How To Run Windows 10 In A Virtual Machine

windows 10 desktop

If you’re not quite ready to commit to Windows 10, you can run the latest version of Microsoft’s Operating System in a virtual machine. In this case, we will be using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and VirtualBox as our virtual environment. Both are free. At the time of this article, Windows 10 is only available in beta form. The VirtualBox application allows you to run another Operating System inside of your current OS. Below is a step by step guide on how to use both the Windows 10 beta and VirtualBox to get a look at Microsoft’s upcoming release of its latest Operating System.

Installing Windows 10 On VirtualBox

Note: Virtualization needs to be enabled in your BIOS for any virtual machine to work. If you follow the steps below and get an error that prevents Windows 10 from installing, reboot your computer and go into your system setup and enable virtulization.

To begin, download Windows 10 and VirtualBox. After you register for the Windows 1o Technical Preview on Microsoft’s website, you can download the .ISO file directly to your Desktop.

Download the Windows 10 Technical Preview here.

Download VirtualBox here. Once VirtualBox is downloaded, go ahead and install and launch it.

windows 10

You will start by creating the virtual environment in which you will later install Windows 10. Click the New icon to begin.

install Windows 10 in Virtualbox

You can name the environment whatever you want and set the version to Windows 8.1 (64-bit or 32-bit based on your OS).


Next, use the slider to select how much of your system’s memory you’d like to allocate to the virtual machine. Note: The memory you select here will be given back to your main system once the virtual environment is closed. Select at least 2 GBs.


You then need to create the virtual hard drive. Tick the radio button to “Create a virtual hard drive now” and then click Create.


Keep the default VDI image and select Next.


You now have to name the virtual hard drive. Choose whatever name you want, and then use the slider to select how much hard drive space you want to use for this virtual drive. Since you are likely only using this to play around with, feel free to select 10GB instead of the recommended 32GBs.

windows 10 installation

You are now ready to configure VirtualBox. On the main screen click the Settings icon. Next, navigate to the Storage section and highlight the Controller: IDE option. Click the plus (+) button to add a new CD/DVD drive to the controller IDE. Select Choose disk and then point to the .ISO file you downloaded from Microsoft. Once the .ISO file is selected, go back to the main setup page and click the Start icon.

install windows 10

If all goes well, you will see the Windows installation screen. Click the Custom install option and then proceed to click through the prompts until Windows is done installing.

windows 10 preview


Once you are done, you will be running two Operating Systems on one computer at the same time–your main environment and your Windows 10 virtual environment. To exit out of VirtualBox, click Machine from the top menu and select Close. You can then choose shut down from the list to end the virtual environment. You’re all done. You can launch VirtualBox anytime and click Start to run Windows 10 whenever you’re in the mood.

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