Knowledgebase: Software
Laptop Program: Bootcamp: How to Run Windows on my Mac
Updated: 02 March 2021 02:44 PM

What is Bootcamp?

Bootcamp is a process that is supported by Apple to enable you to run the Windows Operating System on your Mac.

Can all Macs run Bootcamp?

No. Apple M1 processors do not support Windows Bootcamp or Windows virtualization. Only Apple computers with Intel processors can run Bootcamp.

Why would I want Bootcamp?

You may need Windows to run certain software that has not been made to run on macOS. It is not necessary for all students at OCAD U.

However, certain academic programs may require you to use software such as certain Autodesk programs or Solidworks, which have only been written to run on Windows.

Some students do not require Windows for their program-specific software, but desire the ability to run non-University software that is Windows only.

Where do I get a Windows 10 license?

Students can get a Windows 10 license by visiting and selecting Windows 10. Add the product to your cart and 'checkout'. You will instantly get a Product Key for Windows 10. 

How do I install Bootcamp?

We recommend following Apple's official instructions for installing Bootcamp, which can be found here:

Note: We recommend making your Bootcamp partition no smaller than 50GB for best performance. If you will be running a number of Windows based programs, we recommend allocation much more then that. Depending on how big your hard drive is, splitting your storage in half might be the best option. E.g. if you have a 500GB hard drive, dedicating 250GB to the Mac side and 250GB to the Windows side. 

I have Boot Camp installed, but how do I start into Windows?

To run Windows on a Mac, the computer must be powered on in a special way:

Press the power button and then hold the option key.

Keep holding until you see a row of icons pop up.

Select the icon labeled Windows with either the arrow keys and pressing Return, or by clicking the arrow underneath the icon with the mouse/trackpad.

To get back to Mac OS X, restart your computer from within Windows. Your Mac should boot to Mac OS X by default, but does not have to: It is possible to change which OS is booted to by default.

What academic programs might require the use of Windows software?

Environmental Design

Industrial Design

Integrated Media

Digital Futures

Digital Painting & Expanded Animation

I'm in a program on the list above, but I never use my Windows software. Do I really need Boot Camp?

Bootcamp is not required unless you need to access Windows specific software taught in your academic program. It is ultimately your choice as to whether you need Bootcamp. Some applications previously available only on Windows such as Sketchup, Rhino and AutoCAD now have Mac compatible applications. 

Will this slow down my computer?

No. When using Boot Camp to run Windows, your Mac is not running Mac OS X at the same time. It is booting directly to an operating system that is separate from Mac OS X, and under regular conditions will feel just like using a Windows PC.

If you find the Mac or Windows side of your computer is running slower, it could be that you are low on storage space. For optimal performance, you generally want to keep 1/3rd of your hard drive space free when possible. 

I use Time Machine to back up my data. Does this work for Windows as well?

No! Any data that you want to back up from your Windows partition MUST be done separately. Since Mac OS X and Windows use different file systems, Time Machine cannot back up Windows files.

Since any external drive/disk that is used for Time Machine is set up with or 'formatted' with Mac OS X's file system, this makes it impossible for Windows to understand and use the disk as a backup space. If you need to back up Windows files as well as use Time Machine, it is possible to partition the space on your external drive into two separate file systems that can be used by each OS. This can be a sensitive procedure that if not done correctly can result in loss of data. If you are unsure about how to perform this procedure, DON'T. Seek assistance from the Laptop Help Desk.

Do you support Virtualization instead of Boot Camp?

We do not. You're welcome to run virtualization software, such as VMWare or Parallels, but we do not officially support it and cannot assist with troubleshooting.

I still have other questions about Boot Camp!

You can find more information about Boot Camp from Apple, or are welcome to call or visit the Laptop Help Desk with your questions.


Troubleshooting Bootcamp issues by installing or repairing Drivers in Windows 10:

This process should address many hardware issues while using Windows in Bootcamp – items not working properly such as USB/Thunderbolt ports, wireless/Bluetooth connections, graphics cards, and trackpads, or issues with Display resolution. 

  1. Start your computer on the Windows side by holding down the 'alt/option' key during startup and selecting the Windows or Bootcamp partition.
  2. Connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet
  3. On your desktop, select the 'Folder' icon in your Task Bar to open up File explorer.
  4. On the Left Side Bar, Select 'This PC' 
  5. Select the 'BOOTCAMP (C:)' Drive under 'Devices and Drives'
  6. Select the Bootcamp folder
  7. Select the Bootcamp folder again 
  8. Select the Bootcamp folder (last time!) 
  9. Click 'Setup' ***Select 'Yes' if Windows warns you that changes are being made
  10. Click 'Repair'. The process will run. 
  11. Restart for changes to take effect. 

If this process doesn’t work, or you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to

Glossary of Technical Terms:

If you are unsure about some of the terminology you have just read, here is a reference:

Operating System: (OS for short) the software environment that you use when you close a window, run a program, copy a file--the OS is the most important piece of software on your computer. You need it to run programs. If your OS is too old, you may not be able to run the latest software.

Mac OS X: Apple's Operating System that ships with all their computers.

Windows: An Operating System made by Microsoft.

HDD: Hard Drive Disk. The most common storage device in use in computers to this date. Uses a series of fast-spinning, high-storage-density magnetic disks inside a protective enclosure. Because of the moving parts and the fragility of said disks, it is easy for a physical shock(treat your laptop gently!) to damage the integrity of data on this type of disk.

SSD: Solid State Disk. The new standard for storage devices in personal computing. Uses a series of computer chips. Significantly faster than an HDD. Already in use in smartphones and tablets everywhere, this technology is becoming very popular in laptops especially. This technology has no moving parts, therefore it is less susceptible to physical shocks--however DO NOT take this as an excuse to treat your computer roughly in any way.

Partition: A section of an HDD or SSD that has been separated from the rest of the disk for an alternative purpose. In a typical Boot Camp scenario, Mac OS X and Windows live on two distinctly separate parts of your hard drive or SSD: Imagine that your hard drive (or SSD) is a house. When you partition it, you build a wall down the middle, and now you have half as much space on each side.

File System: a language or system an OS uses to store and understand the data on a storage disk. Different Operating Systems often use different File Systems.

Format: The process of erasing a drive or partition and setting up a new file system.