Virtual machines like Parallels allow you to run macOS and Windows at the same time which is far more convenient as you can switch between your Mac and Windows in one click.
Parallels is by far the easiest virtual machine to setup and install Autodesk Inventor on a Mac with and works on both Intel Macs and the latest Apple Silicon Macs such as the M1 MacBook Pro, Mac Studio and M2 MacBook Pro to install Windows.
Using Parallels means you don’t have to restart your Mac when you want to use Inventor – you can just switch to macOS as you do when you want to use any other application.
The reason is that you’ll soon fill up your Mac hard drive with Inventor files and nowadays, the fastest thunderbolt drives for Mac are almost as fast as your Mac’s hard drive itself.
You can’t upgrade the internal storage of Apple Silicon Macs after you’ve purchased them either so using an external drive is a fast and easy solution.
With this in mind, just follow these instructions to install Inventor using Parallels.
Download Parallels which will automatically install Windows 11 on your Mac. If you don’t want to purchase Parallels straight away, you can try a 14 day free trial first. Microsoft no longer requires users to activate Windows 11 with a product key in order to use it so the great thing is Windows doesn’t cost a cent nowadays unless you want to customize it.
When you open Parallels, it will automatically Install Windows 11 for you from Microsoft.
Purchase Inventor and install it in Windows on your Mac. Alternatively, you can also download a free trial of Inventor to try it first. Inventor works with either Windows 10 or Windows 11 but is not compatible with Windows 7. You’ll also need to create a free Autodesk account to install Inventor.
Once installed, you’ll find that you can use Inventor within the Windows environment just as if you were using a PC.
You should find that Inventor performs pretty well on a Mac using Parallels although using any software in a virtual machine never performs as fast as having it installed directly in macOS.
In particular you may find that panning, orbiting and zooming are sluggish.
If you’re using an Intel Mac, you can share files between macOS and Windows by activating the Sharing options in the Windows configuration options in Parallels.
However, unfortunately you can’t share files between macOS and Windows on Apple Silicon Macs.
You need to deactivate Share folders and Shared profile Parallels in order to open Autodesk Inventor files on an Apple Silicon Mac otherwise it will not work.
Despite this limitation on Apple Silicon Macs, using Parallels to run Inventor is by far the quickest and easiest way to run Inventor on a Mac.
Boot Camp is a free tool on macOS that allows you to dual boot in either macOS or Windows.
Whereas a virtual machine like Parallels runs macOS and Windows simultaneously, Boot Camp only allows you to boot your Mac in either macOS or Windows. To switch between the two, you need to shut down and restart your Mac.
Boot Camp also requires you to partition-off a large part of your Mac hard drive to dedicate for running Window on. The disadvantage of this is that once all that hard drive space is filled-up, you’ll no longer have any free disk space to keep creating new Inventor projects.
It’s important to be aware that Boot Camp is only available in macOS on Intel Macs.
Boot Camp does not work on the latest generation of Apple Silicon Macs.
If you’ve got an Intel Mac, to install Inventor simply do the following:
Follow these instructions to Install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp. The main thing to consider when installing Inventor is to make the partition to install Windows as big as possible on your Mac. If you don’t have much disk space available, you can also consider using an external hard drive, preferably a thunderbolt hard drive for working with Inventor.
Purchase Inventor and install it in Windows on your Mac. Alternatively, you can also download a free trial of Inventor to try it first. Inventor works with either Windows 10 or Windows 11 but is not compatible with Windows 7. You’ll also need to create a free Autodesk account to install Inventor in Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp.