Using Boot Camp to install Windows and the dev tools on your Mac

[This article is for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x developers writing Windows Runtime apps. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation]

Use Apple Boot Camp 5 to install Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 on your Mac.

What you'll need

You'll need a few things before using Boot Camp to install Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 on your Mac:

  • Boot Camp Assistant, pre-installed on your Mac. To figure out whether you have the latest version, see Support Downloads for Boot Camp.

  • A Windows 8 bootable DVD or USB flash drive that contains Windows 8.1. To get it, go to this page on the Windows Dev Center.

    Note  The 64-bit (x64) version of Windows 8.1 is recommended, and is essential if you plan to develop apps for Windows Phone. Some older Macs may not support running a 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 with Boot Camp: please check with Apple to see if your hardware is compatible on thisApple support page.


  • After you have the Windows 8.1 .iso file, do one of the following:

    1. If your Mac has a DVD drive, use your Mac's Disk Utility to burn the .iso file to your DVD. Leave the burned DVD in your Mac until you finish "Step 2: Install Windows 8.1" later.
    2. If your Mac doesn't have a DVD drive, connect a blank USB flash drive with at least 5 GB available. You'll copy the .iso file to your blank USB drive in "Step 1: Set up Boot Camp" later. Leave the USB drive connected to your Mac until you finish "Step 2: Install Windows 8.1" later.

Step 1: Set up Boot Camp

  1. Run Finder.
  2. Click Applications, Utilitiesand then run Boot Camp Assistant.
  3. In the Introduction page, click Continue.
  4. In the Select Tasks page, leave the options Download the latest Windows support software from Apple, Download the latest Windows support software from Apple and Install Windows 7 or later boxes checked, and then click Continue. Note  If you're using an .iso file and a blank USB drive to create a bootable USB drive, leave the Create a Windows 7 or later version install disk box checked also. You will be prompted for the location of the .iso file and the blank USB flash drive.   Note  Although all these check boxes are labeled with Windows 7, they work the same way with Windows 8.  
  5. In the Save Windows Support Software page, save the Windows support software, and click Continue. Note  We recommend that you save the support software to a USB drive. You'll need to access this support software in "Step 3: Install Apple drivers and related software for Windows" later.  
  6. In the Boot Camp Assistant is trying to add a new helper tool... dialog box, type your Mac user name and password, and click Add Helper.
  7. In the Create a Partition for Windows page, drag the divider between the Mac OS X and Windows boxes to set the size of the Windows partition. Make sure your Windows partition is 40 GB or more.
  8. Click Install. After your Mac finishes partitioning the disk, it will restart.

Step 2: Install Windows 8.1

After your Mac restarts, Windows 8.1 starts installing either from the DVD or the USB drive that you prepared earlier.

After you install Windows 8.1, install Apple's drivers and related software so that your Mac and Windows 8.1 can interact as needed.

  1. In Windows 8.1, on the Start screen, click Desktop.
  2. Click File Explorer.
  3. Browse to the Windows support software that you saved earlier in "Step 1: Set up Boot Camp" and open the Windows Support folder.
  4. Run the Setup file.
  5. If you see the User Account Control dialog box, click Yes.
  6. In the Welcome to the Boot Camp installer page, click Next.
  7. Accept the License Agreement and click Next.
  8. In the Choose additional features and settings page, leave the Apple Software Update for Windows box checked, and click Install.
  9. When the installation is done, restart your Mac.

Step 4: Install Visual Studio 2013

After you restart your Mac, in Windows 8.1, go to Developer downloads for programming Windows Store apps. Download Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 Update 2 for Windows Desktop (which includes the Windows Phone SDK) or a different version if required, and complete the installation.

Step 5: Change the operating system start order (as needed)

Now, whenever your Mac restarts, it starts Windows 8.1 by default. To start a different OS instead:

  1. Restart your Mac.
  2. During boot, hold the Option key until the operating system selection screen appears.
  3. Double-click the desired operating system partition to start it.

To change the default operating system start order, do this in Windows 8.1:

  1. In the Start screen, type Control Panel. When Control Panel appears, click it.
  2. In Control Panel, click Boot Camp. (If you don't see Boot Camp, next to View by, click either Small icons or Large icons.)
  3. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, click Yes.
  4. In the Startup Disk tab, click OK. Or, to immediately restart with the selected operating system, click Restart.