Boot Camp is a free utility which allows you to install Windows 11 on a Mac for free. Here we show you how to install Windows 11 on a Mac for free using Boot Camp.
There are various ways of running Windows on a Mac and usually we recommend installing Windows on a Mac with the Parallels virtual machine because it allows you to switch between macOS and Windows instantly as it runs them at the same time.
Boot Camp is different because it 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.
However, the advantage of Boot Camp is that it’s free to use on Intel Macs including those running Catalina, Big Sur and macOS Monterey.
Boot Camp is also the only way to play some games on Mac such as Valorant because they have the Vanguard anti-cheat technology which will not work in Windows on virtual machines such as Parallels.
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Can You Install Windows 11 On M1 Mac’s Using Boot Camp?
Firstly, it’s important to be aware that you cannot install Windows 11 on M1 Macs using Boot Camp.
However, there are ways to install Windows 11 on M1 Macs without Boot Camp.
Boot Camp does not work on Apple Silicon M1 Macs. It only works on Intel Macs. If you have any of the following M1 chip Macs, you cannot install Windows 11 on your Mac.
- MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
- MacBook Pro (13″, M1, 2020)
- Mac mini (M1, 2020)
- iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021)
If you’re not sure whether you have an Intel chip or M1 chip Mac simply go to the Apple logo in the top left of your screen and select About this Mac.
How To Install Windows 11 On a Mac With Boot Camp
Firstly, you’ll need at least 64GB or more free storage space on your Mac startup disk to install Windows 11 using Boot Camp.
This is the bare minimum you’ll need but we strongly recommend at least 128GB of free storage space as automatic Windows updates will quickly eat up that space.
The Windows 11 download is around 5GB alone so if you’re running low on disk space, you may need to recover some hard drive space on your Mac to download it.
You’ll also need a USB stick with at least 5GB of storage space on to put the Windows 11 ISO file on.
Although installing Windows 11 using Boot Camp is perfectly safe, we also recommend backing-up your Mac to an external hard drive.
With this in mind, follow these instructions to install Windows 11 on a Mac using Boot Camp.
- Download this modified Windows 11 ISO for Boot Camp. Normally we’d advise downloading a Microsoft Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft’s website but unfortunately, it won’t work on Macs. The reason is because Windows 11 requires a physical TPM module which Macs do not have. If you try and install the Microsoft Windows 11 ISO, you will receive a “This computer is incompatible with Windows 11” warning during the installation because it will check for the TPM chip on your Mac. So it’s important you use the modified Windows 11 ISO for Boot Camp which “tricks” the Windows installer into thinking your Mac is compatible.
- Insert a USB stick into your Mac and open the Boot Camp assistant which you can find by searching in Spotlight on your Mac for “Boot Camp” or by going to Applications > Utilities > Boot Camp Assistant.
- Click Continue and then select both “Create a Windows 10 or later install disc” (this includes Windows 11) and “Install Windows 10 or later version.”
- Click Continue on your Mac and browse to the Windows 11 ISO file that you downloaded earlier to create the installer on the USB drive. Boot Camp will do this automatically for your when you click Continue.
- You must then decide how much space you want Windows to occupy on your Mac hard drive by dragging the bars representation macOS and Windows. It’s important you estimate this correctly as you cannot resize the partition later. The minimum partition for Windows 11 is 64GB but the more Windows applications or games you intend to install, the more amount of hard drive you should dedicate to Windows. If you need to clear some space on your Mac, you can also get an external hard drive.
- Click Install and Boot Camp will restart your Mac and then take you through the Windows 11 installer just as if your were installing Windows 11 for the first time on a PC. If you are using battery power, Boot Camp will advise you to connect your Mac to the main electricity as the installation will not complete successfully if the battery dies half way through.
Boot Camp will then install Windows 11 on your Mac.
If you want to switch back to macOS at any time, simply shut down your Mac and then restart by holding down the Option key as you turn it on.
You will then be given the choice to boot in either macOS or Windows.
Note that Boot Camp won’t allow you to run Windows and macOS simultaneously. If you want to be able to switch between both Windows 11 and macOS