Microsoft outlines official support for Windows 11 on Mac with Apple Silicon

Windows 11 Start menu
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has published a new support document detailing how users can run Windows 11 on Mac with Apple Silicon.
  • The support document points to Windows 365 as a potential solution for running Windows 11 on Mac.
  • It also mentions running Windows 11 via Parallels Desktop, now as an officially recognized method by Microsoft.

Microsoft has outlined how users running Apple Silicon based Macs can utilize Windows 11 in a new support document published today. The document explains how users running Mac devices with either M1 or M2 chips can use Windows 11, either via the cloud or using a local virtualization such as Parallels Desktop.

Unfortunately, the document makes no mention of installing Windows 11 natively on Apple Silicon hardware. Apple's legacy Bootcamp application, which previously allowed Mac users to install Windows into its own bootable partition on a Mac, was removed when Apple transitioned to ARM processors.

As of now, Microsoft points to Windows 365 as a potential solution for running Windows 11 on a Mac, using its enterprise service to stream a Windows 11 PC from the cloud. This option is great for businesses, but is less useful for individuals who may not work for a company with access to Windows 365.

For those users, Microsoft also mentions Parallels Desktop as a viable alternative. Version 18 of Parallels Desktop is now officially authorized to run Windows 11 on ARM on a Mac with M1 or M2 processors. This is the only way to officially run Windows 11 on ARM locally on a Mac with Apple Silicon.

Microsoft does say that there are some limitations when it comes to virtualizing Windows 11 on top of macOS, pointing primarily to features that require nested virtualization to function as not being supported. Those include:

  • Windows Subsystem for Android
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Windows Sandbox
  • Virtualization-based Security (VBS)

Additionally, Microsoft says that DirectX12 and OpenGL3.3 is also not guaranteed to function, and that 32-bit ARM apps are also not supported when running on a Mac, and are actually being removed from Windows altogether soon.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads