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ninjatrader for mac - cover

How To Run NinjaTrader On a Mac (inc. M1, M2, M3 & Sonoma)

NinjaTrader is a popular forex trading platform but isn’t available for macOS but here we show you to easily run NinjaTrader on a Mac including on Apple Silicon M1, M2 or M3 chip Macs.

If you enjoy this tutorial, we also strongly recommend checking out these excellent alternatives to NinjaTrader for Mac.

Nowadays there’s plenty of trading platforms and software out there that are as good as NinjaTrader on a Mac, and in some cases FREE such as the excellent TradingView.

Why Is NinjaTrader Not Available For Mac?

At the moment the developer has no plans to release NinjaTrader For Mac.

The usual reason for software not being available on Mac is that the developer feels that the time and investment required in supporting a Mac version simply isn’t worth it considering the relatively small user base compared to Windows.

Another problems is that NinjaTrader requires the .NET Framework to operate and the .NET Framework is only available on Windows and does not work on macOS.

The development team would therefore have to program the product differently to work on Mac which would be a complex and potentially expensive process.

It’s already a challenging job for the NinjaTrader support team to support any problems or issues on Windows so adding macOS to the mix would make it even more difficult.

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How To Install NinjaTrader on Mac

In our testing we found by far the the best way to install NinjaTrader on a Mac is to install Windows on your Mac using a virtual machine and then use the Windows version of NinjaTrader 8.

Virtual machines allow you to switch between macOS and Windows in just one click so you get the best of both worlds.

We found the best virtual machine to run NinjaTrader on a Mac was Parallels which installs Windows 11 automatically on a Mac in minutes.

Parallels does require an annual subscription and there are other virtual machines available but none of them work as well as Parallels at running NinjaTrader on a Mac or make it as easy to install Windows.

Parallels is also the only way to run Windows on a Mac that is officially endorsed by Microsoft.

Just follow these instructions to install NinjaTrader on a Mac.

  • Download Parallels for Mac and run the installer. You can use the free trial to try it first.
  • Double click on the Parallels download and when prompted by macOS click “Open” and then click “Accept” on the End User License Agreement.
  • Parallels will now download the installer and then prompt you for your Mac admin username and password to continue the setup.
  • Parallels will ask permissions to access your Mac Desktop, Downloads and Documents folders. Click on “Finish”.

parallels desktop permissions

  • Parallels will then automatically download and Install Windows 11 when you click Install Windows. If you’re using an Apple Silicon M1, M2 or M3 Mac it will download and install Windows 11 ARM.install windows 11 m1 & m2 Mac
  • Parallels will then start to download Windows 11 from Microsoft.

parallels downloading windows 11 on m1 and m2 mac

  • Once is has validated the install, Parallels will then start the Windows 11 installer on your Mac just as if it were installing Windows on a PC.

parallels windows installer

  • When this is completed, you’ll get an “Installation Complete” message.

windows 11 install complete m1 m2 mac

  • To finalize the setup, Parallels will prompt you for your Parallels username or password. You can setup an account if you don’t already have one or sign in with your Apple, Google or Facebook account too.

sign into parallels account

  • After you’ve signed-in, Parallels will give you access to a 14 day free trial but if you’ve purchased a Parallels license already, you can enter the license key next.
  • Parallels will then display the Windows 11 End User License Agreement which you must click on “Accept” before continuing. You’ll then have full access to Windows 11 on your Intel Mac or Windows 11 ARM on an Apple Silicon M-chip Mac.

windows 11 installed on apple silicon m1 and m2 mac parallels

  • Since you’re using a fresh install of Windows 11, the first thing you’ll need to do is install the latest updates for Windows 11 from Microsoft. To do this, go to the Windows Start Menu > Settings > System > Windows Update which is in the bottom left hand corner.
  • Windows 11 may prompt you to activate it at this point but you can simply click “Close”. Windows 11 is free to use and you only need to activate it with a key if you want advanced customization options such as changing the wallpaper or desktop theme.

windows 11 activation parallels

  • Click on “Check for updates” button in the top right corner of the Windows Update screen and then install the updates. This can take some time depending on the speed of your internet connection.

update windows 11 parallels mac

  • When you have installed all the updates, Windows 11 will then restart to apply them.
  • Once Windows has restarted, you can then configure Parallels to optimize how it uses resources on your Mac. To do this, go to your Windows 11 desktop and select “Actions” from the Menu bar across the top and then select “Configure” at the bottom of the Menu.
  • You’ll then see the Windows 11 Configuration Window in Parallels. The most important setting to change is the CPU & Memory allocation under the “Hardware” tab. You can leave the settings on “Automatic” if you want Parallels to manage it for you but we recommend increasing the Memory on Apple Silicon Macs. So for example, if you have an Apple Silicon MacBook Pro with 16GB of unified memory, you can allocate at least half of this to Parallels (i.e. 8GB). This makes it easier for your Mac to run Windows in Parallels smoothly at the same time as macOS.

windows 11 virtual machine configuration parallels

  • There are many other options you can configure in Parallels. If you click on the “Options” tab across the top for example and select “Sharing”, you can configure how macOS and Windows 11 share files and folders.

windows 11 on m1 mac - parallels sharing

  • When you’ve finished configuring Windows in Parallels on your Mac, you then simply need to download NinjaTrader and install it in Windows on your Mac. You will need to enter your email address and NinjaTrader will send you a link to download the Windows version.

ninjatrader on mac

If you have any problems running NinjaTrader on your Mac, let us know in the comments below.


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