How to enable Hyper-V on Windows 10 to create virtual machines like a developer

Dave W. Shanahan

Enable Hyper-V on Windows 10

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Did you know that if you enable Hyper-V on Windows 10, you can create, delete and manage virtual machines? Using a virtual machine (VM) lets you test out any new and unstable operating systems and try out new apps and features in a contained virtualized desktop environment.

It also helps keep your physical PC safe from any bugs, performance, and/or stability issues of the VM. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s implementation of a virtual machine manager, although there are others, notably from Oracle and VMWare.

Of course, this is only the case if your PC meets these necessary requirements to enable Hyper-V on Windows 10:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro, or Education edition
  • 64-bit processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
  • CPU support for VM Monitor Mode Extension (VT-c on Intel CPUs)
  • Minimum of 4 GB RAM

There are a couple of things that need to be addressed before we go any further:

1. Hyper-V cannot be enabled on Windows 10 Home.
2. Hyper-V is built into Windows 10 as an optional feature that needs to be enabled, so there is no “Hyper-V download” available.

The best thing you can do is to upgrade to a different Windows version either by opening Settings > Update and Security > Activation or purchase a Windows license directly from Microsoft.

Another cool trick is that you can upgrade your Windows edition via the Microsoft Store directly on your Windows PC.

Enable Hyper-V on Windows 10

If your PC meets all of the requirements, then you are ready to go. So how do you enable Hyper-V? Enable Hyper-V by using Windows Settings, Command Prompt (CMD) and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (DISM), and Windows PowerShell.

Here are the three simple methods:

1. Windows Settings

1. Right-click the Windows button on your desktop and select Apps and Features
2. Choose Programs and Features located on the right.
enable Hyper-V on Windows 10
3. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
enable hyper-v on windows 10
4. Check the box next to Hyper-V, including Hyper-V Management Tools and Hyper-V Platform, and click OK.
enable hyper-v on windows 10

2. CMD and DISM

1. Open Command Prompt (CMD) as Administrator.
2. Copy and paste the following command:
DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /All /FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V
3. Press Enter when finished to run the command.
enable hyper-v on windows 10

3. Windows PowerShell

1. Open Windows PowerShell as Administrator.
2. Copy and paste the following command:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All
3. Press Enter when finished to run the command.

Whichever method you choose to enable Hyper-V, you will be prompted to restart your system for the changes to take effect. You will not be able to use Hyper-V until you restart your Windows 10 PC.

Once you restart your PC, you can get started using desktop virtualization tools, including the ability to create a Windows 11 virtual machine on Windows 10.

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Do you know of any other ways to enable Hyper-V on Windows 10? Let us know in the comments!