Boot Camp 5.1: Frequently asked questions

Learn more about installing and using Boot Camp 5.1


What is Boot Camp?  
Boot Camp is software included with OS X so you can run compatible versions of Microsoft Windows on an Intel-based Mac.

What is new in Boot Camp 5.1?
Boot Camp 5.1 includes support for Windows 8.1 (64-bit). Use the Boot Camp Assistant and a USB drive to install the latest Boot Camp drivers for your computer. The drivers included with BootCamp 5.1 support Windows 7 (64-bit) and Windows 8 (64-bit) and Windows 8.1 (64-bit). You should download the newest drivers available any time you install Windows.

Which languages are supported in Boot Camp?
Deutsch, English, Français, 日本語, Español, Italiano, Nederlands, Dansk, Norsk, Bokmål, Polski, Português, Português (Brasil), Pусский, Suomi, Svensk, 简体中文, 繁體中文, 한국어, (العربية مصر), Čeština, Magyar, and Türkçe.

Installation and partitioning

Where do I find the Installation Guide and Boot Camp Support Page?

You'll find information about the Manuals, System Requirements, more articles in the Using Boot Camp section, a link to the Boot Camp Discussion boards, and links to download the Boot Camp 5 Support Software (Windows drivers). Also see Boot Camp: Frequently asked questions about installing Windows 8 for more information on installing Windows 8.

Which versions of Windows work with Boot Camp 5.1?
You can use:

  • Microsoft Windows 8.0 and 8.1 (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 8.0 and 8.1 Pro (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)

Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 are not supported.

Are 32-bit versions of Windows 7 and 8 supported?

No. Boot Camp 5 supports 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8.0 and 8.1 only. Boot Camp 4 supports 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows 7, depending on the Mac model you have. For more information, see Boot Camp: System requirements for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Can I upgrade a previously-installed 32 bit version of Windows to 64 bit?

32-bit versions of Windows cannot be directly upgraded to 64-bit versions. You should back up your important files, then install the 64-bit version.

How can a Windows partition be resized after Windows is installed?

You need to delete the Windows partition using the Boot Camp Assistant, and start over to change the size of the Windows partition. Back up your important Windows files first.

Are upgrade installs from Windows 7 to Windows 8 supported?

Yes, but be sure to install the Boot Camp 5.0 Support Software (drivers) before upgrading to Windows 8. See Boot Camp: Frequently asked questions about installing Windows 8 for more information.

After upgrading to Windows 8, run the Boot Camp 5.1 Support Software installer again.

Can I use a downloaded (ISO) version of Windows with Boot Camp?
MacBook Air (Mid 2011 and later), MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later, including Retina models), Mac mini (Mid 2011 and later), and iMac (Late 2012) can install downloaded (ISO) versions of Windows 7 and 8.

To determine if your Mac supports this feature:

  1. Click the Go menu and choose Utilities.
  2. Open Boot Camp Assistant.
  3. Click Continue. If you see a "Create a Windows 7 or later install disk" checkbox, your Mac supports the use of downloaded (ISO) install images. See the Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide for more information.

Do computers that come with a Fusion Drive support Boot Camp?
Yes. Use the Boot Camp Assistant to create a Windows partition and install Boot Camp. The Windows partition will exist on the hard disk drive, not the Flash drive, and is not part of Fusion Drive Logical Volume Group. 3TB Fusion Drive configurations need to update to OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 or later to install Windows 8. See iMac (27-inch, Late 2012): Boot Camp alert with 3TB hard drive for more information.

I have a Mac Pro with a Mac Pro RAID card (Redundant Array of Independent Drives). Can I install Boot Camp on my Mac Pro?
Boot Camp does not support the installation of Windows onto a Mac using a Mac Pro RAID card or software RAID.

Which application should I use to create a Windows partition and to install Windows?
Use Boot Camp Assistant (located in the Utilities folder) to create a Windows partition and to install Microsoft Windows. Boot Camp Assistant works with an Intel-based Mac that has a single hard disk partition or Fusion Drive. Boot Camp Assistant creates an additional partition for the Microsoft Windows operating system or allows you to install Microsoft Windows on another drive if you have more than one internal drive.

Boot Camp Assistant does not erase your existing Mac OS X partition or any of your OS X software when it creates a new partition for Microsoft Windows.

Important: Do not use disk utilities not created by Apple to partition the drive before using Boot Camp Assistant. Doing so may erase the entire disk.

Can I install Windows on an external drive?
No. Installing Boot Camp on an external hard drive is not supported.

