Do you find yourself longing to use specific Windows applications but you’re stuck with a Mac? Don’t worry! There are ways to run these applications that are specific for Windows on your Mac without actually having to run Windows. Let’s explain some detailed processes to make the impossible seem easy.

Why Run Windows Apps on Mac?

Running Windows applications on a Mac may become essential in various scenarios, all depending on individual needs and professional requirements.

Professional Needs: Certain industries rely on specialized software that’s exclusive to the Windows environment. If a Mac user is part of such an industry, the ability to run these Windows applications becomes crucial for their work.

Educational Purposes: Students or educators may need specific tools or software that are only available on Windows. Being able to run these applications on Mac ensures continuity in learning or teaching without needing to switch devices.

Software Preference: Users might prefer certain Windows applications over their Mac counterparts for various reasons such as familiarity, specific features, or performance. In these cases, the ability to run these specific Windows apps can enhance the user’s overall experience.

Gaming: Many popular games are developed primarily for Windows. Gamers who use Mac may wish to play these games without having to own a separate Windows machine.

Cost Efficiency: Running Windows applications on a Mac can be a more cost-effective solution for small businesses or individuals who do not wish to invest in separate hardware for different operating systems.

Compatibility with Colleagues or Clients: In collaborative work environments, compatibility with files or software used by colleagues or clients operating on Windows may require running the same applications on Mac.

Access to Exclusive Content or Services: Some content or services might be exclusively accessible through Windows applications. Accessing them through Mac ensures that users do not miss out on these exclusive offerings.

Options Available

There are a few ways to run Windows apps on a Mac and some of the most opted methods are as follows:

1: Use a Virtual Machine (VM) 

A virtual machine is used to create an operating system like Windows within your Mac as an operating system inside another. You can then install Windows Operating System on the virtual machine and run Windows apps as if they were running on a real Windows computer. This method is versatile, but it is resource-intensive, requiring sufficient memory and processing power.

2: Use Wine 

Wine is used to translate Windows API calls into macOS calls and it is a compatible layer. It cannot run all Windows apps but is less resource-intensive, and suitable for older Windows apps.

3: Use Boot Camp 

Boot Camp allows you to install Windows alongside macOS, and you can switch between them. It offers a native experience but requires a reboot to switch operating systems.

4: Use Parallels Desktop 

Similar to virtual machines, Parallels Desktop allows you to run Windows apps like native Mac apps. It’s more user-friendly compared to traditional virtual machines.

5: Remotely Connect to a Windows Computer 

The user can remotely connect to the Windows system from your Mac remotely and it’s suitable if you only need to use Windows apps occasionally.

The best method may vary from different individuals or companies depending on the specificity of the requirements.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Each Method

Using a Virtual Machine

  1. Install virtual machine software like VMware Fusion or VirtualBox.
  2. After that, simply launch a new virtual machine within the software.
  3. Install Windows within the virtual machine.
  4. Install and run Windows apps.

Using Wine

  1. Download Wine by heading to its official website
  2. After that, execute the downloaded file to install Wine on your Mac.
  3. Use Wine to open and execute the Windows applications.

Using Boot Camp

  1. Open Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac
  2. Follow the instructions to install Windows
  3. Restart the Windows as needed and install your apps.

Using Parallels Desktop

  1. Install Parallels Desktop
  2. Create a new virtual machine
  3. Install Windows apps as if they were Mac apps

Remotely Connecting to a Windows Computer

  1. Set up a remote connection on your Windows computer.
  2. Use a remote desktop client on your Mac to communicate to the system with the Windows Operating System.
  3. Run Windows apps from your Mac through the remote connection.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on what Windows apps you need to run, your Mac’s resources, and your personal preferences.


Running Windows apps on Mac without running Windows itself is no longer a complex task. Whether you’re a professional needing specific tools or a casual user wanting to explore Windows applications, the solutions listed above have got you covered.