How do I run Windows or Windows programs on my Mac?
On a Mac computer, you can install software that allows you to run Windows and Windows applications. The specific software depends on what kind of Mac you have.
Because newer Macs use Intel processors, they can run Windows and Windows applications as quickly as PCs. Several different methods are available for running Windows on Intel Macs:
- To dual-boot between OS X and Windows, use Apple's Boot Camp. This
approach provides the most compatibility with Windows software and
peripherals, but does not allow you to run Windows and Mac OS
X applications at the same time.
- To run Windows in a virtual machine within OS X, use Parallels Desktop, VMware
Fusion, or VirtualBox. This method will
allow you to run Mac and Windows applications concurrently, though the
virtual machine does not support as much Windows functionality as a
- To run Windows programs without having to install Windows itself, use a Windows compatibility layer, such as CrossOver Mac. This option typically offers good functionality for a limited set of Windows applications.
To run Windows and Windows programs on a Mac with a PowerPC chip, install hardware emulation software. Hardware emulation works by mimicking hardware within an application. When you run a PC program in the emulation environment, the software intercepts commands and translates them into code your computer understands. In this way, you can run many PC applications and, with some programs, even multiple PC operating systems (e.g., Windows XP, Linux). Unfortunately, using this method is much slower than running programs on a PC or on a Mac with an Intel chip. Following are examples of hardware emulation software:
At Indiana University, you can run many Windows programs through the IUanyWare service. IUanyWare is a client virtualization service that uses the Citrix Receiver to allow you to run centrally located software over a network. See How do I set up and use IUanyWare? and Where can I review or request software on IUanyWare?
IUanyWare is available at https://iuanyware.iu.edu. IUanyWare uses a
secure connection; to avoid misleading warning messages, be sure to
Last modified on November 27, 2012.