In macOS High Sierra and earlier, you can install Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 using Boot Camp Assistant on supported Mac models. Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement.
Most people who buy Macs are doing it to run OS X, but you’d be surprised by the number of comments and e-mails we get in response to Mac reviews asking about how Windows runs on the hardware. Since Apple made the Intel switch and introduced its Boot Camp software in 2006, there’s been a small but significant group of people who have chosen to use Apple’s hardware to run Microsoft’s software, either as a secondary or primary operating system.
Because the new MacBook is an entirely new product rather than a straightforward refresh, we spent some time installing Windows and taking it for a spin. If you’ve used Boot Camp before, there aren’t many surprises. But there are still things you need to know if you intend to buy a MacBook to run Windows.
Installation and display differences
The actual process of creating a Boot Camp install drive and downloading your Windows drivers hasn’t changed at all. Get a Windows 8.1 ISO on your MacBook somehow, launch the Boot Camp Assistant app from the Utilities folder, hook up a USB drive that’s 8GB or greater in capacity, decide how much space you want to dedicate to the Windows partition, and let it do its thing.
The one difference, of course, is the whole port thing. USB Type-C flash drives are still unicorns, so at a bare minimum you’ll want Apple’s $19 USB Type-C to Type-A adapter or a generic equivalent. Make sure your laptop is fully charged before you begin the whole process, but, using a USB 3.0 flash drive, we had no trouble creating a Boot Camp install disk, rebooting and installing Windows, and installing the Boot Camp support software and drivers with battery life to spare.
Update: You may run into an issue where the MacBook won't boot from the USB drive after running the Boot Camp Assistant, or where it's not selectable as a startup target in the Startup Disk preference pane. If this happens, hold down the Option key as the computer boots and select the USB drive from the list (it may show up as 'EFI Boot').
The first time you boot to the Windows desktop after everything is installed, you’ll notice that everything onscreen is too small—for whatever reason, the automatic screen detection and UI scaling that happens on Windows PCs doesn’t happen here. It’s not a difficult problem to fix, though. Just right-click the desktop, go to Screen Resolution, click 'make text and other items larger or smaller,' and choose a scaling option you find comfortable. The 150 percent scaling level looked the best to our eyes, though some of you will probably be able to get by at 125 percent, too.
That’s one advantage that Windows has over OS X: no matter which scaling percentage you’re using, the desktop is still being drawn at the panel’s native 2304×1440 resolution, so you don’t need to deal with worsening GPU performance as you make items on the screen larger and smaller. The downside is that software support is still spotty. Microsoft’s apps and major third-party programs like Firefox and Chrome all look good, and Adobe is adding support for high-density Windows screens as an “experimental feature.”
But in other apps, especially older ones or those from smaller teams, you’ll still be dealing with inconsistency issues. Sometimes apps will look tiny, sometimes they’ll be the right size but they’ll be blurry, sometimes most of the window will look fine but there will be individual buttons or sliders that don’t render correctly. OS X apps that don’t support Retina mode have become relatively rare, but that’s not quite the case for Windows yet.
Other software quirks
The level of support Apple offers for Windows has never been spectacular, and Boot Camp continues to cover the basics and not much else. The Boot Camp control panel lets you switch the default boot partition, adjust how the function keys work, and toggle basic trackpad features like right-clicking and tap-to-click. Drivers exist for (most) of the internal hardware. That's pretty much all you get.
There are no special controls in the Boot Camp control panel for the Force Touch trackpad, including settings to change the firmness of the click. Windows seems to use the trackpad’s default firmness setting, and you can’t change that in Windows itself (nor will any settings carry over from OS X). Windows 8.1’s native trackpad gestures are unsupported, which means that Windows 10’s more powerful gestures probably won’t be, either.
Apple's trackpads, always paragons of accuracy while in OS X, become merely above average in Windows. Finger tracking is fine, but two-finger scrolling is tweaky and usually scrolls too quickly or abruptly. Clicking and dragging sometimes takes a couple of tries. This should all sound familiar if you've used Boot Camp on a MacBook before. The Force Touch trackpad neither resolves nor introduces new problems.
