Install Windows on a Mac with Apple M1 chip

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To install a new virtual machine on a Mac with Apple M1 chip, you need to use an ARM-based installation image with a supported operating system.

Install Windows 11 on ARM

Note: Parallels Desktop 17.1.1 or newer simplifies the setup experience with automatic download and installation. The process is similar to the automatic installation for Mac computers with Intel processors. Download the latest version.

1. Register for Windows Insider Program

To download Windows 11 on ARM Insider Preview, you must register for the Windows Insider Program. Click on the button below, sign in and click the Register option to register for the Windows Insider Program.


2. Download the installation file

After successful registration, click on the button below and download the Windows Client ARM64 Insider Preview VHDX image.


3. Open the file in Parallels Desktop

Once the VHDX image is downloaded, double-click on the file to open in Parallels Desktop and follow the on-screen instructions. Wait for the installation to complete. When ready, you will see the following window.

Activate Windows 11

To activate Windows 11, simply use either an existing Windows 10 license, or purchase a new Windows 10/11 license from the Microsoft Store.

Purchase a new license

  1. Open Windows Settings > System > Activation.
  2. Click “Get a new license in the Microsoft Store app".
  3. Click "Buy" and proceed with the purchase process. Windows will be automatically activated after a successful purchase.

Activate with an existing license

1.    Open Windows Settings > System > Activation.
2.    Click “Troubleshoot”.
3.    Click “I changed hardware on this device recently” on the appeared dialog:
4.    Sign in to your Microsoft account. Press Enter when prompted for the existing Windows password.
5.    Check the option “This is the device I’m using right now” and click “Activate”.
6.    Windows is activated now.

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