Running Windows on a Mac

Students: Request ArcGIS Here for new or renewal of existing license. Link opens SlugHub ticket form when complete will provide you a direct link to and provide an authorization code to register for the software download.

To run a Windows program like ArcGIS on an Apple Mac computer, the Mac must be set up to run Windows.  There are several ways to do this, but they require one of two installation options and a Windows OS license.

The Mac must have an Intel processor. Macs introduced in late 2020 with Apple Silicon do not support these options.

As of August 2021, Windows 10 is no longer available for free for students from
ITS is working to identify options for students with Macs to acquire a licensed copy of Windows 10. 

 Option One:   Create a dual-boot setup on your Mac, which allows you to boot into either Mac OS or Windows OS.    The typical method for this is to use the free software BootCamp.

     Using BootCamp:

Option Two:   Create a virtual machine on your Mac, which allows you to run an installation of Windows OS in parallel with your existing Mac OS, and to switch from one to the other without booting into either one separately.   Typical choices for the virtualization option are the licensed software Parallels or VMware or free Virtual Box from Oracle. 

    Using Parallels Desktop for Mac:

    Using VMware Fusion: 

    Using Virtual Box: (FREE)

ESRI has more information on these options  here.  When configuring Windows with any of these options, it is important the configuration meets the  minimum system requirements for installing ArcGIS. 

Keep in mind that ESRI does NOT support ArcGIS for Mac, and that you can only use ArcGIS within one of the Windows OS installation options described above.  


To request your ArcGIS annual license and software, please visit: