How to install Windows on M1 Macs the supereasy way

Although M1 Macs lack support for traditional Boot Camp x86 Windows installations, it’s super-easy to install Windows for ARM on your M1 Mac. Parallels recently released Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac, and with it comes out-of-the-box support for M1 Macs.

Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for step-by-step instructions for installing Windows 10 for ARM on your M1 MacBook, Mac mini, or iMac, and be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple-centric guides and tutorials.

How to install Windows on M1 Macs

Step 1: Download and install Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac.

Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac is the official version of Parallels for macOS users. The app is universal, meaning that it will work with both Intel and Apple Silicon-based Mac systems.

Unlike the Parallels Technical Preview, which we showcased late last year, Parallels 16 for Mac has eliminated many of the bugs and issues that were featured on the preview. In other words, installing Windows on an M1 Mac is about as straightforward and as simple as it gets.

Video: Run Windows on M1 Mac w/Parallels

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Step 2: Register as a Windows Insider.

You’ll need to register as a Windows Insider before you’ll be allowed to download the Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview. Registering as a Windows Insider is free – just follow this link to get started.

Step 3: Download Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview.

Windows 10 for ARM-based machines like the M1 MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac mini, and newly launched iMac, can be downloaded via Microsoft’s website. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be logged in as a Windows Insider in order to facilitate the download.

Windows Insider Preview downloading Windows 10

Step 4: Configure Windows 10 using Parallels Installation Assistant.

Once you have Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview downloaded to your Mac, open Parallels to configure your Windows 10 installation.

  • Click Continue on the Install on ARM window.
  • On the Create New window, click Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file.