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How to install Windows 10 on an Apple Silicon Mac with Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac

When the new Apple Silicon Macs were introduced last year, boot camp users knew soon, they would need to find another solution to their need to run Windows apps on a Mac. While Parallels Desktop has been around a long time and has served as the alternative to boot camp it too had become useless for the new Apple Silicon M1-powered Macs. Parallels was quick to release support for Apple Silicon Macs late last year with help from Microsoft.

Till recently Windows 10 on Arm could not be obtained any other way than a new device, but Microsoft is making it available through the Windows Insider Program that can be installed in Parallels. Below we will walk you through how to install Windows 10 on your Apple Silicon powered Mac.

How to install Windows 10 on Apple Silicon Macs

Register as a Windows Insider
  • After you have registered as a Windows Insider, download Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview
Windows Insider Preview downloading Windows 10
  • Now with the Parallels Installation Assistant you will be prompted to configure Windows 10
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  • Parallels will automatically find you Windows 10.VHDX image file, if it doesn’t find it on your Mac, probably in your downloads folder, unless you specified otherwise.
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  • After your Windows 10 installation is created you can customize the amount of CPU cores, RAM, Storage and so on.
  • Depending on your needs for the Windows apps, you may want to allocate at least half of your resources like CPU and RAM to Windows while you are using Parallels Desktop.
  • Now install Windows 10.
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  • After several minutes the Windows 10 installation will complete, next select continue and sign into your Parallels account or create a new one.
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  • Users of Parallels desktop have a few options to choose from here, start a 14-day free trial, buy Parallels Desktop Standard which is a one-time purchase, but will not get you future versions of Parallels Desktop and two other high-end subscriptions for $99/year, that enable more performance and annual upgrades to new versions of Parallels.
  • Now that you have Windows 10 installed (virtually) you should update it to the latest version and hit up the Microsoft Store to install the latest app updates and find new apps.

Personally, I have run Macs with Parallels in the past and if you have to run a few Windows applications then this is the only way to go with Apple Silicon Macs. Alternatively, many users in the past opted for Macs because of their design, so if you are not married to macOS, try a Surface Laptop instead.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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