How To Easily Install And Dual-Boot Windows 8 On Apple Macs

By Subodh / April 17, 2015

Keeping the option of dual boot in a computer can be quite handy and many Windows users opt for that. However, it is applicable for Macintosh users too. Whether you use a Mac Mini or the latest MacBook, you may choose to make the system dual boot enabled by installing Windows 8 along with OS X. After Apple releasing its update for OS X Mountain Lion, it is possible to install and run Windows 8 on Mac based computers.

Why Opt For Dual Booting In Mac

Despite Apple adding several enhancements and much desired features in every release of OS X, there is no denying the need for software that run only on Windows. Several graphics suites, productivity apps and media software are Windows specific. Using third party emulators or virtualization apps to run them inside OS X environment is possible. However, using virtualization apps like VMware Fusion may result in reduced performance. It is better that you make your Mac a dual boot system with both OS X and Windows 8 installed. You can freely use apps for both OS and there is no need to put up with reduced performance either.

Dual-Boot Windows 8 On Apple Macs

Using Boot Camp 5 To Install Windows 8 On A Mac

While you can use third party software to get Windows 8 installed on your Macbook or Mac Mini, it makes sense to use Boot Camp 5, included with OS X Mountain lion by default. With this software you can run Windows 8 on Intel-based Mac. So, this leaves Mac users with relatively older non Intel systems out of luck.

Way To Install Windows 8 With Bootcamp On A Mac

Before you begin with installing Windows 8 on a Mac, ensure the system requirements are met. In all likelihood, Intel based Macs, including Mac Mini are more than capable of handling Windows 8, as it is!

  • Remember that you will need a 64-bit version of Windows 8 for installing on Mac. The upgrade versions as well as 32-bit versions of Windows 8 are not compatible. The HDD in the Mac should have 30 GB of empty space for this installation.
  • After that, download the Windows 8 drivers and store them on a USB stick.
  • The partition where Windows 8 should be installed need to be partitioned in NTFS. It can be done with the Boot camp assistant.
  • With Bootcamp running, click the option “Start Windows Installer”. Next, insert the Windows 8 optical disc. The installation Wizard is easy to comprehend and follow. Frankly, the process thereafter is not much different compared to installing Windows 8 on a PC. It will be done within 30 minutes. However, ensure you install the OS in the chosen partition or data in some other partition will be erased.
  • Install the drivers from the stick after Windows is running. Unless the drivers are installed some Windows 8 functionalities, especially in Metro mode may not work.

Post Installation Tasks

After Windows 8 installation using boot camp on the Mac is done, the system will reboot. You can thereafter customize the look and functionality of Windows 8. You can choose from OS X and Windows 8 when the system boots by pressing the Option (Alt) key. It is also possible to set a preference for the default OS using either in OS X Startup Disk System Preferences or Windows 8’s Startup Disk Control Panel. The nice thing about installing Windows 8 on a Mac through Boot camp is that you can access files of either OS from the other any time. This can help you enhance productivity and simplify computing.