How to Run Windows 11 on Mac M1, Free

If you want to run Windows 11 on your Mac M1, now you can, and perhaps even better, you can run Windows 11 in a virtual machine on the Mac M1 completely free.

We will explain how to install, configure and run Windows 11 ARM on any Apple Silicon Mac, whether it has an M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, M1 Ultra or any other M chip doesn’t matter, it will work just fine thanks to the UTM app.


Note that this walkthrough is specifically designed for Apple Silicon Macs. Intel Macs offer many other ways to run Windows 11 in virtual machines like in VirtualBox, VMware, Parallels, etc.

How to Run Windows 11 ARM on Any Mac M1

  1. Download the UTM app for freeit is a virtualization and emulation application, and drag it to the Applications folder to install it on the Mac
  2. Free Download Windows 11 Virtual Machine for ARM from Microsoft here (you’ll need a Windows Insider login for this, which you can sign up for for free if you don’t already have one)
  3. Download Windows 11 for ARM

  4. Open UTM on Mac, then click the + plus button to create a new virtual machine
  5. Create a new virtual machine in UTM

  6. Choose “Virtualize” from the “I want to” screen, then select Windows
  7. Choose Windows as operating system in UTM

  8. Click the “Browse” button and select the Windows 11 VHDX ARM image you downloaded, with “Import Image” selected, then click Next
  9. Select the Windows 11 ARM VHDX file

  10. Choose the amount of RAM and CPU cores you want to allocate to Windows 11 (it is recommended to give 8 GB of RAM or more for better performance), then click Next again
  11. On the Summary screen, choose “Save”
  12. Now click on the big Play button to start the Windows 11 virtual machine and begin the setup.
  13. Start Windows 11 ARM virtual machine

  14. Go through the Windows 11 setup process as usual, choosing your region, account name, and more. – Note that networking and internet won’t work yet, this requires an additional setup process which we’ll cover in a moment – so choose that you network connectivity for now and let Windows 11 configure itself
  15. Configure Windows 11 ARM

  16. Wait a few minutes and Windows 11 will launch in the virtual machine on the Mac M1
  17. For internet access to work in Windows 11 virtual machine, download the SPICE Guest Tools ISO here on the UTM website
  18. In the active Windows 11 virtual machine, click the disc icon in the toolbar and choose CD/DVD Iso > Change > and select the spice-guest-tools-xxx.iso file you just downloaded
  19. Select CD DVD and choose SPICE guest ISO file

  20. Open the mounted D: drive in Windows Explorer, then run the SPICE Guest Tools installer in Windows, then restart the VM when the installation is complete.
  21. Install SPICE guest tools

  22. The virtual machine will restart and Windows 11 will now be connected to the internet, confirm this by opening the Edge browser and visiting a fantastic website like osxdaily.com
  23. Windows 11 ARM on Mac with internet access

There you go, you’re running Windows 11 ARM on a Mac with an Apple Silicon processor.

Remember that you need to install the SPICE guest tools to have internet access available in the Windows 11 virtual machine, and without it, you will not be able to bring the virtual machine online.

Windows 11 ARM on Mac

Windows 11 ARM runs quite well on a Mac, although performance with UTM might not be as good as some of the other virtualization tools you’ve grown accustomed to elsewhere. But as a simple-to-setup free solution, it’s more than doable and usable.

If you enjoyed this article and the idea of ​​running different operating systems on top of your existing macOS operating system, you’ll probably enjoy other topics about virtual machines and operating systems that we’ve already covered.

Have you configured Windows 11 for ARM on your Apple Silicon Mac with UTM? What do you think? Do you use another approach?


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Steven L. Nielsen