With the release of Windows 11 by Microsoft, the big question for many Mac users is does Windows 11 run on a Mac?
Currently, Mac users can run Windows on a Mac using a variety of different solutions but so far only Parallels allows you to install Windows 11 on a Mac due to Windows 11 requiring a physical TPM module.
However, there are a few drawbacks to consider with installing Windows 11 on M1 Macs as we’ll explain.
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Windows 11 on Mac and TPM
Windows 11 requires support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0. TPM 2.0 is built into the motherboard of a computer to ensure the integrity of the operating system’s security.
Unfortunately, neither Intel nor M1 Macs have a TPM built into the motherboard. In fact, even many Windows PCs built before 2014 do not have a TPM and will not be able to run Windows 11.
However, some Intel Macs do have a TPM built into the CPU which in theory, allow those Macs to officially support Windows 11 physically.
Intel Macs which have a TPM built into the processor and in theory should be able to officially support Windows 11 are:
- MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- Mac mini (2018)
- iMac Pro (2017)
- iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
- iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017)
- iMac (21.5-inch, 2017)
- Mac Pro (2019)
However, to officially support Windows 11 Apple would have to update macOS in Intel Macs to support TPM and Windows 11 and that seems highly unlikely as Apple is currently discontinuing all Intel Macs in favor of the new M1 chip Macs.
The good news is that the virtual environment Parallels allows you to install Windows 11 on a Mac by simulating the TPM module virtually so that you can install Windows 11 on both Intel and M1 chip Macs.
TPM modulation has been available in the Professional version of Parallels for quite a while already and so adding the feature to the Standard version in light of Windows 11 was an easy move for Parallels.
Parallels costs $80 for home users although existing users can upgrade for $50 to the latest version which can install Windows 11 on a Mac.
Be warned that there are some websites that have published workarounds to install Windows 11 on a Mac that bypass the TPM requirement by using a modified ISO image of Windows.
However, we do not recommended these as they’re not officially supported and are likely to be broken by updates to Windows 11 or macOS in the future.
It will also be very difficult to apply updates to unofficial installations of Windows 11 on a Mac so we strongly advise against it.
Can You Install Windows 11 on M1 Macs?
As already mentioned, Windows 11 requires a physical TPM chip and the M1 Mac equivalent is Apple’s T2 chip.
However, Parallels can cleverly emulate the TPM module on M1 Macs allowing you to run Windows 11.
You can run Windows 11 on M1 Macs using Parallels 17 but it’s important to be aware that you can only run the Insider Preview version of Windows 11 for ARM on M1 Macs.
It’s not yet possible to run the standard x86 version of Windows 11 like you can on Intel Macs although it’s likely that Parallels will add support for this eventually.
Windows ARM is very similar the standard version of Windows but is compatible with less software as it only works with ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) chips.
This means that unfortunately many of your Windows applications may not work using Windows 11 on an M1 Mac unless they are ARM compatible.
You can watch full instructions how to install Windows 11 on an Apple M1 Mac below.
You can also watch a copy of Windows 11 running in Parallels on an M1 Mac below.
Will Windows 11 Run on Mac With Windows 365?
Windows 365 is a new Cloud service by Microsoft that will allow Mac users to use Windows online in any browser.
Microsoft Windows 365 was released on August 2nd 2021 but at the moment is only available to businesses.
However, it should eventually offer a Cloud based way for Mac users to access Windows on a Mac including Windows 11 – eventually.
How To Install Windows 11 On A Mac
Firstly, you’ll need at least 64GB or more free storage space on your Mac startup disk to install Windows 11. 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.
With this in mind, follow these instructions to Install Windows 11 on both Intel and M1 Macs.
- Download and install Parallels for Mac.
- If you’ve got an Intel Mac, download an ISO image of Windows 11 from Microsoft by selecting the third option from the Windows 11 download site.
- If you’ve got an M1 Mac, you need to register for the Windows Insider Program and then download the VHDX image of the Insider Preview Windows 11 For ARM instead from Microsoft.
- Open the Parallels Installation assistant and when prompted, upload the Windows 11 ISO Installation Image.
- When prompted for the license key, you can skip by unchecking the box “Enter Windows license key for faster installation”. Note that you don’t have to buy a license key to use Windows 11 unless you want to customize the look of it so Windows 11 is essentially free to use on a Mac.
- Select the Windows 11 Pro Edition.
- Parallels will then prompt you to select what you intend to use Windows for such as Productivity, Gaming, Work etc. This help Parallels optimize the installation for you.
- Give your installation a name (such as Windows 11) and Parallels with then begin the installation process.
The installation process can take some time and when done, Parallels will run macOS and Windows 11 in Coherence Mode which means the two operating systems work seamlessly together.
However, you can run them separately in Windowed Mode if you prefer to keep macOS and Windows separate.
If you have any problems installing Windows 11 on your Mac let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to help.