Can more than one USB storage device be plugged in at Installation time?
No. You can only use one USB storage device during Windows installation. See Boot Camp: Windows installation boots to black screen with blinking cursor for more information.

Startup questions

How do I choose which operating system will start up my Mac?
After running Boot Camp Assistant and installing Microsoft Windows and Boot Camp drivers, press and hold the Option (Alt) key while you start up your Mac to switch between Microsoft Windows and OS X. Use the Startup Disk Control Panel in Windows or OS X Startup Disk System Preferences to set the default operating system to use each time the computer starts up.

Note: External FireWire, USB, and Thunderbolt disks are not recognized by the Startup Disk control panel in Microsoft Windows. To start up from a bootable external drive, press and hold the Option (Alt) key while the computer starts up, then select the external disk.

What can I do if my computer starts up to a black screen with white text that says "No Boot Disk Attached"?
This message means that the Windows partition cannot start up, usually because of an issue with the drive formatting. The Boot Camp Setup Assistant creates the Boot Camp partition, but the Windows installer must format it to make it "bootable". To resolve this issue:

  1. Start up to OS X and run the Boot Camp Setup Assistant again.
  2. Remove the Boot Camp partition and re-create it.
  3. Install Windows again, this time using Windows to format the partition.
  4. Refer to the Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide document for more details on installing Boot Camp.

Drivers, Mac features within Microsoft Windows, and miscellaneous

Which drivers are included with the OS X Windows Support Software (drivers) download?
The Boot Camp 5.1 software includes these Mac drivers for Windows:

  • Apple Bluetooth
  • Apple Keyboard Support
  • Apple Remote Driver
  • Apple Trackpad
  • Atheros 802.11 Wireless
  • ATI Graphics
  • Boot Camp control panel for Microsoft Windows
  • Boot Camp System Task Notification item (System Tray)
  • Broadcom Wireless
  • Intel Chipset Software
  • Intel Integrated Graphics
  • iSight Camera
  • Marvel Yukon Ethernet
  • nVidia Graphics
  • Cirrus Logic Audio
  • Realtek Audio
  • SigmaTel Audio
  • Startup Disk control panel for Microsoft Windows
  • Thunderbolt
  • USB 3

I have purchased music and video from the iTunes Store. Do I need to authorize my computer in Mac OS X and in Microsoft Windows?
Yes, you need to authorize one computer for Mac OS X, and one computer for Microsoft Windows if you want to play music or video in both operating systems – even when the operating systems are installed on the same computer.

Why don't CDs and DVDs eject using the Eject key on my Apple keyboard when running Microsoft Windows?
The Apple Keyboard Eject Key software may not be installed. Make sure to install the Windows Support Software (drivers) as described above and in the Boot Camp Installation & Setup Guide.

Why are more resolutions available for my display in Microsoft Windows compared to Mac OS X?
Mac OS X shows only recommended resolutions.

Why doesn't my keyboard's numeric keypad work in Windows?
Press the Num Lock key to enable the numeric keypad in Windows. If your keyboard doesn't have a key labeled Num Lock, try pressing the Clear key.

How does my Mac keyboard operate with Windows?
See Boot Camp: About keyboards and key assignment for Microsoft Windows for more information.

Are SDXC and other SD cards supported by Boot Camp 5.1?
Yes, SDXC cards are supported on Macintosh computers with an SD card slot and Boot Camp 5.0. You'll need to install the Windows Support Software (drivers) to enable this feature.  For more information on the SD card slot and Boot Camp, see About the SD and SDXC card slot.

Is Thunderbolt supported in Boot Camp 5.1?
Yes, see Thunderbolt ports and displays: Frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Is USB 3 supported in Boot Camp 5.1?
Yes, see Using USB 3 devices on Mac computers FAQ.

Is there an upgrade path from Boot Camp 4 to 5.1?
Use the Boot Camp Assistant in OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 or later to download Windows Support Software (drivers) and create the media to install them. You can also download the Windows Support Software (Windows drivers) to create your own install media here.

Where can I get support for Boot Camp 5.1?
Apple provides phone-based assistance for Boot Camp 5 for ninety days after the purchase of an eligible Apple product. You can extend this period by purchasing an AppleCare Protection Plan. Support articles and discussions are available on Apple's support website.

Apple does not provide technical phone support for installing, using, or recovering Microsoft Windows. Support is available for using Boot Camp Setup Assistant, as well as installing or restoring Boot Camp software while started up in Windows.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Aug 4, 2014
  • Last Modified: Aug 4, 2014
  • Article: HT5639
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