How to Run Mac OS on a Windows Computer?

By Joshua Duvauchelle

The Mac OS X operating system allows individuals to install and run the Microsoft Windows operating system on a Macintosh. However, such cross-platform support is not available on a PC. It is not possible to install the Mac OS natively on a Windows computer. Thankfully, it is possible to circumvent such technical difficulties by using a software emulator. This essentially tricks the Mac OS into thinking it is operating on Mac hardware. Learn how to run Mac OS X on a Windows computer to increase productivity and enable your computer to run programs for both software platforms.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OS X software license
  • Mac OS X installation disk

Step 1

Click the \"Start\" menu button in the lower left-hand corner of your PC's screen. Select \"My Computer.\" Right-click the C:\\\\ and D:\\\\ drives on your hard drive and click \"Properties.\" Open the Tools tab and click \"Defragment Now.\" This will scan your entire hard drive and re-arrange the Windows data files so that the hard drive operates more efficiently.

Step 2

Download the PearPC PowerPC Architecture Emulator (see Resources below). Depending on your Internet connection, this download may take several hours. The PearPC software is open-source and free. PearPC will create an emulation of the Mac hardware on your PC to enable you to install and run the Mac OS.

Step 3

Double-click the PearPC file that you downloaded. This automatically extracts the contents of the file onto your local hard drive. When the dialog box asks you to choose a location, select your desktop.

Step 4

Create a disk image of your Mac OS X installation disk. You must own the original installation disk to comply with all legal requirements of installing the Mac operating system. Insert the Mac OS X installation disk into your PC or Mac and open it with a commercial disk copier program (such as Nero or Toast) or the standard disk utility software that is included in your computer. Click \"File\" and select \"Create Disk Image.\"

Step 5

Save the disk image to your PearPC installation folder. If you created the disk image on another computer, use a USB cable, flash drive or CD/DVD disk to transfer the disk image to the Windows-based PC on which you wish to install the Mac OS.

Step 6

Open the PearPC program file that you saved to your Desktop. In the welcome screen, click \"Create New Configuration File.\"

Step 7

Follow the installation prompts. PearPC will ask you where to locate the Mac OS X disk image that you saved, as well as the original PearPC data files (on your Desktop). Complete the installation process by clicking \"Next\" and following each step in the dialog box. Do not close the dialog box until the installation is complete. Upon completion of the installation process, the PearPC emulator will place a Mac OS X icon on your Windows desktop.

Step 8

Double-click the Mac OS X icon on your desktop. This will open the PearPC emulator and launch your Mac OS X installation image disk.

Step 9

Follow the Mac OS X installation prompts in the dialog box that appears. The installation disk image is working from within the PearPC emulator software and will function in the exact manner as it would if it was running natively on Mac hardware. Because you are using an emulator, the Mac OS may not function at the same speed as it would on a Mac. Thus, the installation may take several hours.

Step 10

Shut down the emulator and restart your PC upon completion of the Mac OS installation process. You now have a fully-functional copy of the Mac OS X operating system on a Windows computer. Launch the emulator and your copy of the Mac OS anytime you need to use a Mac program that requires the Mac OS.

Tips & Warnings

  • Backup your PC hard drive before attempting a heavy program installation such as another operating system.
  • The Mac OS running non-natively on a Windows PC will be significantly slower in speed than the Mac OS X on a native Mac system.

References & Resources