Install a Virtual Machine on Windows 10

Edited by Jay, Maria

There are numerous reasons for running another Operating System on a single computer. It could be to try out a new OS (Linux, Ubuntu), to use software that's only available on a particular OS, to perform various tweaks without risking your primary system, etc. A great way to run a different operating system than the one installed on your hard drive is to create a Virtual Machine (VM). A VM can run inside a standard application window, without affecting your main (host) operating system. With a virtualization environment, you're free to run anything you want without the worry of harming your files. The guest operating system runs within the virtualization environment, completely independent of the OS installed on your hard disk.

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There are several VM programs out there to choose from. Depending on whether you're running them for personal or commercial use, there is no shortage of VM apps to use. The app we're going to focus on in this tutorial, however, is called Oracle VM VirtualBox. This free open source software is highly praised for both its functionality and reliability. It's also free, so those who are just starting out creating VMs can get their feet wet before purchasing another application.

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One important thing that should be noted is you'll need either a licensed or trial version of an operating system to be able to create a VM on your Windows 10 computer. It can be an ISO or an actual CD/DVD ROM, but you need the license key or a trial version.

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A second important thing to remember before plunging into the VM world is that you're going to need free hard drive space, as well as some RAM to spare. During the VM creation phase, VirtualBox will suggest how much space and memory you should use, based on the OS you're installing.

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In the following VisiHow guide, we're going to show how to install Oracle VM VirtualBox on a Windows 10 PC, in addition to creating a VM. For this article, we used a Clevo Laptop running Windows 10 Professional. The OS we installed on our virtual machine was Windows 10 Enterprise (90-day trial).

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Install Oracle VM VirtualBox on Windows 10

  1. 1
    Open your web browser of choice and visit this link. Once you're on the Download VirtualBox page, click the "Windows Hosts" link.
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  2. 2
    When the open/download pop-up appears, click "Save File".
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  3. 3
    In your browser, click the icon that opens the download folder (or location your downloaded files get saved)
    .
    By default, most browsers will save your downloads in the Downloads folder.
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  4. 4
    Once the Downloads folder is open, right-click the VirtualBox installer, then click "Run as administrator".
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  5. 5
    If you see the following UAC window, click "Yes" to continue the installation.
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  6. 6
    When the VirtualBox setup wizard appears, click "Next".
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  7. 7
    Here on the Custom Setup window you can choose a different location by clicking "Browse"
    .
    You can also select which components get installed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to each feature. Once you've made your selection, click "Next".
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  8. 8
    The next window gives you the option to; Create start menu entries, Create a shortcut on a desktop, Create a shortcut in the Quick Launch Bar, and Register file associations
    .
    place a checkmark to the options you want, then click "Next".
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  9. 9
    The following window warns that during the installation your network will be temporarily disabled
    .
    Don't worry as this is standard and your internet will work as it should once the installation is complete.
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  10. 10
    On the Ready to install window, click "Install".
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  11. 11
    If you see the following security window, click "Install" to continue.
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  12. 12
    When the installation is complete, click "Finish" to close the setup wizard. If you plan on creating a VM right away, leave the option to start Oracle VM VirtualBox after installation checked, and head to the following section of this tutorial.
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Create a VM on Windows 10

  1. 1
    If you're continuing from the previous section, VirtualBox should be open
    .
    If it's not, launch it from either the desktop or start menu. With VirtualBox open, click "New" in the upper left corner.
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  2. 2
    The first thing we need to do is; add a description for your VM, as well as the Type and Version of OS you're going to install. Click "Next" once all three fields are completed.
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  3. 3
    The next window is for allocating memory
    .
    VirtualBox will suggest how much memory you should designate based on your OS. You can leave this default or add some additional memory; however, you should avoid using less than the default amount suggested. Click "Next" once you've set the memory.
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  4. 4
    Next you can choose to add a hard disk
    .
    You can choose an existing virtual hard disk or create a new one. In our example, we selected "Create a virtual hard disk now".
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  5. 5
    If you chose to create a new virtual hard disk in the previous step, you'd be asked to choose the file type
    .
    You can leave this to the default (VirtualBox Disk Image). Once you made your selection, click "Next" to proceed.
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  6. 6
    Next we have to choose to use a dynamically allocated (grows as you use it) or a fixed hard disk (created at its maximum)
    .
    Again you can leave this to the default setting, then click "Next" to continue.
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  7. 7
    The last step before we get to installing the actual OS is to write the name of the new virtual hard disk
    .
    By default, it will have the same name as the description. We also need to set the size (in megabytes) of the virtual hard disk. VirtualBox will have a size set by default. You can add more but try not to use less. Click "Create" once you've named the file and set the disk space.
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  8. 8
    Next, open the VirtualBox manager, select the VM you just created, then click "Start".
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  9. 9
    In the Select start-up disk window, click the folder icon, then navigate to, and open the ISO or DVD containing the operating system you want to install on your VM.
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  10. 10
    With the ISO or DVD selected, click "Start"
    .
    Now you'll go through the process of setting up the operating system. Everything is the same as if you were installing a new OS on a regular hard drive; only everything is done inside the VirtualBox app window.
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  11. 11
    Once the OS is fully installed, you'll see the desktop inside the VirtualBox window
    .
    In our example, it's Windows 10 Enterprise. You can now use your VM just like a typical computer; install programs, perform tasks, etc.
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  12. 12
    To shut down your VM, right-click it from inside the manager, select, "Close", then "Power Off".
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  13. 13
    To turn on your Virtual Machine, right-click it form the manager, select "Start", then "Normal Start".
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  14. 14
    To delete your VM, select it from inside the manager, right-click, then select "Remove...".
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  15. 15
    When you choose to remove a VM from VirtualBox, a question window will appear
    .
    You can choose to either; "Delete all files" or "Remove only".
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Use Windows 10 | Software

Recent edits by: Jay

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