How to Install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox on Windows

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Do you want to use a Windows PC to run macOS Big Sur or Monterey? If you don’t want to spend money on a Mac, VirtualBox allows you to try out macOS on a virtual machine.

Before you start making assumptions, this is not a super-complicated Hackintosh setup. Instead, you will be running VirtualBox natively on your Windows computer and installing macOS as a guest operating system within VirtualBox. Unlike a Hackintosh, you don’t need any special hardware to get macOS up and running on your computer. With VirtualBox, you can install multiple operating systems on a single computer and seamlessly switch between them as you desire. The operating systems basically run within an application, which virtualizes the hardware, and the OS itself doesn’t know the difference.

If you’re interested in running macOS Big Sur or macOS Monterey in Windows using VirtualBox, then read along.

Requirements for Running macOS in VirtualBox

This is going to be a pretty long procedure, but we’ll make it as simple as possible. However, before you get started, you’ll need to download VirtualBox and some additional essential files. The following links should be helpful to download the files necessary to get macOS Big Sur up and running on your VirtualBox virtual machine without any issues. However, you’ll need to obtain the ISO file for the latest version of macOS Big Sur by yourself. You can also use a different macOS version, provided you have an ISO of that release too.

Performance will depend on how fast the computer is that is running VirtualBox, so obviously the better the PC the better that macOS will run virtualized on it.

How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows

Now that you have all the necessary files downloaded to your computer, you’re ready to go ahead with the procedure. This tutorial is detailed for educational purposes only.

  1. Install the VirtualBox software on your computer. After that, click on the VirtualBox Extension Pack file that you downloaded.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  2. Clicking on the extension pack will open VirtualBox on Windows with a pop-up prompting you about the installation. Click on “Install” to finish this step.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  3. You’ve successfully installed the extension pack. Now, you’re ready to create your virtual machine. Click on “New” in the VirtualBox software.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  4. Here, give a valid name for your virtual machine. For example, “macOS Big Sur” as shown below. Make sure the type is set to Mac OS X and the 64-bit version is selected. Once you’re done, click on “Expert mode” to proceed to the next step.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  5. In this step, you’ll be selecting the memory size or RAM that will be allocated for your virtual machine. It’s recommended to set half of your total system RAM for the guest OS. Make sure, “Create a virtual hard disk now” is selected and then click on “Create”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  6. Now, use the slider to set the virtual hard disk size according to your preference. Although this depends on how much free storage space you have on your computer, we recommend you to allocate 100 GB for the virtual machine. Select “VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk)” for the hard disk file type and click on “Create”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  7. Now, click on “Settings” in VirtualBox as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  8. Head over to the “System” category and click on “Processor” from the top menu. You’ll be able to use the slider to adjust processor allocation. It’s recommended to allocate half of your processor’s core count for the virtual machine. Keep in mind that if you have a 4 core/8 thread processor, it will show up in VirtualBox as 8 CPU cores. In that case, you can set 4 cores for processor allocation.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  9. Next, click on “Display” from the left pane and move the slider all the way to the right for “Video Memory”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  10. Now, go to the “Storage” category and click on “Empty” under Storage Devices. Then, click on the optical disk icon on the right and choose “Create a Virtual Optical Disk” from the dropdown menu.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  11. You can click on “Add” to browse for the macOS Big Sur ISO file that you download using File Explorer. Select the ISO file and click on “Choose”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  12. Now, click on “OK” to exit VirtualBox settings and close the VirtualBox application as well.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  13. Open “Command Prompt” on your PC. Be sure to run Command Prompt as an administrator.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  14. Now, open the VBox Code text file in Notepad. Copy/Paste the first command line in Command Prompt and hit “Enter”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  15. Next, you’ll need to paste the remaining lines, but before that, you will need to replace “Your Virtual Machine Name” with the name you used while setting up your machine in VirtualBox. For example, it’s “macOS Big Sur” in this instance. After replacing it, copy/paste all the remaining lines in Command Prompt and hit “Enter”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  16. Now, open VirtualBox again and click on “Start”. Wait a couple of minutes for VirtualBox to perform the operation. You should be able to see the macOS installation progress in VirtualBox now. This is going to take several minutes to complete, but once it’s done, you can follow the on-screen instructions to set up your Mac, which is similar to setting up any new Apple device.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  17. Although you got macOS up and running on your computer, we’re not quite finished yet. The default resolution of macOS or any guest OS that you install on VirtualBox is 1024×768, which is probably not what you want. However, this can be changed using the macOS screen resolution code. Close VirtualBox, run Command Prompt as an administrator, and copy/paste the first line from the screen resolution code file. Click “Enter”.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows
  18. Now, make sure you use your VM name and replace the resolution value in the second line of code according to your monitor resolution or personal preference. Then, copy/paste this line in Command Prompt. Hit “Enter” and exit CMD.

    How to Install macOS Big Sur Using VirtualBox on Windows

The next time you start your virtual machine, VirtualBox will load up macOS, and at a higher screen resolution.

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