Install Windows 10 With Boot Camp on a Mac: The Complete Walkthrough

This comprehensive, step-by-step guide will take you all the way through installing Windows 10 on your Mac using Boot Camp.

Requirements
Preparing Your Mac for Boot Camp
Install Windows via Boot Camp
Finishing Up


Requirements

– a Mac running the latest version of macOS
– a USB thumb drive at least 8GB in size
– an .ISO image of Windows 10, which you can download here if needed
– a valid Windows 10 registration key
– some time and patience – it takes somewhere between 1-3 hours to complete the process, depending on the speed of your Mac, download speed etc.

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Preparing Your Mac for Boot Camp

There isn’t a whole lot that you need to do to get ready to install Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp. While it’s very unlikely that you’ll have any problems, it’s still critically important that you perform a backup first. Time Machine is certainly good enough. After you’ve made a backup, decide how much hard drive space you want to allocate to Windows and make sure you have free space to cover it, and still have plenty left over for macOS. Finally, run through the list of requirements just to make sure you’ve got everything you need, and then get started installing Windows :)

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Install Windows via Boot Camp

  1. Open the Boot Camp Assistant app, which you can find in your Applications -> Utilities folder.
  2. a screenshot of the macOS Finder with an arrow pointing at the Boot Camp Assistant app

  3. Click Continue on the initial setup screen.
  4. an arrow pointing to a Continue button

  5. Place check marks in the boxes next to both Create a Windows 10 or later install disk and Install Windows 10 or later version and then click the Continue button.
  6. Boot Camp installation options
    click to enlarge

  7. Now you’ll need to select the “up and down arrows button” – it’s the one to the right of the Choose a Windows ISO file… (see screenshot below).
  8. an arrow pointing to a button that looks like an up arrow on top of a down arrow

  9. Navigate to your Windows 10 ISO file, select it, and then click the Open button.
  10. selecting an ISO file

  11. Now select your USB thumb drive from the list in the Destination disk: section. Make sure not to select one of your other external drives (if you have any) as it will be erasing everything on the drive you select. Click the Continue button when you’re ready.
  12. selecting a USB thumb drive

  13. Your USB thumb drive will now be erased…
  14. a USB thumb drive being formatted

  15. and then the Book Camp Assistant app will start copying over Windows files.
  16. copying files to a USB thumb drive in the Boot Camp Assistant

  17. The process may take some time, if you wanted to grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea now would be a good time.
  18. setting up a thumb drive in macOS

  19. Once the thumb drive has been set up you’ll be asked to decide how much hard drive space you would like to allocate to Windows. “Click and drag” the small bar between the two sections (macOS and Windows) until you’ve decided how much space you want to give to Windows and how much you want to leave for macOS. The final partition that Windows uses may be slightly smaller than you set here – that’s normal.
  20. selecting partition sizes for Windows in Boot Camp on a Mac

  21. After you’ve made your selection click the Install button. The Boot Camp Assistant will partition your hard drive to make room for Windows and eventually your Mac will restart.
  22. the Boot Camp Assistant setting up a Mac to install Windows 10 on

  23. This time when it boots up, you’ll find yourself in Window. Select the language you want to use, time and currency formats, type of keyboard or input method and then finally click the Next button.
  24. a photo of the initial Windows setup screen

  25. Enter your Windows product key in the space provided and then click the Next button.
  26. entering a Windows product key in the setup wizard

  27. If you’re prompted, select the version of Windows that your key is valid for and then click the Next button.
  28. selecting a version of Windows to install

  29. Place a check in the box labeled I accept the license terms and then, you guessed it, click the Next button.
  30. accepting the windows license and terms

  31. Select the partition that includes the word BOOTCAMP (and make sure it’s approximately the size that you wanted it to be back in step #10). Click Next.
  32. choose the partition on a Mac that you want to install Windows on

  33. Now you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy that tea or coffee. Eventually, your Windows installation will finish up and you’ll go through the steps to setup Windows 10.
  34. installing Windows on a Mac

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Finishing Up

After Windows boots for the first time you’ll be prompted to install the Boot Camp installer. It’s super-easy – you’ll just click a “Next” button a few times and then reboot. Although you’re undoubtedly tired of going through installation and setup wizards, it’s very important to go through this one too. If for any reason the Boot Camp installer doesn’t run automatically, just follow these steps.

When your Mac starts up you can choose which Operating System you want to use by holding down the Option or Alt key and when the Startup Manager appears, use the up and down arrow keys to choose either Windows or macOS.

To change the default operating system – the one that starts up automatically without you holding down the Option key, just follow the steps in this guide.


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