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Installing Windows 10 on macOS hardware by using VMWare Fusion

This article explains how to install Windows 10 on macOS hardware by using VMWare Fusion. The following instructions are for Apple macOS devices (like MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini), but not iOS devices (like iPads or iPhones, for example).  


Staff and students who have an Apple macOS device can download and install a piece of software called "VMware Fusion" under our campus agreement. This software will let you run other operating systems (like Windows) in a virtualised way on your macOS device. This means that the “guest” operating system:

  • sits in a protected bubble on the macOS "host"
  • needs to share the host's resources, like some of the available memory, processor or hard disk space. That can cause considerable performance issues both inside the guest and on the host itself.

Please note: This information is supplied on a best-efforts basis only. iSolutions is unable to troubleshoot or support individual issues with the installation or use of virtualised operating systems or the software installed on them.

The information below is based upon the VMware article “Installing Windows 10 as a guest operating system in VMware Fusion (2128765)”.

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Before starting

Everyone will need:

  • A macOS device with at least:
    • 8 GB of RAM
    • 80 GB of free hard disk space
  • VMWare Fusion: Information on obtaining this can be found here in the Software Centre

    Specifically the sections:
  • How to access the VMWare Software (inc. Workstation and Fusion)
  • Detailed installation instructions for VMWare Fusion on a Mac
  • VMWare Software Recover Your Serial Number

University Staff and Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs) will need:

Undergraduate students (UGs) and Postgraduate students (PGTs)  will need:

  • Windows 10 Installation Media: Instructions on how to obtain it from the Software Centre

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Summary of procedure

1. Install VMware Fusion on your macOS device

2. Follow the article Installing Windows 10 as a guest operating system in VMware Fusion (2128765) to create a new Windows 10 virtual machine ("VM") using:

  1. The installation media that you downloaded from (staff)
  2. OnTheHub (students). 

Let VMWare fusion choose the best resource settings, where possible (these can always be changed later, if necessary). You will find step-by-step details in the section "Using VMWare Easy Install" below.

3. Staff and PGRs should now:

  1. Install GlobalProtect on your macOS device. You do not need to install this on the Windows guest as it will seamlessly use the macOS host network)
  2. Connect to the University VPN (full guidance in the article “How to set up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) via GlobalProtect
  3. Copy the WindowsOSkms.bat file onto your Windows 10 virtual machine – you can simply drag and drop it between the macOS host and the Windows guest.
    Find step-by-step instructions at the step 12 ("Activating Windows against the University Key Management Service")
  4. From within your Windows 10 VM:
    1. right-click (or ctrl+click in macOS terms) on the WindowsOSkms.bat file
    2. "Run as Administrator".

      This will add a registry key to enable the University's Windows-client licence management service and will activate your copy of Windows against it.

      You will periodically need to re-connect to the University's VPN to continue to use Windows as the activations need to be re-validated and refreshed periodically (every 30 days or so).
  5. Once Windows has successfully activated, you may disconnect the GlobalProtect VPN.

4. You now have a working and activated version of Windows running on your macOS device. Even though it is virtualised, it is important to:

  1. keep it regularly updated/security patched
  2. make sure that the built-in anti-malware is active and up-to-date.

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Full installation process using "VMWare Easy Install"

1. Download and install VMWare Fusion from the Software Centre

2. Once VMWare Fusion has been installed, you should see the Create VM wizard. If not, choose File > New from the VMware Fusion Menu.  

3. Drag and drop the Windows 10 installation ISO you downloaded from your macOS host onto the Install from disk or image dialogue, then click Continue:

Example of drag and drop

4. Continue through the summary screen and select Continue:


 5. The Microsoft Windows easy Install window will appear. Now please:

  1. Choose an account name and make sure to give it a secure password (1 ). 
  2. You do not need a Windows Product Key at this stage (2) as we will be using the University's Key Management Infrastructure to activate Windows later on.
  3. Choose Windows 10 Enterprise (3) from the drop-down.
  4. Once finish, select Continue:

Microsoft Windows Easy Install window asking for your account name, your password, Windows Product Key and the software's version

6. Ignore the warning about the missing Product key and select the button Continue without Key


7. Choose your level of Integration and select Continue. For better security we recommend "More Isolated", but the choice is yours depending on how you want to work:


8. Review the summary screen and select Finish to start the VM creation process


If you are an expert user, you can customise your settings at this stage - for example, you can set non-default memory and disk allocation.

9. Choose a name and a location to save the files required for the VM creation, then select. We recommend using the defaults:


10 Your new Virtual machine will then be created. This process will take a while:

 Setup's status process

11. When the setup has completed, you'll see a normal Windows desktop.


12. Staff and PGRs must activate Windows against the University Key Management Service as follow.

Please note: students (UGs and PGTs) should not need to do this step due to licencing differences with the installation media.


  1. Install and configure GlobalProtect on your macOS host machine. Find full guidance in the article “How to set up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) via GlobalProtect
  2. Use it to connect to the University's VPN service:
    Global Protect connecting to the University's server  Global Protect displays its connection with the University's server
  3. Drag and drop the WindowsOSkms.bat file from your macOS host to the virtual machine.
  4. Right-click (or ctrl+click, in macOS terms) on it and "Run as Administrator":
  5. The script will configure your Virtual Machine (VM) to point at the University's Key Management Service (KMS):
  6. It will then automatically Activate your copy of Windows against it:
  7. If you see the error 0xC004F074 error, you need to check that GlobalProtect VPN is running and connected on your host macOS device:
  8. You can now disconnect the GlobalProtect VPN:

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End of the process

You now have a working and activated version of Windows running on your macOS device. Even though it is virtualised, it is important to keep it regularly updated and security patched and to make sure that the built-in anti-malware is active and up-to-date.

If you need to access restricted University resources using it, you can simply reconnect the GlobalProtect VPN on your macOS host for the duration.

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Related content

How to access Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) and Common Learning Spaces (CLS) workrooms

How to set up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) via GlobalProtect

How to download software

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