How do I run VMWare – Running Windows 11 ARM on M1/2 macOS

This article guides you on running Windows 11 ARM.

Macs made after 2020 run on Apple silicon (M1, and M2) do not natively support systems running the x86 architecture. This means you must go through a few extra steps to get Windows 11 virtualised on your machine.


Apple made after 2020 have M1 or M2 processors as standard chip in their machine. Due to that:

  • These computers are not able to support systems running the x 86 architecture
  • If you need to install a Windows 11 virtual machine, you will need to do a few extra steps

How to know whether your Mac is using an Apple Silicon (M1 or M2) processor

  1. Go to the menu bar and select the Apple icon
  2. Select “About this Mac” from the drop-down menu
  3. Select “More info…

Once there, you will find your Mac’s specifications.


Step-by-step instructions

1. Install VMware

  1. Request a WMware license by emailing
  2. Once the request has been accepted, you will receive an email so you can register for a VMware account
  3. Sign up with your university credentials to the VMware account you can then download the software and access your license
  4. You can now install VMware


2. Download Windows ARM

  1. Navigate to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads website and download Windows ARM
  2. Register with your university account
  3. Sign up for the Windows insider programme
  4. Once registered, you can then download the latest version of the client

The format of the download is ‘VHDX‘. However, VMware does not accept this file type, so you will need to convert it during the next step.


3. Download HomeBrew

1. Navigate to HomeBrew website

Homebrew is a free and open-source software package management system. It will help you installing the elements you need during the software’s installation on your Mac

2. Go to this site and copy the text by highlighting or clicking on the copy button.


3. Go to the menu bar and select the spotlight


4. Type the word ‘terminal‘.

5. Open the Terminal

6. Paste the command into the terminal, and press Enter

7. Enter your Mac password, then select Enter

8. Press Enter again

9. HomeBrew should now be installing

10. Once finished, type ‘brew install qemu‘, then press Enter

11. Type qemu-img convert -O vmdk 

Please note:

  • The ‘O’ is a capital O for orange
  • Leave a space after ‘vmdk’

12. Locate the Windows 11 ARM.VHDX file you downloaded during the Step 2. Drag it from the search bar, which will drag the location of the folder.

13.  Drop it into the terminal. This will add the location of the file to the terminal.

14. Type ‘~/downloads/windows.vmdk (if needed, change downloads for another location)

15. Press Enter


4. Creating the Virtual Machine (VM)

1. Open VMware

2. Create a custom virtual machine

3. Choose Windows 11 64-bit ARM

4. Auto-generate a password or enter one that you will remember

5. Click on Choose virtual disk

6. Locate and select the file you just converted

7. Select finish

8. Windows should now be setting up

9. As we cannot continue without a network connection, we need to install the network drivers

10. Restart the VM by selecting the button ‘Virtual machine’ at the top of your screen

11. Select ‘Restart

12. Once it has restarted, we need to open command prompt: hold ‘ctrl’ + ‘FN’ + ‘F10’


13. Select Yes

14. Type OOBE\bypassnro

15. Press Enter


5. Installing the network’s drivers

1. Once the Virtual Machine (VM) restarts, you should now have an option to select ‘I don’t have internet‘. You can now continue the setup process

2. Installing network drivers

3. Once you are in Windows:

  1. Open the start menu
  2. Open ‘Powershell‘ as administrator. To run as administrator, please: right-click of your mouse, then choose “Run as administrator”.

4. Type ‘Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned‘ then press enter

5. Press the ‘A‘ key, then Enter

6. In VMware:

  1. Select ‘Virtual machine
  2. Then ‘reinstall VMware tools’
  3. Select Install

This will add a virtual disk within Windows.

7. Open up File Explorer, then select “DVD Drive (D:)” on the left


8. Find the ‘Setup’ file’, then:

  1. Right-click on it
  2. Choose ‘Run with powershell‘.

9. You should now have network access within Windows.

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