Virtual Box (Mac) - VirtualBox for Mac - Set up for Windows

Step-by-step guide to set up VirtualBox on Mac for the Windows operating system.

To set up Virtualbox:

YouTube guide:

To set up Virtualbox you will need a full version of Microsoft Windows.
Download preferred version of Windows and create a bootable medium for the downloaded .iso file. Rufus ( a good, easy, and free method of creating bootable USB drives.

Download Virtualbox at
  • Select VirtualBox 5.0.16 for OS X hosts  amd64
Once downloaded, run the .dmg file. Install the package and then run the installed application from the Applications folder.
  • Select ‘New’
    Select "New" option
  • Name operating system, select version
     Choose a name for your virtual machine and the version of the operating system
  • Memory Size
    • First determine the amount of RAM available to Mac. Select “About this Mac” from the Apple icon at top left of screen. Never allocate more RAM than is available to MAC (red and green bars help determine the amount of RAM accessible). 2GB is suggested for Windows 7
       Screenshot of memory allocation box
  • Hard Disk
    • Create a virtual hard disk now
      Screenshot of "Create a virtual hard disk now" box
    • VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)
      Screenshot for "VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)" box
    • Storage on physical hard disk
      • Dynamically allocated (recommended)
        Screenshot for "Dynamically Allocated" box
        • Only uses space on hard drive as it fills up to a fixed maximum that is set by user.
      • Fixed size
        • Allocates a file size to a set amount. May take longer to set up, but us often faster to use.
          Screenshot for "File location and size" box
  • Once the Virtual Disk is created, select Settings
    • General
      • Advanced
        • Shared Clipboard: Enabled
        • Shared Drag ‘n’ Drop: Enabled
          Screenshot of "shared clipboard" and "Drag 'n Drop" box
      • Encryption
        • Optional
    • System
      • Motherboard
        • Boot Order: Enable/Disable relevant drives
          Screenshot of "Boot Order" box
      • Processor
        • Processor(s): Determined by the specific processor the computer has. The green bar can be used to determine what is available to use.
        • Execution cap: The max performance of drives. 100% is fine, but can be set at any desired level in green range.
          Screenshot of "Processor" and "Execution cap" box
      • Display
        • Video Memory: Windows uses a lot of video memory, it is suggested to max the available memory.
        • Acceleration: Enable 2D and 3D acceleration
          Screenshot of "Video memory" and "acceleration" box
      • Network
        • Adapter 1
          • Attached to: Bridged Adapter (tells virtual machine to create its own IP address)
          • Name: Select primary way computer accesses network (Ethernet/WiFi)
        • Adapter 2
          • Attached to: Bridged Adapter (tells virtual machine to create its own IP address)
          • Name: Select secondary way computer accesses network (Ethernet/WiFi)
        • Shared Folders
          • The folder that is sharable between the virtual machine and the host computer
          • Add/remove desired folders
            Screenshot of "Shared folder" box
  • Select ‘OK’ to save settings
  • Select ‘Start’ to run Virtual Machine
  • Insert bootable medium (CD, USB) with Windows operating system
  • Select ‘Machine” from top menu bar, then select ‘Reset’
  • Install Windows as normal

For any additional questions or troubleshooting tips, please visit the VirtualBox website ( and consult to their forums and FAQ under Community link.

Keywordsvirtualbox, virtual, box, machine, vm, mac, windows, install, set, up, setup,   Doc ID62492
OwnerJeff P.GroupSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville
Created2016-04-05 09:57:23Updated2023-02-02 12:41:00
SitesSouthern Illinois University Edwardsville
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