Boot Camp Overview Updated June 11, 2021

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22 'Boot Camp' stories

December 2012 - June 2021


Boot Camp is a technology included with macOS that allows users to run Windows on Mac hardware. By means of the included Boot Camp Assistant, users can partition the main hard drive to make room for a Boot Camp Windows partition.

By pointing to a Windows ISO file, users can install Windows and dual boot between macOS and Windows as desired. Apple includes Boot Camp drivers to allow Mac hardware to function properly inside of Windows.

Boot Camp Stories June 11, 2021

Trackpad gestures are a much-loved macOS feature, but if you wanted to use the Windows equivalent – Windows Precision Touchpad gestures – you were out of luck until yesterday.

Microsoft added the trackpad gestures way back in 2013, and there have been a variety of unofficial drivers to allow them to be used on Macs, but it’s only now that Apple has offered support for them as standard through Boot Camp, in version 6.1.15 …

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Boot Camp Stories July 14, 2020

Traditional Boot Camp installations can take up a lot of storage space on your Mac. Considering that many Macs out there have relatively minuscule amounts of onboard storage, installing Boot Camp to run Windows isn’t always a feasible option. With this in mind, setting up an external Windows drive on your Mac might prove to be handy.

In this video walkthrough, I show you step-by-step how to deploy a Windows installation using Boot Camp drivers on an external drive connected to your Mac. Be sure to subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more handy tutorials like this. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories July 2, 2019

Windows 10 updates for Mac put on ‘temporary hold’ for older machines

Microsoft has put Windows 10 updates for Mac on “temporary hold” for older machines, or those running older versions of Boot Camp.

Boot Camp Stories December 31, 2018

In a previous video, I showcased a 2018 Mac mini gaming setup using an AMD RX Vega 64 eGPU running Windows 10 via Boot Camp. Would a similar setup work for an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 GPU from EVGA? Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the answer. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories December 20, 2018

Can you game with the 2018 Mac mini? If you’re willing to install Windows 10 using our Boot Camp tutorial, and you have an eGPU at your disposal, the answer is yes. Watch our video showing you how to transform the 2018 Mac mini into a legit Windows 10 gaming machine. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories December 5, 2018

If you’re interested in gaming on your 2018 Mac mini (review), you might consider installing Windows 10 with the help of Boot Camp Assistant. In this hands-on video walkthrough, we show you how to install Windows 10 on your Mac mini step-by-step. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories August 31, 2017

Ever since I wrote about installing Windows 10 on a Mac earlier this year, I’ve received tons of questions about installing Windows 10 on an external drive using Boot Camp drivers. The truth is, this is a workaround using Windows To Go, and the process for doing so is a bit more in-depth than it is for installing proper Boot Camp on your Mac’s internal disk, but it’s still very easy to do, and only takes about 30-40 minutes.

In this hands-on step-by-step walkthrough, we show you how to install Windows 10 on your Mac using an external drive. Watch our video inside to see how. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories May 23, 2017

In a previous tutorial we showed you how to create a macOS Boot Camp partition for installing Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro. The process, while not difficult, can be slightly time consuming, especially if you have a slow Internet connection for downloading Windows 10.

Outside of the time it takes, another downside associated with creating a Boot Camp partition is that it can take up a significant amount of space on your primary drive. Since some Macs are fairly limited when it comes to internal storage space, having a large Boot Camp partition can make it tricky to manage storage space in macOS.

In this follow-up tutorial, we show you how to remove the Boot Camp partition from your Mac, which allows your primary macOS partition to reclaim its space. Unlike the Boot Camp creation + Windows 10 installation process, removing a Boot Camp partition couldn’t be easier. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for the details. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories January 31, 2017

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As we showed you in our step-by-step tutorial, creating a Boot Camp partition on your Mac to install Windows is easy. The tedious part of the installation is taking Windows through its initial setup process, and configuring it to your liking.

