5 Ways to Run Windows Software on a Mac

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Even though Macs boast of a thriving ecosystem of software, there are still some programs that only support Windows. If you wish to play a PC game or use business software, you can run a Windows program on your Mac computer. This makes Mac one of the most versatile systems that you can buy. 

Some of the methods of running Windows on a Mac are similar to running Windows programs on a Chromebook or installing Windows software on Linux. To get started, look below. 

One of the best ways to run Windows software on your Mac is by using a virtual machine. They let you install Windows and other OS in a window on the desktop of your Mac and make Windows think that it is running on an actual computer while it running inside a piece of software.  

There’s no need to use the Windows program in the window of the virtual machine either. There are many virtual machine programs that enable you to break Windows programs out of the virtual machine window so that they can be seen on the Mac desktop. But, in the background, they are still running inside the virtual machine. 

VMWare Fusion and Parallels are popular virtual machine programs for Mac and to install Windows, you would need a Windows license. While both of these are paid programs, you can also use VirtualBox for Mac which is completely open-sourced and free. However, VirtualBox doesn’t offer exceptional 3D graphics support and macOS integration isn’t very good. You can check out the detailed guide on https://setapp.com/ to know how to use a virtual machine on your Mac. 

  • Wine

Originated on Linux, Wine is a computability layer that enables Windows apps to run on other OS. Typically, Wine attempts to rewrite the code that Windows applications depend on so that they can easily run on other OS. However, Wine isn’t perfect and it may not run every Windows application. You need to check out the list of applications that are supported at the Wine AppDB before using this method. 

Regardless, Wine is one of the methods of running Windows apps on a macOS because it doesn’t require a Windows license. It is completely free and you simply need to download WineBottler or Wine for macOS and run it. 

  • Boot Camp 

Apple’s Boot Camp lets Mac users install Windows, along with macOS on the Mac. But, you can only run one OS at a time. That means you need to restart your Mac every time you wish to switch between Windows and macOS. 

If you want to use demanding Windows apps or play Windows games, installing Windows as a real OS on your Mac would be the ideal option. This will make sure that you get the best performance that you can get when running a Windows app or games on a Mac. 

The only downside to this method is that you cannot run Windows apps and macOS apps side-by-side at once. If you want to do that, then a virtual machine would be a more suitable method. But, if you want the maximum performance of Windows apps, Boot Camp would be ideal. 

  • Remote Desktop 

Do you have a Windows system? If so, you can totally skip running Windows software on your Mac and utilize remote desktop software instead. This software will allow you to access your Windows machine from the desktop of your Mac. Enterprises with business software that runs on Windows can easily host Windows servers and make sure that their apps are available on macOS, Linux PCs, Chromebooks, Android tablets, and so on. 

If you are just a home user and have a Windows PC, you can quickly download remote desktop software, configure your PC for remote access and connect it to your Mac whenever you need to use Windows applications. But, you need to keep in mind that this method is not ideal for running visually-intensive apps like Windows games.

  • Crossover Mac

Crossover Mac is an application from the house of Codeweaver and it is designed to make the best utilization of Wind translator in a Mac environment. The app includes a user-friendly installer for the Crossover Mac app, as well as, installing Windows apps on macOS. You don’t have to venture into Terminal as it is needed with Wine and Crossover Mac bobs behind a standard Mac UI by hiding the underlying UNIX bits. 

Even Crossover Mac offers a better user experience, it depends on the Wine code from translating the APIs of Windows to their equivalents on Mac. This means that you need to check the database of the Crossover website to get a list of the working apps to make sure that the app that you want to run is going to work. 

So, these are some of the best and most popular methods when it comes to running Windows software on a Mac. You can get started so that you can make the most of both worlds.