Mac OS - Installing Windows in Boot Camp

This demonstrates how to install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp.

Self Help
NOTE: These products are not supported by the Help Desk. This document is provided for self help purposes only. Please contact the manufacturer or system developer for help.

Mac users are able to install Windows 7 or later on their machines using Boot Camp, a feature built in to the OS X operating system starting with OS X Leopard (10.5). This guide will walk you through the procedure of installing a copy of Windows 10 on a Mac running OS X El Capitan (10.11.x)

Students: To redeem your free copy of Windows 10 Education, see Downloading Windows 10 From The Campus Software Library

Before you begin make sure you have the following items:

Once you have all these items you can begin installing Windows.
NOTE: If you're using a portable computer, connect the power adapter before continuing.

The process is comprised of three stages:

  1. Check for Updates

    1. Log in to an administrator account on your computer, quit all open applications, and log out any other users on your computer.
    2. Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and select Software Update.
    3. Install all available updates. If your computer restarts after installing an update, run Software Update again to install any additional updates.
  2. Running the Boot Camp Assistant

    1. Open the Boot Camp Assistant, located in the Utilities folder and then click Continue.

    2. Ensure that all three options are selected, then click Continue.

    3. Click Choose and then navigate to where your windows installation file (.iso file) is on your computer. You will also need to plug in a flash drive or insert a disk for the Windows installation to occur, all existing data on the flash drive or disk will be erased, then select the flash drive or disk that you would like to use.

    4. Confirm that the selected drive is the one you would like to use and that it is OK to erase the the current files by clicking Continue.

    5. At this point you may need to authorize the Boot Camp Assistant to finish the preparations, do this by entering in the username and password for your computer.

    6. You will need to restart the computer in this step so ensure that all your work is saved. You will now be prompted to create a partition for Windows. Boot Camp assigns a minimum of 20 GB for the Windows partition; however, you may want to increase the size of the Windows partition if you plan to store any large media files or install any significant software products (Adobe, Autodesk, etc.) in Windows. You can adjust the size of the partition by sliding the small dot between the two partitions to the left. Once this process has finished, you can not change this step.

  1. After preparing your Mac with the Boot Camp Assistant your machine will reboot and begin the first Windows installation.
  2. Select the language you wish to use with Windows and click Next.

  3. On the next screen click Install now.

  4. Agree to the license terms by checking the box, then click Next.

  5. Select Disk 0, Partition # BOOTCAMP. You should see a warning stating "Windows cannot be installed to..." With that partition selected, click Drive options (advanced).

  6. With the BOOTCAMP partition still selected, click Format.
    Make sure to only format the BOOTCAMP partition. Formatting one of the other partitions on the drive could wipe out your existing OS X installation.

  7. Once the drive has finished being formatted, click Next. Windows will now begin installing itself on your machine. After this process has finished, the machine will restart.

  8. At this point you will be asked if you would like to use the express or the custom settings, we recommend you Click Customize Settings.

  9. These settings are all about sending information back to Microsoft, if you do not wish to do this unselect them all and then click Next.

  10. Again if you do not wish to have your information sent back to Microsoft, unselect them all and then click Next.

  11. Finally, do this once more to complete the custom settings portion of the installation.

  12. Select Join A Domain then click Next.

  13. Finally enter in your account information then click Next.


After completing the second installation of Windows, there are some additional pieces of software and updates you must install in order for Windows to function properly on your Mac. If you do not install the support software many of the devices on your Mac will not work properly with Windows. These items include the multi-touch trackpad, network connections, and keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Install Windows Updates

    After you have installed the Windows Support Software you should be able to access the internet through the same wireless or wired networks you already use when booted into OS X.
    • After connecting to the internet in Windows, click on the Start menu and type "update" into the search bar. When Windows Update appears, click on it.
    • In the window that appears on the screen, click on the link to Check for updates located in the left sidebar.
    • Windows will detect many important updates that need to be installed on your machine. Click the Install updates button to begin the update process.
      Note: During the installation process Windows may restart several times. If it appears nothing is happening there may be a hidden window that you must respond to. Check the taskbar and look behind open windows.
    • Repeat this process until Windows no longer finds important updates that need to be installed.
  2. Installing Security Software

    It is required that all machine connecting to the UW Madison network have up-to-date security software installed on their systems.

    Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) is available to currently employed UW-Madison faculty and staff and to currently enrolled students. A version of SEP that is compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 is available for download from

    To start the installation:

    1. Ensure your computer meets the minimum system requirements:
      • Processor: 1 GHz Pentium III
      • Memory: 256 MB RAM
      • Disk Space: 600 MB
      • Display: 1024x768 resolution or higher.

    2. Locate the installer file that you downloaded. Once you find it, double click it to begin the installation. This may open a security warning. Click Run to continue the installation.

    3. If User Account Control (UAC) is activated, you will see one of the following screens:

      If you get the above screen, Click Continue to proceed.

      If you get the above screen, you will need to enter the appropriate password for your administrator account, then click OK to proceed.

    4. Several install screens will then appear:

    5. Once the installation is finished, SEP will run LiveUpdate to update SEP and install new definition files. You will see the following screen, which will disappear once the installation and updates have finished.

    6. Once installation is finished, you may need to reboot to insure all updates are installed.
  3. Configure Boot Camp Options

    For more information about configuring your Windows Boot Camp installation to work with your Mac, consult Apple's support page at