3 Best Ways to Run Windows Software on Mac M1 in 2024

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Are you wondering how to run Windows software on Mac M1?

Then you are in the right place. Check out this post and learn about the best Ways to Run Windows Software on Mac M1 easily.

Apple has switched from Intel-based processors to its silicon-based M1 chip. There are a few setup processes for Mac M1 users who want to run Windows software. Despite appearing complex, Windows software runs fine on the M1-powered Macs with the right configuration.

To ensure better integration of its software and hardware, Apple designed its System-on-a-Chip (SoC) hardware. As a result of the tight integration between hardware and software, the M1 chip outperforms its Intel-based counterparts by a wide margin.

In the past, Apple’s Boot Camp made it easier to install Windows 10 on a Mac. Boot Camp does not work on M1 Macs, so alternative solutions are required.

3 Best Ways to Run Windows Software on Mac M1

Best Ways to Run Windows Software on Mac M1
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Best Ways to Run Windows Software on Mac M1

You can run the Windows program on Mac M1 by installing the ARM version of Windows. To download Windows 10 ARM or Windows 11 ARM, you must register as a Microsoft Insider. Microsoft offers a beta version of Windows 11 for ARM.

To run Windows on Mac, you need virtualization software after downloading the ARM version of Windows. You can run Windows software on your Mac once you’ve installed ARM Windows.

Parallels Desktop 17

Virtual Machines (VMs) are like computers inside computers. It is a software-based application that runs on dedicated RAM, memory, and storage. M1-powered Macs can now run an ARM-based Operating System (OS) in a virtual machine.

Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac supports both M1-based and Intel-based Macs natively. Users of Macs can run Windows software smoothly on Macs. Parallels allow you to run more than 200,000 Windows programs without performance issues. There have been many improvements from previous versions.

Parallels Desktop 17 offers seamless content sharing between Mac and Windows as well as a Coherence mode that allows Windows apps to run like Mac apps.

You can run Windows 10 ARM on M1 Macs by following the steps below:

Step 1: Download Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac and install it.
Step 2: The next step is to install Windows or another operating system from a DVD or image file. If you are a Microsoft Insider, drag the Windows 10 ARM copy to the desktop. To find the ISO automatically, click Find Automatically.
Step 3: Select Productivity as the primary use of Windows by clicking Continue.
Step 4: Close the Configuration window and click on Continue to complete the installation.

With Parallels Desktop 17, you can now run Windows 11 on your computer. Remember to update your virtual copy of Windows 11 as it is a beta release and updates are available regularly for bug fixes and improvements.


Many Apple apps have been optimized for M1 Macs. However, apps that run on Intel-based Macs must transition to the new ARM64 architecture. Due to the transition’s length, Apple has released Rosetta 2, a translator to translate x86-64 apps to run on M1 Macs.

CrossOver software from CodeWeavers allows Windows software to run on Macs. Windows software can run on macOS with CrossOver as a translation layer.

Translations work layer by layer and you’ll have to test the software you like to use on Windows on M1 Macs. M1-powered Macs have been tested and found to work flawlessly with a few software and games.


The QEMU emulator and virtualizer is a free, open-source software application that emulates full-system, user-mode, and virtualized operating systems.

In QEMU, various operating systems are emulated by dynamic binary translation. Using a Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), it runs virtual machines close to native speeds.

Using QEMU, you can also emulate user-level processes, so you can run applications compiled for one architecture on another.

The difference between QEMU and Parallels Desktop is that, as a machine emulator, QEMU allows Windows and macOS apps to run smoothly, whereas Parallels Desktop gives users more control and options.

QEMU is an emulator, so you can run Windows on a Mac M1. To use an ARM processor, you just need to create a virtual machine. Homebrew contains a package called “qemu” that can be used to install QEMU.


The switch between two operating systems must be seamless and effective. Parallels Desktop seems like the most user-friendly option, but it is a paid subscription.

QEMU is free to use, but you will need to learn how emulation works to create virtual disks and configure specific hardware. You can use CrossOver on M1 Macs if the software you wish to use is compatible.

These are the three ways to run Windows software on the Mac M1 depending on your needs.

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Jenny is a passionate blogger and writes for Techcud.com. She has more than 6 years of experience in Blogging and Affiliate Marketing. In this blog, she writes mostly about Tech tips and products, Apps, and their reviews. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

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