Can the MacBook Air (2022) run Windows? Yes, but it requires some work – XDA developers | Hot Mobile Press

Apple recently introduced the second generation of Apple silicon, starting with the Apple M2 chip. Debuting in the all-new MacBook Air, this new processor offers some big performance improvements over the previous generation. But Apple Silicon is still relatively new, and there are many differences with this Arm-based architecture. So you may be wondering if the 2022 MacBook Air can run Windows. Well it can, but it’s not as easy as you’d like it to be.

First off, Apple has completely removed Boot Camp from Apple Silicon Macs. Boot Camp was the primary way to run Windows on Macs, which complicates things a bit since you now have to rely on third-party software. You also need a version of Windows designed to run on ARM-based processors. And although Microsoft makes Windows for Arm, it’s not downloadable – the only official way to get it is to buy an Arm device with Windows already installed.

That means some workarounds are needed, but it’s technically possible to run Windows on MacBook Air. To do this, you need the help of Parallels Desktop, which is paid software, which means that you need to buy not only a Windows license but also a Parallels Desktop license.

How to install Windows on your MacBook Air

As mentioned, to run Windows on your 2022 MacBook Air, you first need a license for Parallels Desktop 17. This is the latest version of Parallels virtualization software, and the key here is that it officially supports Windows 10 and 11 on Apple Silicon Macs. That means you can expect the company to continue to offer support and technical assistance if you run into problems. Parallels Desktop 17 is available as a subscription service starting at $79.99 per year. The Standard Edition is also available as a one-time purchase for $99.99, but that means you don’t get premium 24/7 support or upgrades to the latest version.

Next you need to download Windows, but as we mentioned earlier, you can’t really download Windows for Arm devices in a typical way. Windows for Arm can only be downloaded through the Windows Insider Program. If you go to the Windows Insider Preview download page, you can download a VHDX file, which is basically a virtual hard drive with Windows 11 already installed. However, since this is part of the Insiders program, it’s not a final version of Windows 11 – it’s a preview build, which means you may encounter some stability issues. Of course, you also need a Windows license.


Windows 10 VM is created in Parallels

Once you have these things, it’s pretty easy to get started. You can start Parallels Desktop and create a new virtual machine (VM) by choosing your VHDX file as the image for it. We have a more detailed guide on how to install Windows on Apple Silicon Macs. You might want to give it a try if you need step-by-step setup instructions. Keep in mind that this guide focuses on Windows 10, but the process to create the VM is essentially the same.

Once you have the VM set up, you need to go into the Settings app on Windows 11 and go to activation page (in the system section) to enter your license key to activate Windows. Something else you’ll probably want to do is go to the windows update Section and then select Windows Insider Program. From here, enable the option to Unregister this device when the next version of Windows is released. This will stop you from getting Insider builds once the next major version of Windows is available, allowing you to actually install a stable version of Windows.


Indeed, running Windows on the 2022 MacBook Air, or any Apple Silicon-powered Mac, is more cumbersome and expensive than Intel-based Macs, but the option is there. If you love the new MacBook Air but need specific Windows apps, this is your only solution. Otherwise, you can try buying a refurbished older MacBook Air, or use a Windows laptop instead – there are plenty of great laptops in the Windows space too.

    MacBook Air (2022)

    Powered by the new Apple M2 chip, the 2022 MacBook Air has a new larger display and all-new design.

    Parallels desktop

    Parallels desktop virtualization software to run Windows or Linux on macOS. The latest version also supports Apple Silicon Macs and Windows on Arm.

    Windows 11 Home

    Product key to activate Windows 11.

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