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, Home or Pro editions.* If you're installing Windows for the first time, use a full installation (not an upgrade) disc or disk image.
- An Apple keyboard, mouse, or trackpad, or a USB keyboard and mouse
- At least 55GB of free disk space on your startup drive
- A blank 16GB or larger USB 2 flash drive. (If you have one of these Mac models, you don't need a flash drive)
*Read more about system requirements to find out whether your Mac supports installing a specific version of Windows, or to learn about installing older versions of Windows. You can also learn about the requirements and steps for installing Windows 7 on your Mac.
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.
Get a Windows disk image
When you buy 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, you might need to create a disk image of it to work with Boot Camp. If your version of Windows came on a USB flash drive, you can download an ISO from Microsoft.
Open Boot Camp Assistant
Boot Camp Assistant guides you through installing Windows on your Mac. Open this app from the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder. Then follow the onscreen instructions to repartition your startup disk and download related software drivers for Windows. If you're prompted during installation, connect a blank USB 2 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.
This step is required only if you're using a flash drive or optical drive to install Windows. In all other cases, the correct partition is selected and formatted for you automatically.
Install Windows and Windows Support Software
Unplug any external devices, such as displays and disks, that aren't necessary during installation. Then follow the onscreen prompts to install Windows. When installation is complete, your Mac starts up in Windows and launches an installer for Windows Support Software. If the screen that says "Welcome to the Boot Camp installer" doesn't appear automatically, you can install Windows Support Software manually.
Switch between macOS and Windows
After installing both Windows and Windows Support Software, you can switch back to macOS using the Boot Camp system tray item in Windows. Select the macOS volume, then restart your Mac. To switch from macOS to Windows, use the Startup Disk preference pane to select the Boot Camp volume, then restart your Mac. You can also hold down the Option key after restarting your Mac to choose between macOS and Windows.
With OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later, these models use the internal drive to temporarily store what you need to install Windows, so you don't need a USB flash drive:
- MacBook Pro (2015 and later)
- MacBook Air (2015 and later)
- MacBook (2015 and later)
- iMac (2015 and later)
- Mac Pro (Late 2013)
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:
- Create an ISO image for Boot Camp from Windows installation media
- Use your Apple Keyboard in Windows with Boot Camp