How to Install a Virtual Machine on Windows 11

Using a virtual machine, we can make risky changes in forbidden areas of the operating system and test new applications regardless of the operating system installed on our device. It’s a boon for developers who want to try multiple operating systems simultaneously and test potentially dangerous software.

Are you interested in running a virtual machine on your Windows 11 computer? We’ll show you how in this article. Let’s start.

What is a virtual machine?

The virtual machine works within your systems like a mini laptop or a PC. You can use it to test new software, run potentially dangerous applications, or set up your test environment by installing multiple operating systems simultaneously. Since they operate independently of the system they are running on, any changes you make to them will not affect your main operating system.

What are virtual machines used for?

There are two advantages to using virtual machines.

First, a virtual machine lets you safely run any software you’re hesitant to run on your main computer or make risky changes you want to make. Every modification and program you install is encapsulated in the virtual machine and does not “leak” to your main PC.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about losing important data or corrupting your computer if things go wrong in your virtual machine. With just a few clicks, you can delete and recreate a new virtual machine without damaging your main system.

How to Install a Virtual Machine in Windows 11

While there are various methods available to install virtual machines in Windows 11, we’ll stick to the easiest one, which doesn’t require any third-party apps or tools. We’ll create a virtual machine using Hyper-V Manager, Windows’ built-in virtual machine client.

The first thing we must do is install Hyper-V on Windows 11 before proceeding with the installation or creation of the virtual machine that uses it.

How to Install or Enable Hyper-V Manager in Windows 11

For Windows 11 Pro, Education, or Enterprise editions, follow the steps below to enable Hyper-V:

  1. Hold down Win + R.
  2. Type “optionalfeatures.exe.”
  3. Hit OKAY.

After following the above steps, Windows 11 will present you with a window called windows features, where you can enable/disable optional features. Expand the Hyper-V feature, check all the boxes and press OKAY.

When the process is complete, press the Restart now button to complete the installation.

Hyper-V may not be available in optional features if you are using Windows 11 Home edition. If you can’t find it, check out our guide to installing Hyper-V on Windows 11 Home.

After installing Hyper-V in Windows 11 Home or enabling in other editions, proceed to the next step to set up a virtual machine.

How to create a virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager

Follow the steps below to create a virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager:

  1. By using the Windows Searchtype “Hyper-V” and click on the Hyper-V Manager icon.
  2. To create a virtual machine, right click on your PC name in the left sidebar and select New > Virtual Machine
  3. The Before you start window contains instructions. Read them then click on Next.
  4. Enter the name of your choice in the field Specify name and location window, for example, “Shan new machine.” Check Store the virtual machine in a different location box, and click Browse to choose your preferred location. Click on Next after specifying the name and location.
  5. Next, specify the generation of the virtual machine in the Specify generation the window. There are two options here; Generation 1which supports older 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, and Generation 2, which only supports the latest 64-bit operating systems. Click on Next after selecting the generation.
  6. The next step is to allocate memory to your virtual machine. It is recommended to allocate at least 2048 MB for your operating system to work properly. If your laptop has less than 4GB of memory, you can allocate less, but don’t forget to check Use dynamic memory for this virtual machine box in both cases. Checking this box allows the virtual machine to use more memory than you have allocated when needed. Click on Next once the allocation has been made.
  7. In the next step, you need to configure the virtual machine network. Select Default switch in the drop-down menu next to Link. Click on Next once you have selected an option.
  8. The next step is to connect a virtual hard disk. There are three options: Create a virtual hard disk from zero, Use an existing virtual hard diskWhere Attach a virtual hard disk later. If you want to create a virtual hard disk, check the circle to Create a virtual hard diskenter the size you want to allocate and click Next.

    The 32-bit version of Windows requires 16 GB of disk space, while the 64-bit version requires 32 GB. So you need to allocate disk space according to the operating system you want to install on your virtual machine.

  9. In the Installation possibilities window, you can choose the operating system to install later or download the bootable image file to install it directly. Click on Next after selecting the desired option.
  10. Click on Finish after reading the summary.

After installation, your virtual machine will be ready to use via Hyper-V Manager. Follow the steps below to use your virtual machine:

  1. Using Windows Search, type “Hyper-V” and open it Hyper-V Manager.
  2. Right click on the virtual machine you created and choose Relate.
  3. Click on Begin in the virtual machine.

That’s it. Now that you have created a new computer on the same laptop, you can test anything you want without affecting your main operating system. Hyper-V Manager lets you create multiple virtual machines, run different operating systems, and simultaneously create as many virtual machines as you want.

Get the most out of Windows 11 virtualization

You should now have a better understanding of how to create a virtual machine in Windows 11. Once created, you will have a separate computer in your laptop that will allow you to freely test applications that you are hesitant to run on your system. main operation. We recommend using Hyper-V Manager to create virtual machines because it is free to use. otherwise, you can use other third-party tools.

Additionally, Windows provides users with an integrated virtual desktop environment called Windows Sandbox. Whatever you do in this environment will have no negative impact on your machine. Therefore, if the sole purpose of creating a virtual machine is to test new suspicious programs, you can achieve this with the sandbox instead.

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