How to Run Mac Apps on Windows 10

By | March 25, 2022

Have you ever come across an amazing piece of software, and you realized that it was only Mac? With a wide range of software available for Windows machines

If you have a Windows 10 system, there are several ways to run Mac apps on your device. Here’s how you can run Mac apps on your Windows 10 machine, for free.


1: Create a macOS Virtual Machine

The easiest way to run Mac apps on your Windows 10 machine is with a virtual machine. While this is the easiest method, it is also a lengthy process. Do not worry!

Follow my tutorial on How to Run macOS on Windows in a Virtual Machine.
The tutorial will walk you through the process of downloading and installing a virtual machine, how to download the macOS operating system, and how to install it on a virtual machine.

Once your macOS virtual machine is up and running, return to this tutorial to find out how to install your Mac apps.

2: Sign in to your Apple Account

From here, downloading and using Apple’s apps is very similar to the regular macOS experience. You still need to sign in to your Apple account to download and use apps from the App Store.

3: Download Your First macOS App

After logging into your account, you can launch the App Store. You can install almost any macOS software you want on your virtual machine.

Select App Store from the Dock at the bottom of the screen. You may have to enter your Apple ID credentials again.

Browse to the macOS app you want to download. Press Get, then Install. Once the installation is complete, select Open, and you’re good to go. For example, here’s an example where I use Downlink to automatically update my background with a satellite image.

4: Save Your macOS Virtual Machine Session

Saving the session state of your macOS virtual machine is easy. Why? Yes, you are using a virtual hard disk. The changes you make to the virtual machine store on the virtual hard drive, ready for the next time you want to open a macOS virtual machine and continue using Apple Apps on your Windows machine.

The best way to shut down a macOS virtual machine is from within macOS itself. Both VirtualBox and VMware have the option to kill the command, but as is the case with physical hardware, this can cause problems. In fact, a sudden shutdown of your virtual machine can damage the virtual drive.
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Select the Apple logo in the top right corner, then Shut Down. The operating system will be closed in the correct order, then the virtual machine will be closed.

Snap or Turn Off?

VirtualBox users also have the option to take a snapshot. A snapshot stores the current state of the virtual machine, allowing you to create a series of snapshots as you use Apple applications and the macOS operating system.

pshots is useful if you are about to try something that could damage your virtual machine. A snapshot allows you to restore a virtual machine to a previous state, picking up where you left off.

Unfortunately, the free version of VMware doesn’t have the same functionality.

However, you shouldn’t rely on snapshots to back up your virtual machine activity, nor are snapshots a suitable alternative to shutting down your virtual machine using macOS’ Shut Down option.

Apple Apps Not Very Fast

Your macOS virtual machine not working properly? Or is the macOS app you downloaded not running as you expected?

The thing to remember is that your virtual machine does not have the same processing power as your host machine. That’s because your virtual machines are sharing host system resources. You probably have a very powerful host machine, with an incredible amount of RAM and an Intel i9 multi-core processor. But the majority don’t.

What I’m saying is, don’t expect too much from the software you install. That’s not the same as installing and testing on a dedicated Mac.

Updating Your macOS Virtual Machine

In one word, don’t.

If you update your macOS virtual machine in VirtualBox or VMware, there is a very strong chance that your macOS virtual machine will stop working.

Due to the nature of the virtual machine configuration, the update process is not the same as a regular macOS installation on proper hardware. Patches and workarounds that make macOS virtual machines work with certain versions may not work with updates.

Of course, you are welcome to give it a try, but be aware that you could lose everything in the virtual machine in the process.

MacinCloud: Cloud Based Alternative

Running a macOS virtual machine to use Apple apps isn’t an option for everyone. While you can get away with running your macOS virtual machine with 4GB of RAM, your experience will be compromised. Older machines certainly won’t handle the requirements.

One alternative is to use a cloud-based macOS environment. the macOS cloud environment is primarily for Apple apps and macOS development, but you can still run apps if you wish. The downside is the cost of cloud services and the latency between your system and the cloud server.

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