Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the ‌M1‌ chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit).

windows 10

Currently, Macs with the ‌M1‌ chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see.

Using the open-source QEMU virtualizer, Graf was able to virtualize the Arm version of Windows on Apple's ‌M1‌ chip, with no emulation. Since the ‌M1‌ chip is a custom Arm SoC, it is no longer possible to install the x86 version of Windows or x86 Windows apps using Boot Camp, as was the case with previous Intel-based Macs. However, he said in a Tweet that when virtualized on an ‌M1‌ Mac, "Windows ARM64 can run x86 applications really well. It's not as fast as Rosetta 2, but close."

Graf was able to run the Windows ARM64 Insider Preview by virtualizing it through the Hypervisor.framework. Apple says this allows users to interact with virtualization technologies without having to write kernel extensions (KEXTs).

Graf applied a custom patch to the QEMU virtualizer, which is said to be known for "achieving near-native performance" by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. This means that the Arm version of Windows can be virtualized on ‌M1‌ Macs with excellent performance.

Although Graf's experiment is still at an early stage, he believes others could reproduce his results. "It's early days for this. It's definitely possible to reproduce my results - all patches are on the mailing list - but don't expect a stable, fully functional system yet," he said. Above all, Graf has demonstrated that Windows is able to run on ‌M1‌ Macs.

Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi recently said that Windows coming to ‌M1‌ Macs is "up to Microsoft." The ‌M1‌ chip contains the core technologies needed to run Windows, but Microsoft has to decide whether to license its Arm version of Windows to Mac users.

See Graf's full process for virtualizing the Arm version of Windows for more information.

Top Rated Comments

Alan Wynn Avatar
20 months ago

This is not that big of a news. Windows lacks something like Rosetta so running the ARM version is much more painful. You can't run x86 apps.
Actually it does have something like Rosetta 2 (just not as good). From the article: "Windows ARM64 can run x86 applications really well. It's not as fast as Rosetta 2, but close."
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sfwalter Avatar
20 months ago

sooner or later, Im sure microsoft will sell an ARM version of windows.
I wonder if it will cost just an arm or an arm and a leg....Sorry for the bad joke.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RobbieTT Avatar
20 months ago
Meanwhile, on my M1 Mac mini:



I wonder why they made the effort to compile and install it as a default app...

Attachment Image
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjohnstone Avatar
20 months ago

Does that mean we should get 16GB RAM because Windows is so inefficient with memory? :eek:
Guess you haven't used Windows in a while.
Runs very well even on computers with 4GB of ram.
Some apps are poorly optimized, but Win 10 is not the issue. 8GB seems to be the standard build these days.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Saturnine Avatar
20 months ago

It's unlikely that the 4 less powerful core is usable on Windows 10.

Microsoft didn't publish the data how many percentage of battery life it saved and if it is compatible at all.
Since your comment and opinion is more important than everybody elses and deserves to stand out, I just wanted to thank you for using large text - especially in your signature. If you hadn't done that I might have missed them!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
20 months ago
Amazing how Apple is causing more attention for ARM Windows than ARM PCs are.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple studio display blue

Apple Updates Boot Camp to Support Studio Display

Sunday March 20, 2022 5:40 am PDT by
Apple this week released an update for Boot Camp, its solution for running Windows on Intel-based Macs, to support the newly-launched Studio Display. Boot Camp Update 6.1.17, released to the public earlier this week, adds support for the Studio Display and updates drivers for AMD and Intel GPUs. To update to the latest Boot Camp drivers, users need to navigate to the Start menu in Windows...
maxresdefault

There's No Windows for Arm Macs Yet Because Microsoft Has Secret Exclusivity Deal With Qualcomm

Monday November 22, 2021 12:56 pm PST by
Microsoft has declined to make a version of Windows 11 available for Apple's M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Macs that are built on an Arm architecture, and now we may know the reason - a secret exclusivity deal with Qualcomm. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. According to XDA-Developers, Arm-based Windows has only been made available on devices with Qualcomm SoC's because of ...
ipad air 5 colors

Benchmark Results Confirm Apple Hasn't Downclocked M1 Chip in New iPad Air

Monday March 14, 2022 7:49 am PDT by
Benchmark results for the new iPad Air reveal that Apple has not downclocked the M1 chip to artificially limit the device's performance. The M1 chip in the fifth-generation iPad Air has the same 3.2GHz operating frequency as it does in the iPad Pro, according to Geekbench 5 results. As such, the M1 iPad Air has virtually identical performance as the M1 iPad Pro. Specifically, the M1 iPad...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

New M2-Powered MacBooks Could Be Conspicuously Absent At Today's Apple Event

Tuesday March 8, 2022 6:58 am PST by
Last-minute rumors leading up to Apple's "Peek Performance" event have cast doubt on long-running expectations that Apple will reveal a new or updated MacBook model with an M2 chip on Tuesday. Last month, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple was preparing to launch at least one new Mac at its March 8 event, and at the time Gurman speculated that it would likely be a high-end Mac mini...
Windows 11 Parallels Feature

Microsoft Says ARM Windows Virtualization on Apple Silicon Macs 'Not a Supported Scenario'

Tuesday September 14, 2021 4:16 am PDT by
Macs powered by ‌Apple silicon do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature like there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. However, Microsoft has dampened hopes that Windows will ever work on Apple silicon, saying that running an Arm version of Windows 11 on M1 Macs, via virtualization or otherwise, is not "a supported...
arm logo blue bg

Nvidia Abandons Arm Acquisition in Face of 'Significant Regulatory Challenges'

Tuesday February 8, 2022 3:58 am PST by
As expected, Nvidia has officially abandoned efforts to acquire chip maker Arm after talks reportedly "collapsed" between the two parties on Monday, according to the Financial Times. From the paywalled report:SoftBank and Nvidia said they had agreed to scrap the deal because of "significant regulatory challenges preventing the consummation of the transaction, despite good faith efforts by...
iPhone SE 2022 Red Feature

Apple Event Announced for March 8: 'Peek Performance'

Wednesday March 2, 2022 9:03 am PST by
Apple today announced that it will be holding its first event of 2022 on Tuesday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. As with the 2021 events, Apple's first event of 2022 will continue to be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to...
m3 feature black

TSMC Expected to Begin 3nm Chip Production in Late 2022 Ahead of First M3 Macs

Thursday December 23, 2021 8:36 am PST by
TSMC plans to begin commercial production of chips built on its 3nm process in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. The full report has yet to be published, so no additional details are available at this time. Apple is expected to release its first devices with 3nm chips fabricated by TSMC in 2023, including Macs with M3 chips and iPhone 15 models...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...