Another complaint: Bluetooth is completely non-functional. The adapter doesn’t show up in the Device Manager or in the PC Settings screen, nor do accessories that you’ve paired in OS X continue to work when you reboot into Windows. This is more than likely to be an easily fixable driver problem, it’s just not fixed now.
And, finally, be careful about installing new, not-provided-by-Apple drivers to solve problems. The Boot Camp package installs a fairly recent version of Intel’s integrated graphics driver, but there’s already a newer version available through Windows Update and the Intel support site. After installing it, though, we’d run into major graphics corruption issues that could only be solved by restarting the computer or rolling back to the older driver.
Performance and battery life
Though the hardware is the same, Windows and OS X are different enough to cause some significant differences in performance and battery life. The general rule of thumb is that graphics performance is better in Windows, since OS X is slow to pick up support for new OpenGL versions and drivers (we explored this phenomenon more fully in our review of the 2013 Mac Pro). On the flip side, battery life is usually worse in Windows, something generally attributed to Apple’s tighter integration between hardware and software. Our tests bear both of these observations out.
These charts exist just for the sake of comparing the MacBook running Windows to the MacBook running OS X; other comparisons can be found in our main MacBook review.
The CPU scores are basically a wash. Windows is a smidge slower in Geekbench and a little faster in Cinebench but not drastically so in either case. The graphics benchmarks show Windows firmly ahead of OS X, sometimes by just a bit (GFXBench T-Rex test) and sometimes by quite a lot (GFXBench Manhattan).
As best as we can tell, the MacBook supports the same external display configurations in Windows 8.1 as it does in OS X. We couldn't get our Dell P2415Q to output 4K at 60Hz over SST, even with the internal display disabled.
The MacBook loses around an hour and a half of battery life in our Wi-Fi Web browsing test, which loops a set of pages continuously until the laptop dies (we use the platform’s default browser for this, so you’re looking at Safari results in OS X and Internet Explorer results in Windows). In the WebGL test, oddly, Windows actually gains around an hour of battery life relative to the MacBook. It’s possible that the same changes that help GPU performance in Windows also improve its power consumption under load, but it’s difficult to say.
Buying a MacBook primarily to run Windows isn’t the worst idea you could possibly have—most of the hardware’s virtues and shortcomings remain the same regardless of the operating system you’re running. There are specific problems—non-functional Bluetooth, barebones trackpad controls—that we’d like to see fixed in subsequent driver releases, but it’s mostly fine as-is.
That said, the PC OEMs are doing well enough these days that grabbing a Mac isn’t really your best option if you don’t need OS X. Several of you pointed out Asus’ UX305, a similarly slim PC available for less money (though you need to buy several upgrades to bring it to parity with the MacBook). Dell’s XPS 13 is a favorite if you want more performance and don’t mind a fan. The MacBook is still an appealing option if you want one machine that runs everything, but for the few of you who like buying Apple hardware to run Microsoft software, there are other devices you ought to look at first.
How to resize Bootcamp partition? How do increase Bootcamp partition? How do I reduce Bootcamp partition? Now, this post shows how to effectively and quickly change Bootcamp partition size.
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Overview of Bootcamp Partition
A reader had a Windows issue, and didn't know how to solve it. He wrote:
Hi, I’m running Windows in a Boot Camp partition on my Mac computer. When I first configured Boot Camp I underestimated how much I’d use Windows. However, recently I'm quickly running out of space on my Bootcamp partition. How can I expand the size of the Boot Camp partition?
Have you ever run into the same problem?
Do you know how to effectively resize Bootcamp partition?
Do you know how to change the size of Bootcamp partition without data loss?
Do you know whether there are free yet professional tools to help to extend or shrink Bootcamp partition? Now, if you haven’t found a suitable solution, you could read this post to find answers. On the other hand, if you had solved this problem, you might also like this post since it offers effective yet free solutions.
