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5 Ways to Run Windows Programs on an Apple Mac OS

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EXE application files (software or program) only support the Windows operating system. But, in case, you are using Apple Mac OS and want to run Windows programs on your MAC computer, we are covering a guide here that can help you to use Windows apps on Macs.

Macs have a growing bunches of software, but some programs still only support Microsoft Windows.

If you have recently switched to the Apple Mac from Windows, you may probably be missing some of your favorite Windows apps and games. But, in this post, we are introducing you with some of the best MAC apps that allow Apple computers (desktop/laptop) to run Windows programs altogether.

How to Run Windows Programs on a Mac?

With the help of some third-party apps, you can run EXE files on a Mac machine. Whether it is a business software or you just want to play Windows PC games, there are several ways to run Windows programs on your MAC.

Some of the popular methods are similar to the ways like installing virtual machines, dual-booting, the Wine compatibility layer, remote desktop solutions and using third-party tools. We are introducing most of these here.

1. Run EXE on Mac OS X Using WinOnX 2 Pro

WinOnX 2 Pro helps you to setup Windows OS on your Mac machine similarly like VMware Workstation (virtual machine). The WinOnX is a paid application. Hence, you will have to spend around $7.99 (₹ 599 INR approx.), which is not too costly.

Download and install Windows programs on Mac

To use Windows programs on a Mac computer, get the WinOnX app.

  1. Download WinOnX 2 Pro dmg from Mac App Store.
  2. Run the WinOnX and look for the .exe file that you want to run.
  3. Install the Windows app using WinOnX and will be ready to use.

Note: The WinOnX 2 Pro requires Mac OS X 10.11 or higher to run correctly. Pay a visit to their official site for more information.

The above method to run a Windows program on Macs is quite easier. You don’t need to install Windows on Mac with complicated dual booting procedure.

2. Virtual Machines

The virtual machines are among the best methods to run Windows desktop software on MACs. The VM allows you to install Windows on Mac or/and Mac on Windows and any other popular operating systems.

We recommend you to use a virtual machine program (VMWare Fusion or Parallels) to run Windows applications without system rebooting.

But, before buying a license, consider using the free trials of both Parallels and VMWare software. Use the trial version of each VM software and decide which one fits best for you.

Remember: There is one negative point to virtual machines as its 3D graphics performance is not very good. Hence, it may fail to provide the best gaming experience for games that use a lot of 3D graphics memory & animations. But yes, it can play those games, especially older games. Furthermore, the virtual machines are the best ways to run Windows programs on a Mac.

3. Boot Camp

In case you can’t afford the virtual machines license or not getting enough gaming performance, you can use Apple’s Boot Camp.

It allows you to install Windows along with macOS on a Mac desktop. The most popular method for dual boot Mac. But, the downside is; you can only use a single operating system at a time because you will have to restart your machine each time you want to switch between macOS and Windows. It is just like dual-booting Linux on a Windows PC.

If you are a huge fan of Windows PC games or just want to run some specific Windows apps on your Mac, dual booting Windows is the best idea to get the maximum possible performance.

Only the one point disappoints you here that you can’t run macOS applications and Windows apps at the same time.

If you want to run Windows programs and Mac desktop application simultaneously on your Mac, the second option of using a virtual machine will probably be a good idea for you. Further, if you just want to play Windows games on your macOS, the Boot Camp will be the ideal choice.

4. CodeWeavers’ CrossOver Mac

CrossOver Mac is the alternative to WinOnX to run Windows programs without installing Windows itself on Macs. It is a Windows compatibility layer that offers excellent functionality for a limited set of Windows apps.

It is a paid application to run Windows applications on your Mac. You may have to spend between 15.95 to 499.95 American dollars (depends on the plan you choose) to use this Mac desktop application.

CrossOver Mac also has a free trial in case you want to give it a try.

5. Wine

Wine is a compatibility layer (originated on Linux) that allows using Windows programs on other operating systems. The Wine rewrites the Windows codes that programs depend on so they can efficiently run on other OS. Before using the Wine program, don’t forget to check the Wine AppDB that can give you the idea of supported applications.

Moreover, Wine is the last way to run Windows programs on your Mac in our list. The app doesn’t need to get any Windows license to use Wine.

WineHQ is the official project website that provides official versions of Wine for Mac OS X. There are also several other ways to get Wine on a Mac such as WineBottler to run Windows-based programs on MACs.

Since using the Windows desktop programs on your mac require more work and tricks, it is advisable to use Mac software when possible if you have a Mac computer.

Note: The cracked software and/or nulled apps are also available on the internet to free download MacOnX, Virtual Machine, and Windows, but, we strongly not suggest you use any crack software because it contains virus/adware/malware and opens the backdoors to the hackers and your personal information may be compromised. So, avoid using any cracked app and only purchase genuine software directly from their official website.

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