The configuration portion of the install process — initial setup, installing drivers, and downloading needed applications — can take a significant amount of time, so it’s worth backing up your Boot Camp installation after you have it configured to your liking. By doing so, you can easily restore a snapshot of Windows in mere minutes.

Watch our hands-on video walkthrough, as we show you how to back up and restore a Boot Camp Windows partition using Winclone Basic for macOS. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories January 26, 2017

akitio-thunder3-egpu-4k-tv

While they’ve existed before the most recent MacBook Pro, the surge of interest in external GPUs is largely thanks to the implementation of Thunderbolt 3 in the latest Mac hardware. As we’ve shown in a previous post, an eGPU can make a significant performance difference, turning an otherwise graphically pedestrian MacBook Pro into a competent gaming machine.

In our previous tutorial, we showed you how to wield an AMD RX 480 in macOS. While that solution yielded definite benefits, it was also hindered by difficulties caused by macOS itself.

It should come as no surprise that the setup process and support with Windows is, in some ways, quite a bit better than using an eGPU with macOS. That’s not to say that you should run out and buy a Windows laptop if you want to play the latest games requiring a more powerful GPU. Instead, you can utilize a Boot Camp installation, and turn your MacBook Pro into a 1080p gaming machine.

The now-available $249 Akitio Thunder3 is much smaller than the larger Akitio Node, so it takes up a smaller footprint on your desk. The setup also lets you tap into the power of the GPU right from your MacBook Pro’s built-in display, no external display required. Watch our full walkthrough, as we showcase this simple and compact eGPU solution on video. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories January 23, 2017

windows-10-macbook-pro-boot-camp

If you’re interested in installing Windows 10 on your Mac’s internal drive, you can easily do so by means of Microsoft’s Windows 10 ISO download and the macOS Boot Camp Assistant. The installation can be a little time consuming, but it is by no means difficult. Check out our full video walkthrough inside for the details. expand full story

Boot Camp Stories June 13, 2016

Parallels 11

Parallels, the virtualization software famous for being able to run Windows on the Mac, is celebrating its 10 years of innovation this week. Parallels has seen a cornucopia of changes since its initial launch in 2006 and it shows no signs of slowing down. Today marks the 10th anniversary since Parallels’ launch and they’ve decided to spend the next week highlighting the decade of features that made its way onto the Mac. To infamfurther show their appreciation towards previous, current, and future customers, Parallels is offering 25% off Parallels Desktop software. This includes Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition, and Parallels Desktop Business Edition. We’ve decided to take a deep dive with the Parallels team into showcasing their trajectory from where they came, and where they might go in the years to come.

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Boot Camp Stories February 23, 2016

Mac Pro case clone Kickstarter is perfect for your next DIY gold Hackintosh project

We’ve seen DIY solutions in building a Mac Pro-style Hackintosh out of actual trash cans, but others who aren’t as inclined to follow a DIY route may be excited to hear about the Dune Case. Dune Case is currently running a Kickstarter campaign of its Mac Pro-inspired PC case. The case would allow anyone to get a Mac Pro look at a fraction of the cost at only $189. Boasting a design that helps support airflow, strikingly similar to the Mac Pro, the Dune Case comes in either a black or gold color options.

Boot Camp Stories August 13, 2015

Boot Camp now supports 64-bit Windows 10 on a wide range of Macs dating back to 2012

Apple has announced in a support document that Boot Camp now supports 64-bit versions of Windows 10 on a wide range of Macs dating back to 2012. The updated version of Boot Camp is currently rolling out to Yosemite users – if you haven’t yet received it, it should show up when you use the Mac App Store to check for updates.

Apple gives instructions for performing both a new install and an upgrade from earlier versions of Windows.

Supported Macs are:

  • MacBook Air from Mid 2012
  • MacBook Pro from Mid 2012
  • MacBook Pro with Retina display from Mid 2012
  • iMac from Late 2012
  • Mac mini from Late 2012
  • Mac Pro Late 2013
  • 12-inch MacBook

USB-C is supported on the 12-inch MacBook, in addition to the standard ports which are supported on all compatible models.