In general, when it comes to talking about resizing Bootcamp partition, these following questions would be asked: what is Bootcamp partition, when need to change Bootcamp partition size, how to increase/ decrease Bootcamp partition effectively. Next, let's answer these problems in detail.
What Is Bootcamp
Boot Camp Assistant is a multi-boot utility included with Apple Inc.'s OS X that assists users in installing Microsoft Windows operating systems on Intel-based Macintosh computers.
The utility guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning (including resizing of an existing HFS+ partition, if necessary) of their hard disk drive and installation of Windows device drivers for the Apple hardware.
The utility also installs a Windows Control Panel applet for selecting the boot operating system.
In a word, Boot Camp can help partition your hard drive into 2 partitions. One partition will be used by your Mac to run Mac OS X and the other one will be used to run Windows OS.
However, do you know why we have to make a new partition to install Windows? Well, the reason is that Windows and Mac don’t run in the same format. Mac runs on Mac OS X (Journaled), and Windows runs on NTFS.
Partitioning splits your hard drive into 2 separate sections, each with its own format. This means that you can run Windows OS on NTFS and run Mac on Mac OS X (Journaled) on the same hard drive. Of course, this NTFS partition is called Bootcamp partition which is used to install Windows.
You can read How to install Windows using Boot Camp to know details about installing Windows OS on Mac computer.
When Need to Resize Bootcamp Partition
You can firstly specific the size of Bootcamp partition, and then install Windows on it. However, after running Windows, you may find that your Bootcamp partition is running out of space, and you need to increase its size to continue running Windows OS.
Now, the question is: “How to change the size of Bootcamp partition to meet the needs of Windows?”
Well today, I’m going to make it easy for you.
How to Resize Bootcamp Partition
As we know, if you want to resize Mac partition, you can directly turn to the Disk Utility tool, located in /Applications/Utilities. With this tool, you can grow or shrink HFS+ (Mac OS X) partitions on the fly, with the resizing done live regardless of whether the drive is internal or an external drive, or even the boot volume.
However, Disk Utility can not be used to extend or shrink Bootcamp partition since it is Windows NTFS file system partition. So, it is not an easy task to resize Bootcamp partition.
According to Apple: “If your Windows partition is too small, back up the information on it, delete it, create a larger partition, and then reinstall Windows.” Details are shown here.
Traditional Method: Delete Bootcamp Partition, then Create a New Large One
Step 1: Back up all the information on your Windows partition.
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Step 2: Delete Windows from your Mac.
- Start up your Mac in OS X.
- Open Disk Utility. (To access the Disk Utility in Mac OS X, just press Command+Space to open Spotlight search, type Disk Utility, and press Enter. You can also click the Launchpad icon on your dock, click the Other folder, and click Disk Utility.)
- Select the Windows disk, click Erase, choose the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, and then click the Erase button. (picture is below)
Step 3: Shrink Mac partition to release more free space.
Step 4: Create a new large Windows partition in the free space.
- Select the drive.
- Select the Partition tab
- Click + to add a partition
Step 5: Restore the information you backed up.
On the other hand, with the development of software technology, some software (like Camptune X, Winclone) can help you to resize Bootcamp Partition. And, each tool has its advantages.
To be specific, those familiar with Winclone are aware that with its help you can create a larger Bootcamp partition without losing your original Windows data.
The process involves creating an image of the partition for safe keeping, deleting the original Bootcamp partition with Disk Utility, creating a new, more expansive partition, and then moving the data from the imaged partition to the new one with WinClone.
Although this method is capable enough to enlarge your Bootcamp partition size, you have to delete Windows at first.
Now, you might be wondering:
“Is it possible to resize Bootcamp partition without deleting Windows?”
The answer is positive!
