IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Apple's ARM-based Macs won't support Windows virtualisation

Documents confirm that the switch from Intel to Apple Silicon will prevent Mac users from running Windows

A close up shot of a MacBook keyboard

Users will no longer be able to run Windows virtualisation software once they switch to Apple's upcoming ARM-based Macs, it has emerged.

In new developer support documents published by Apple, the company confirmed that the switch from Intel to ARM-based processors will prevent users from running Windows on the Mac.

In the document, Apple confirmed that Rosetta 2 – an emulation layer that will enable users to run old apps on new Mac devices – won't be able to translate x86_64 virtualization apps, which could prevent the virtualisation of Windows environments using apps such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion.

"Rosetta can translate most Intel-based apps, including apps that contain just-in-time (JIT) compilers," the document reads. "However, Rosetta doesn’t translate the following executables: kernel extensions, Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms."

In addition to these restrictions, Boot Camp, a popular tool that allows MacBook users to switch between Windows and macOS, will no longer be available for use on devices powered by Apple Silicon.

Although the tool will remain in macOS Big Sur, it will be an Intel-only feature. Non-Intel Macs will not be able to access the tool and the company has not yet announced a replacement.

In a statement, Microsoft confirmed that there’s no official way to install the operating system, telling The Verge that it "only licences Windows on ARM to OEMs". When asked whether it plans to change this policy to allow Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs, and the company said “we have nothing further to share at this time".

Related Resource

IT operations overload hinders digital transformation

Clearing the path towards a modernised system of agreement

Download now

It remains unclear whether virtualisation companies are working on a solution for ARM-based Macs, though VMWare on Tuesday announced that Big Sur-compatible "tech preview" of Fusion will arrive in July.

What's more, Apple showed off a Mac with an ARM-based A12Z Bionic SoC running a Linux distribution in Parallels during its WWDC keynote this week, suggesting that the company is working to support virtualisation software.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more
Mobile

Best business smartphones 2022: The top handsets from Apple, Samsung, Google and more

23 Jun 2022
Apple faces a catch-22 decision with iPhones and USB-C
Policy & legislation

Apple faces a catch-22 decision with iPhones and USB-C

8 Jun 2022
Apple overhauls SwiftUI navigation and brings a score of new features to developers at WWDC 2022
software development

Apple overhauls SwiftUI navigation and brings a score of new features to developers at WWDC 2022

7 Jun 2022
The EU’s Apple App Store crackdown ‘will fuel cyber attacks’
cyber security

The EU’s Apple App Store crackdown ‘will fuel cyber attacks’

1 Jun 2022

Most Popular

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline
Security

Macmillan Publishers hit by apparent cyber attack as systems are forced offline

30 Jun 2022
FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022