Back in March, Apple discontinued Boot Camp support for Windows 7 on the latest MacBook models, requiring Windows 8 and up.

Photo: Jacek Kalużny

Boot Camp Stories May 15, 2015

Early look at Windows 10 on the new Retina MacBook says it runs better than OS X

One of the first people to try Windows 10 on the new Retina MacBook says that it actually runs more smoothly than OS X. The comment was made by Computer Science major Alex King, who tried upgrading his Boot Camp installation of Windows 8.1 to the preview of Windows 10.

Here’s the real kicker: it’s fast. It’s smooth. It renders at 60FPS unless you have a lot going on. It’s unequivocally better than performance on OS X, further leading me to believe that Apple really needs to overhaul how animations are done. Even when I turn Transparency off in OS X, Mission Control isn’t completely smooth. Here, even after some Aero Glass transparency has been added in, everything is smooth. It’s remarkable, and it makes me believe in the 12-inch MacBook more than ever before.

If you’re fortunate enough to have taken delivery of your own Retina MacBook and want to try the experiment for yourself, be prepared for a few glitches along the way. King said that not all of the Boot Camp drivers automatically installed, there’s no Bluetooth support and some Windows apps (like Steam) look blurry because they don’t support the full resolution of the Retina display. But overall, the experience sounds like a good one.

If you’re still not sure whether you’re the target market for the new lower-powered, ultra-portable machine, you can check out our own in-depth review and one-month-in video of just what it can and can’t do.

Boot Camp Stories March 20, 2015

Apple discontinues Boot Camp support for Windows 7 on latest MacBook models

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro and the upcoming MacBook will not support running Windows 7 through Boot Camp according to a support document for the software. Starting on the newest machines, users will need to upgrade to Windows 8 or later in order to take advantage of the Mac’s dual-boot capabilities.

Of course, for users who still rely on Windows 7, there are solutions that allow you to run the operating system on your Mac. Both Parallels Desktop 10 and VMWare Fusion 7 Pro support versions of Windows back to XP and feature an integrated experience designed for the latest version of OS X.

Microsoft recently announced that it would be taking a page from Apple’s playbook and allowing existing Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to the upcoming Windows 10 for free, giving those stuck on older versions a chance to update to a Boot Camp-compatible system.

Boot Camp Stories January 12, 2015

Screenshot 2015-01-12 16.49.07

Analysis firm IDC today put out its projected numbers for PC growth in Q4 of 2014, and these results are better than projected. IDC initially predicted that unit sales for PCs would fall 4.8% year-over-year in Q4, but, instead, the market only fell 2.4%. While the decrease in growth is not as weak as expected, IDC still notes that 2014 is the third consecutive year of slow-down in the PC market. Many analysts have attributed the lack of recent growth to the uptake in purchases and usage of both tablets and large-screen smartphones…

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Boot Camp Stories June 10, 2014

Apple issues MacBook Air EFI update to repair power, Thunderbolt/USB-related bugs

A day after it released an SMC update to address MacBook Air battery issues, Apple has issued an EFI update for the same mid-2013 and early-2014 models to address various other issues:

This update is recommended for MacBook Air (mid 2013 and early 2014) models.

This update improves reliability when waking from sleep and when booting while certain USB and Thunderbolt devices are connected.

This update also addresses a rare memory issue that may cause the system to randomly reboot, and an issue where the system may not properly sleep the built-in display when an external display is connected while running Windows using Boot Camp.

The update can be downloaded directly from Apple’s support website or it can be found via the Software Update tab in the Mac App Store.

