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Running Windows Programs on a Mac

There are currently two supported methods to running Windows programs on a Mac:

  1. The first is called dual-boot. In a dual-boot environment, both Windows and Mac operating systems are installed on the computer. When you boot the computer, you can choose whether to boot into Windows or into Mac. To switch between the two, you must reboot your computer. ** Dual-boot installation is no longer available. This change was made to increase security by ensuring all laptop drives can be encrypted. In a dual boot environment, only.

  2. The second option for running Windows programs on a Mac is called Parallels. Once Parallels has been installed, Windows is installed within Parallels. You can then run Windows programs while still in the Mac environment (no reboot required).

For all newly purchased MacBooks, only Mac OS will be installed. If you currently have a Mac with dual-boot, Desktop Support will continue to provide support. When your computer is replaced with a new computer, it will not have dual-boot. If you require Windows programs, you should either choose a Windows laptop or you should purchase Parallels.


  • Current price is approximately $75

  • You can submit a request for Parallels through the Software Request form. On the form, include the budget organization and account numbers (your college/department will have to pay for the license).

  • Once the license has been received, an installation appointment will be made via a Help Desk ticket. Installation can take up to two hours.

  • Installation includes the installation of Parallels itself and Windows operating system. If you require other software be installed on Windows, please note that in the ticket and ensure you have any necessary installation disks or license keys. We do not typically install Microsoft Office into the Parallels Windows environment (since Office is installed on the Mac).