How to install Windows using Boot Camp

Boot Camp helps you install Microsoft Windows on your Mac. After installing, restart your Mac to switch between OS X and Windows.

Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need.

  • An Intel-based Mac
  • A Microsoft Windows installation media or disk image (ISO) containing a 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows 8 or later*
  • An Apple keyboard, mouse or trackpad, or a USB keyboard and mouse
  • A 16 GB or larger USB flash drive that you can erase**
  • At least 30 GB of free disk space on your startup drive

*If you want to install older versions of Windows, check to see if your Mac supports this. If you're installing Windows for the first time, use a full installation (not an upgrade) disc or disk image.

**Make sure there are no important files on your flash drive. Boot Camp Assistant automatically reformats your flash drive as part of installation.

Check System Requirements

Some versions of Windows require a certain processor, and more hard drive space and memory (RAM) than others. Check the documentation that came with your copy of Windows to find out what you need. Then use System Information to see what your Mac currently has.

Create a disk image of your Window install media

When you purchase Windows, it comes as a disk image file (ISO) that you download or as an installation disc or USB flash drive. If your copy of Windows came on a DVD or flash drive, you should create a disk image of it to work with Boot Camp.

Open Boot Camp Assistant

Boot Camp Assistant walks you through installing Windows on your Mac. Open this app from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder and follow the onscreen instructions to automatically repartition your startup disk and download related software drivers for Windows. When prompted, connect your USB flash drive. 

Format your Windows partition

When you complete the assistant, your Mac restarts to the Windows installer. When you're asked where you want to install Windows, select the BOOTCAMP partition, then click Format.

Install Windows

Follow the onscreen prompts to finish your Windows installation.

Restart your computer

After Windows is installed, you can switch between OS X and Windows. Use the Startup Disk preference pane in OS X, or the Boot Camp system tray item in Windows to select your startup disk, then restart your computer.

Learn more

For more information about using Windows on your Mac, click the Open Boot Camp Help button in Boot Camp Assistant. These resources also contain helpful information:

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