Boot Camp Stories February 5, 2014

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If you are wondering how the new Mac Pro does in gaming, here’s a little taste of Crysis running in 4800×1800 mode in Boot Camp. Thanks

I’d probably opt for a single big 4K display myself but if you have 6 27-inch displays laying around…

Boot Camp Stories March 14, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 4.21.32 PM

Following the release of OS X Mountain 10.8.3 build 12D78 to developers earlier this week, Apple today released 10.8.3 to the public with a number of new features and enhancements. One of the more notable new features is the ability to redeem iTunes gift cards using the Mac’s built-in camera within the Mac App Store. It’s a feature that Apple originally introduced with iTunes 11 in November.

Other improvements in today’s release include support for install Windows 8 in Boot Camp and Boot Camp support for Mac’s using 3TB hard drives. Users had previously been using workarounds to utilize Boot Camp on Macs with hard drives larger than the utility’s old 2.2TB limit.

The release also includes Safari 6.0.3 and audio related fixes for Logic Pro and 2011 iMacs:

-The ability to redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using Mac’s built-in camera -Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8 -Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3TB hard drive -A Fix for an issue that could cause a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly -A fix for an issue that may cause Logic Pro to become unresponsive when using certain plug-ins -A fix for an issue that causes audio to stutter on 2011 iMacs -Includes Safari 6.0.3

Boot Camp Stories January 2, 2013

‘Fix’ allows you to install Windows Bootcamp on new iMacs with 3TB drives

If you haven’t heard, those who purchased a new Mac with Apple’s built-to-order 3TB hard drive option found themselves unable to utilize Boot Camp assistant to install Windows. Boot Camp Assistant is currently limited to drives up to 2.2TB. Apple hinted that support might come at a later date, but TwoCanoes shares a step-by-step guide for getting the job done in Boot Camp until then:

Since it is not possible to get around the 2.2 TB limitation with booting Windows, it is possible to organize the partitions so that Windows is the last of the first four partitons and is within the first 2.2 TBs of space on the drive. Since the Mac can see the remaining space above the 2.2 TB limit, this space can be used for addtional storage space for OS X.

In order for Windows to boot successfully and still be able to utilize all of the available space on a 3 TB (or larger) hard drive, Windows must be installed on the fourth partition. You can use Disk Utility to create the partition, but since Disk Utility does not show hidden partitions, it can be difficult to see what is going on if some partitions are hidden. To have Disk Utility show hidden partitions, open Terminal and run the following command:

You can get the full instructions on TwoCanoes here.

Boot Camp Stories December 18, 2012

iMac2012

As customers begin receiving the new iMac this month, business-end users and gamers may find one issue when booting up their new machine. As reader Michael Verde first shared with us, the built-to-order 27-inch iMac configuration with a 3TB Fusion Drive (an extra $400) will not allow any Boot Camp use. This essentially cuts off access to a full Windows experience that some Mac users may want to benefit from. Many might consider this a bummer, as a sizable amount of users turn to Boot Camp to access necessary Windows programs or just simply enjoy Windows paired with Mac hardware.

Apple highlighted the issue on both its iMac configuration and Fusion Drive explanation page. “Boot Camp Assistant is not supported at this time on 3TB hard drive configurations,” Apple said in buried text. “At this time,” could mean the feature is enabled down the road in a software update, but it is non-existent as of now.

There are virtualization solutions, such as Parelles and VM Ware, that provide a Windows experience, but they do not offer a full experience that many may want. Boot Camp users include gamers who want to run games at full settings and business users looking to use specific business apps in a full Windows environment.

Right now it is not clear what the cause is, or if it has anything to do with Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology, but it seems that Boot Camp is limited to hard drive with less than 2TB of space (PC World has a good explanation for this). Announced in October and shipping in the new Mac Mini and iMacs, the top Fusion Drive configuration provides 128GB of flash storage coupled with 3TB of HDD space. The cheaper configuration, 128GB Flash Storage + 1TB HDD, supports Boot Camp. So, we have to wonder: what is holding back the more expensive configuration? We reached out to Apple for comment.

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