Windows 11 won't support Apple's M1 Macs, but you might be able to run it

Parallels has said that Windows 11 on M1 Macs will be supported the day that Windows 11 launches.

Windows 11 won’t be officially supported on Apple M1 Macs, dashing the hopes of those who hoped to pair Apple’s new M1 Arm hardware with the new operating system.

Microsoft called running Windows 11 on an Apple Mac powered by an M1 chip “not a supported scenario” late last week in a statement to The Register. Microsoft issued that report after the publication found hardware compatibility errors while running the latest build of Windows 11 on Parallels, an app that lets you run third-party operating systems on Macs.

As anyone who has followed the Windows 11 upgrade path understands, “supported” and “unsupported” are subtly complicated terms that refer to whether or not the Windows 11 operating system will run as expected. “Support” depends on whether the PC platform meets Microsoft’s Windows 11 hardware specifications, which the company has aggressively set in an effort to assure the PC is secure. Microsoft’s Windows on Arm program has ensured that Windows 11 will run on Arm PCs like the Surface Pro X, just not on Apple’s Arm-based M1 Macs.

windows 11 laptop Microsoft

Pictured: Windows 11. Not pictured: An M1 Mac.

Microsoft’s declaration doesn’t necessarily mean that Windows 11 won’t run on an M1 Mac, via Parallels; it does mean, for now, that Parallels will have to do the engineering work required to essentially trick Windows 11 into accepting that all is well. As AppleInsider noted, VMWare has also issued a private beta of VMware Fusion, allowing its virtual-machine tool to run Windows 11 on top of an M1 Mac without official support. The publication noted that VMware went ahead without official support, citing a lack of clarity in Microsoft’s end-user agreement.

In August, Parallels told Engadget that Parallels Desktop 17 would run on top of M1 Macs the day that Windows 11 is formally released. Will that still be the case when Windows 11 releases on October 5? We’ll have to wait and see. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?