Windows 11 is the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft, and it's packed with new features, However, you might not be ready to install Windows 11 on your primary computer for a variety of reasons. For example, you may want to wait until Windows 11 has been widely deployed, or you might want to get more familiar with some of the new features before using them, hence the need to install it using a Virtual Machine.
For Microsoft Windows operating systems, virtualization is a feature that allows multiple operating system environments to run on one computer. A virtual machine (VM) is a software implementation of a computer system. A VM allows hardware resources such as processors and memory to be shared by separate guest operating systems, which may potentially run simultaneously on the same physical host. One of the greatest benefits of virtualization is its versatility: it can be used on any computer running any operating system capable of running VMs.
Installation can be tricky, though, because you need to make sure the host operating system is compatible with Windows 11. In this article, we will show you how to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine.
How to install Windows 11 on a device that does not support TPM
Microsoft has begun rolling out Windows 11, which is designed to be compatible with computers that come with TPM 2.0, secure boot capable, and a storage capacity of at least 64GB and 4GB of RAM. As such, you may wish to install a copy of the new OS on a virtual machine (VM) for testing purposes.
Trying to run Windows 11 on a physical computer may seem like a good alternative, but there is one major hurdle if your computer does not meet the minimum specifications for Windows 11, you'll need to install an additional piece of software called a "virtual machine monitor" in order to do so. This can be inconvenient if your computer lacks the hardware required or if your computer doesn't support the proper virtual machine software in the first place.
Fortunately, there is an alternative way: installing Windows 11 on a virtual machine using VMWare Player, Oracle VM VirtualBox, or Hyper-V instead of using your physical computer, and allowing the VM to take care of the hardware requirements, regardless of the requirements of your physical machine (up to a point, of course). If you have access to a second computer with sufficient hardware and memory capacity, this may be worth considering as an alternative option. Check out our companion post on how to enable TPMs in VMWare, Oracle, or Hyper-V.
Here's what you will need to do to get Windows 11 on a Virtual Machine:
How to install Windows 11 on Virtual Machine
When you install Windows 11 on a virtual machine, you don't need to worry about the compatibility of your hardware with Windows 11 because the virtual machine will use the hardware of your host computer.
1. Download and Install the Virtual Machine
To install Windows 11 on a virtual machine, you must be a member of the Windows Insider Program. The program lets Microsoft test its software on small sample size and fix evident bugs before introducing it officially to everyone. This is how you can sign up for the Windows Insider Program:
- To sign up for the Windows Insider Program, you must have a Microsoft account.
- Then, visit the Insider Program section on the Microsoft website to register yourself in.
- You can now download Windows installation media from the Microsoft website after registering for the Windows Insider program.
- After selecting your preferred user interface language, select the Windows edition you want to download.
- Then, click the Download button. To download the ISO file to your computer.
2. Install the free Oracle VM VirtualBox software
If you do not already have Oracle’s Virtual Box on your computer, please follow the steps below:
- To download Virtual Box, go to the Virtual Box website; select the Windows Hosts option from the list.
- The Virtual Box installation file will start downloading on your computer.
- To install Windows 11 on a virtual machine, run the executable file and choose a location.
3. Creating a Virtual Machine for Windows 11
To install Windows 11 on a virtual machine, first, create a new virtual machine. You will then need to allocate some resources to the new virtual machine, and then install the Windows 11 ISO file via the new virtual machine.
- To create a new virtual machine, click the New button in the Virtual Box Manager section.
- Once you have selected a name for your virtual machine, you will be prompted to select its installation location.
- The following steps require you to allocate system resources to a virtual machine. You can select values for your operating system within range of the system requirements for Windows 11.
- Choose the amount of memory that you prefer then click on Next.
- Then, select the Create Virtual Hard Disk option and select the storage space for the Virtual Machine.
- Click on Create to finalize the whole process.
4. Open your Virtual Machine and Install Windows 11
Windows will request a Microsoft username and password during the post-installation process. This is a step that occurs on standard installations of the operating system. Later, the VM will boot into Windows 11, which runs identically to a standard installation.
- Click on the Start button in the Virtual Machine Manager section to run it.
- The virtual machine is empty, and no operating system exists on the virtual machine's hard disk. So, find your ISO file in the next window and click Add. The next window will ask you to select the ISO file.
- Then, Click on the Start button, to restart the Virtual Machine.
- The Windows 11 installation process begins when you’re asked to fill in basic details such as your preferred language, country, and input methods.
- Click the I don’t have a product key button to complete the installation.
- Select the Windows 11 version you want to install and click Next.
- The following window displays a choice between a Custom Installation and an Upgrade. Choose the Custom Installation.
- Use the customization options to choose appropriate disk sizes for various drives on your VM. You can customize the allocated disk size according to your requirements. Press Next.
- The installation process will commence at this juncture.
Install Windows 11
Installing the newest operating system on your main computer is a big decision. It’s always good to try things out, to make sure you like the new interface and that your favorite applications run correctly.
Therefore, installing things in a virtual machine lets you do just that. You can test things out and get a good feel for them before you decide to wipe your computer and install it on there. Be sure to also check out our detailed tutorial on how to install Windows 11.
Were you able to install Windows 11 using a Virtual Machine? Let us know in the comment section below.