section to learn how to force enable the ‘Dev Channel’ for your device.

Then, read the terms and conditions present on your screen and click on the ‘Confirm’ button.

Next, to receive updates for your selected Channel, click on the ‘Restart Now’ button present on your screen to restart your device.

Once restarted, head to the ‘Update & Security’ section from the Windows ‘Settings’ app.

Then, click on the ‘Windows Insider Program’ tab from the left sidebar present on the screen.

You’ll now be able to see that you are enrolled with ‘Dev Channel’ in Windows Insider Program on your machine will receive subsequent updates.


Install Windows 11 on your M1 Mac

Since the M1 macOS device only supports ARM-based builds of Windows you will need an ARM-based ISO file of Windows 11, which you might not have handy at the moment. If that’s the case, you can install a Windows 10 ARM-based build and update it to Windows 11 operating system.

Note: Before you proceed, make sure you have an ARM-based Windows 10 ISO or similar bootable disk to create a Windows 10 virtual machine.

To do so after the ‘Parallels’ app installation, run the ‘Parallels’ app from the dock or the launchpad of your macOS device.

Next, select the ‘Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file’ option present on the ‘Parallels’ app window and click on the ‘Continue’ button .

After that, ‘Parallels’ will automatically list the available ISOs and bootable disks (if any) for you to choose from. Then, select your preferred method of installation from the list.

In case, you are not able to see your ARM-based ISO file or bootable disk in the list, you can also manually locate it using Finder by clicking on the ‘Choose Manually button present on the screen.

Then, select the source type and click on the ‘select a file’ option present on the screen.

Next, the ‘Parallels’ app will require you to enter a Windows License Key. You can either enter it in the space provided, or you can click to untick the checkbox preceding the ‘Enter Windows license key for faster installation’ option to enter it after the installation. Then, click on the ‘Continue’ button.

After that, you will need to select the primary use of your virtual Windows machine. Click to choose your preferred option and then click on the ‘Continue’ button to proceed.

Then, enter a ‘Name’ for your virtual machine using the textbox present adjacent to the field. After that, in case you want to set a custom installation directory, you can do that by clicking on the drop-down menu and choose the directory.

Now, for some users, the ‘Parallels’ app might bring up an alert related to memory allocation for it to run. Carefully, read the alert and click on the ‘Change’ button to make sure your macOS device and virtual machine provide you optimum performance.

After that, the ‘Parallels’ app will start installing the ARM-based Windows 10 on your machine. Wait till the installation completes.

Once the installation is completed, you will be greeted with Windows 10 home screen.

Next, head to the ‘Update & Security’ tab from the ‘Settings’ screen.

After that, click on the ‘Windows Insider Program’ tab from the left sidebar present on your screen.

Now, click on the ‘Get Started’ button from the left section of the ‘Settings’ window.

Next, click on the ‘Register’ button present on the blue ribbon. This action will bring up an overlay window on your screen.

After that, read the information present in the window. Then, click on the ‘Sign Up’ button present on the overlay window.

Then, click to tick the checkbox preceding the ‘I’ve read and accept the terms of this agreement’ option and click on the ‘Submit’ option.

Windows might take a few seconds to register you for the Insider Program. Once done, you will receive an alert on your screen stating that. Click on the ‘Close’ button to proceed further.

Now, click on the ‘Link an account’ option situated on the blue ribbon on your screen. This will open a separate overlay window on your screen.

Now, if you have already logged in with your Microsoft account, click to choose your account from the overlay window and click on the ‘Continue’ button. Otherwise, log in to your account using your preferred method of authentication.

After that, you will be able to see all the available channels of the Windows Insider Program. Now, click on the ‘Dev Channel’ option to get Windows 11 updates much faster than the other two channels.

Note: If you are not able to see the ‘Dev Channel’ option for your virtual machine, choose any one channel and complete the enrollment. After that, jump to the next section to learn how to force enable the ‘Dev Channel’ for your device.

Next, read the terms and conditions present on the overlay window and click on the ‘Confirm’ button from the bottom right section of the window.

Now, to apply the changes and start receiving Windows 11 updates, click on the ‘Restart Now’ button from the overlay window present on your screen.

After the restart, you will be able to receive Windows 11 updates, as soon as Microsoft pushes them to Widows Insider machines.


Force Enroll in Dev Channel to Receive Windows 11 Update(s)

Now, in case you are not able to get the ‘Dev Channel’ update option on your virtual machine; There’s a simple workaround that will force enroll you in Dev Channel for Windows Insider Program.

To do so, press Command+R on your macOS device to open the ‘Run Command’ utility on your Windows 10 virtual machine.

Next, type Regedit in the space provided and click on the ‘OK’ button present on the overlay pane. This will open the Registry Editor on your Windows virtual machine.

Then from the Windows Registry Editor window, navigate to the following directory; you will also be able to copy the directory from here here and paste it onto the address bar present on your screen.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability

Now, locate and double-click to open the ‘Branch Name’ string file from the left section of the Registry Window. This will open a separate ‘Edit String’ window on your screen.

Note: If you are not able to see any files under the ‘Applicability’ directory, make sure you are already enrolled in the Windows Insider Program under any Channel.

After that, locate the ‘Value data:’ field and type Dev in the text box present under it. Then, click on the ‘OK’ button to confirm.

Next, locate the ‘ContentType’ string file in the ‘Applicability’ directory and double-click on it to open. This will again bring up an ‘Edit String’ overly window on your screen.

Now, locate the ‘Value Data:’ field and type Mainline in the text box present under the field. Then click on the ‘OK’ button to confirm.

Then similarly, locate the ‘Ring’ string file and double-click on it to open.

After that, locate the ‘Value Data:’ field and type External in the text box present under the field. Then click on the ‘OK’ button to confirm.

Once all the changes have been made, close the Windows Registry Editor window and restart your virtual machine.

Once restarted, head to the Windows ‘Settings’ app and head to the ‘Update & Security’ option.

Then, click on the ‘Windows Insider Program’ option from the left sidebar.

You will be able to see that you are enrolled in ‘Dev Channel’ now and will receive subsequent updates of Windows 11.