Alternatively: Resize Bootcamp Partition without Deleting Windows
According to a survey, MiniTool Partition Wizard, a piece of free yet professional partitioning software, proves to be an excellent tool for increasing/shrinking Bootcamp partition without deleting Windows. Next, let’s see the detailed steps.
A step-by-step guide to increasing the size of Bootcamp partition
Step 1: Backup all your files (optional but strongly recommended).
Step 2: Use Disk Utility to shrink your Mac partition to release some unallocated space as much as you need to add to the Bootcamp partition.
- Open Disk Utility app from /Applications/Utilities/.
- From the left side of the app, select the hard drive you want to partition.
- On the “Partition” tab, drag the separator bar up and down to resize your hard drive partition. (Alternatively, select the partition you want to resize. Enter size value in GB in Size box.)
- Click the “Apply” button to resize the partition.
Step 3: Set Boot camp as Boot Disk and restart the Mac.
- Turn on or restart your Mac.
- Immediately press and hold the Option key. After a few seconds, the Startup Manager appears. If you don't see the volume you want to use, wait a few moments for Startup Manager to finish scanning connected drives.
- Use your mouse or trackpad, or left and right arrow keys to select the volume (Boot Camp) you want to use.
- Double-click or press the Return key to start up your Mac from the volume you selected.
Step 4: Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free edition from its official website, install it on your computer according to prompts and then launch it to get its main interface.
Step 5: Select the Bootcamp partition and then click “Extend Partition” from the left action panel.
Step 6: Choose the unallocated space from the Take Free Space from and then drag the sliding button to decide how much free space to take. After getting desired space, click “OK” button to go back to the main interface of this free partitioning software.
Step 7: At this time, click “Apply” button on the top left corner and tap “Yes” to apply the change.
You will be asked to restart your computer to apply the task since the Bootcamp partition is being used now by Windows. Now, just please choose “Restart now,” and MiniTool Partition Wizard will automatically finish rest of pending jobs.
After all operations done, you have finished increasing the size of Bootcamp partition without deleting Windows.
Video tutorial for resizing your Bootcamp partition without deleting Windows disk partitioning
In addition to extending partition without data loss, MiniTool Partition Wizard can also help to shrink the size of Bootcamp partition. But, how do I reduce the size of a bootcamp partition? Keep reading to find details!
A step-by-step guide to shrinking the size of Bootcamp partition
Step 1: Set Bootcamp as Boot Disk and restart the Mac.
Step 2: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard in Windows.
Step 3: Select the Bootcamp partition and then click “Move/Resize” in the toolbar or “Move/Resize Partition” from the left Actions and Wizards.
Step 4: Change the length of partition handle to resize partition. After getting desired partition size, click “OK” to go back to the main interface.
Step 5: Click “Apply” button on the top left corner to apply the very change.
However, here we also want to share another tool, MiniTool Mac Data Recovery, for you since you cannot ensure absolute data security all the time. For instance, you may accidentally delete some data and empty the Trash, format/delete your hard drive partition by mistake, and more.
Mac Data Recovery
Now, lots of Mac users choose to run Windows on their Mac with Boot Camp assistance. However, no matter how wonderful an OS is, Mac data loss caused by various reasons happens more and more frequently.
Therefore, Mac lost data recovery has become a big problem annoying many computer users, especially some users have not backed up their data with Time Machine. (Note; you can use Time Machine to back up or restore your Mac. )
Fortunately, MiniTool Mac Data recovery, developed by famous data recovery solution providers based in Canada, can help to recover data that have been lost in a variety of ways like accidental deletion, partition formatting, etc.
Also, this tool offers wizard-based operation and simple interface, so even a new user can easily handle this Mac data recovery software to recover lost photos, music, videos, emails, documents, and other types of data. What's more, its operations are read-only, so you can use it to recover lost Mac data without affecting the original data.
Hopefully, this article would help to change the size of Bootcamp partition.
If you have any other suggestions about how to resize Bootcamp partition, please leave it in the following comments below. Thanks in advance!
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