Here’s how to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine

There is no doubt that Windows 11 is the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft. But be it TPM 2.0 or CPU limitations, not everyone can use the new OS on their PC.

If you still want to try Windows 11, you can install Windows 11 on a virtual machine. This allows you to virtualize Windows separately from your existing installation without risk to your PC. Here’s how to do this in Windows.

Please note that Microsoft does not officially support running Windows 11 on a virtual machine.

How do I install Windows 11 on a virtual machine

Download Oracle Virtualbox

The easiest way to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine in Windows is with Oracle VirtualBox. It is a free, purpose-built virtualizer for x86 hardware, targeting server, desktop and embedded use. It is quite popular with Windows enthusiasts and it is easy to use.

Step 1: Download Oracle Virtualbox

To get started, visit the Oracle Virtualbox website and download the app. Oracle Virtualbox is free and there is no charge. Just click on the Windows hosts option and let your PC download the program. Once done, navigate to the file and launch it. If you are using a Mac or Linux machine, make sure to choose the MacOS or Linux downloads. The steps for installing Windows on a virtual machine are the same.

Step 2: Download Windows 11

Download Windows 11 ISO.

Next, you’ll want to download Windows 11. You need an ISO file from Microsoft. To do this, go to the Download Windows 11 webpage. Scroll down to the Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) option. Then choose Windows 11 followed by To download. Select English as the Product language and click To confirm. Make a note of where you downloaded the ISO, as you’ll need it later.

Step 3: Install Oracle Virtualbox

Install Oracle VM Box.

Now that Windows 11 is downloaded, it’s time to install Oracle Virtualbox. Find where the file is saved and double click to launch it. Follow the instructions on your screen by clicking Next one. If you want quick access, you can create Start Menu, Shortcut, and Quick Launch items. You also need to install a network interface, so don’t forget to click Yes. This will temporarily interrupt your network connection. keep clicking Next one and agree to all installation prompts on your screen. It may take a few minutes.

Step 4: Set up your virtual machine

Set up a Windows 11 VM

After the installation is complete, you can set up your virtual machine. Launch Oracle Virtualbox from your desktop or start menu. Click on the blue New knob. Give your virtual machine a name; we prefer the name Windows 11. You can then choose Microsoft Windows below Type and then choose Windows 11 below Version.

Step 5: Allocate your resources

Allocate resources in a Windows 11 VM.

This fifth step requires you to allocate resources. Below the Create Virtual Machine step, make sure to adjust the memory size. If your PC has a lot of RAM, make sure to give the virtual machine at least a few gigabytes of RAM. The more RAM you allocate, the faster the virtual machine. If your PC doesn’t have enough RAM, make sure to keep it under the green area. VirtualBox will always suggest a size for you to choose.

In addition to RAM, you also need to create a virtual hard drive. The virtual hard drive is where you store files and apps on your virtual machine. Click on the To create button and choose VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) and then choose Next one.

In the next step it is best to use Dynamically assigned. This will only use space on your physical hard drive when it fills up, but it won’t shrink again when space becomes available on it. If you want a more traditional experience, you can use fixed size, but this may take longer to make. Drag the slider around to adjust the VDI size and click To create.

Step 6: Prepare to Install Windows 11

Next, you’ll want to install Windows 11 on your new virtual machine. Click on the name of the virtual machine in the sidebar and choose Settings. Choose in the sidebar Storage. Under where it says Controller: SATA, look for the blue CD drive icon.

Click on the CD icon where it says Empty and click to the right where it says Optical drive. Make sure you have the . select Live CD/DVD option. Then click the blue CD icon next to it and select Choose a disc file. Navigate to where you saved your Windows 11 ISO and then open it with Open. You can then complete the process by clicking OK.

Step 7: Start your new VM for the first time & install Windows 11

Now that everything is set up, you can start your new virtual machine. Click on the Get started icon and quickly click in the virtual machine window. Your mouse will be captured by the virtual machine, but you can end the capture at any time by clicking the right control key. Make sure to act quickly and press any key on your keyboard to launch the Windows 11 installation experience.

Note that Microsoft does not officially support running Windows 11 on a virtual machine. However, there is a solution.

Once you get to the . are Windows installation screen, press Shift + F10 on your keyboard. This will launch the command prompt. Type regedit and press enter, then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > Settings to the left. Right click on Setup and select New > Key. You name it Lab Configuration and press Enter.

Then right click on Lab Configuration and select New > Dword (32-bit) and create a new value called Skip TPM check. Set the data to 1 by right-clicking it and . to select To adjust.

Then follow the same steps and this time create a Bypass TPM Check and set the data to 1. Create also BypassSecureBootCheck and also set the value to 1. It should look like our image below.

Bypass the Microsoft restrictions in a virtual machine.

Once done, close the registry editor, go back to the command prompt and type Exit. You can then proceed with the Windows 11 installation as usual. Be sure to click Amended, Select Unallocated space, and then New. Click Okay and then choose the largest size partition to install Windows 11 on. Windows will then be installed and you should experience the new operating system within minutes, depending on the speed of your PC.

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