It pays to know how to run Windows on Apple machines as there will most certainly be times when running Windows is a must in order to run an application. Here are 5 easy ways to run Windows and Windows applications on your Mac.
Boot Camp – OS X allows you to install Windows directly onto your hardware and boot into the operating system, using a feature called Boot Camp. If you have ever run a dual-boot PC then this should ring a bell. No additional software is needed as everything is already built into the device. Even better, since Windows will run as the native operating system you will have access to the full power of the system. The downside of Boot Camp is that you can run only one operating system at a time, which means you also cannot run Apple and Windows applications at the same time. Switching between operating systems means going back into Boot Camp, which can be time consuming.
Virtual Machine – Another option would be via a virtual machine. A good software choice that comes highly recommended is Parallels Desktop. If you want to be able to run Windows and OS X at the same time this is the perfect software for you. At $80 for a license, this software is super fast and easy to use. In addition, you can make snapshots and backups for your virtual machine easily in case something goes wrong. Although this method does require additional software it is a worth it purchase.
Remote Desktop – This is a good option for those that already have a PC running Windows. You can easily access the PC remotely via your Mac, giving you access to all the data and applications on that system. Microsoft even has a free tool that helps you remote in. I would not advise buying a separate PC just for this purpose, but if you already have a PC running Windows you should give this a try and utilize all your free resources. Just remember your files aren’t saved locally using this method.
Wine – By the glass or the bottle? Not quite. Wine is a program that is actually a compatibility layer rooted in Linux and works on OS X. This is a free method and is fully compatible with OS X 10.11 El Captain. You don’t even need Windows or a license to utilize Wine. It can have a few problems now and again, after all it is free so patience is key with this one.
CrossOver for Mac – CrossOver is compatible with thousands of Windows applications, but it is not free, subscriptions start at $40. This commercial option provides better coverage than Wine but does not guarantee that every application will work. In comparison to a virtual machine this is an easier option.
Many that switch between OS X and Windows become frustrated by the track pad not working in the same way. Trackpad is a utility for Apple’s Multitouch and Force Touch track pads on Mac machines. It supports 2, 3, and 4 finger OS X gestures and also supports Windows gestures. In addition it has the ability to detect and ignore accidental touches of the track pad. Pretty cool.
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