What is Boot Camp Assistant and How to Set it Up

What is Boot Camp

Boot Camp is a pre-installed application that has been included in macOS since MacOS Tiger (10.4). This app helps to install a full copy of Microsoft Windows on to another partition. So when you set it up and turn on your computer holding the “Option” key you will be given the option macOS or WindowsOS to boot up in. If you are interested in running Windows at the same time as macOS then you need to look into Parallels.

How to Setup Boot Camp

Step 1: Download Microsoft Windows

  1. The first thing that you need to do is click here to check your system requirements because different versions of macs work with different versions of Windows.
  2. After completing step 1 you should now know what version of Windows that you need and want so now you must acquire it. A copy of Microsoft Windows 10 can be purchased from their website Here.
    • As of October 2016, Microsoft only sells Windows 10.
  3. Once you have purchased your copy of Windows or if you already had one you need to download the .iso file. You can do so by clicking here and choosing your copy of Windows that you have acquired. From there follow the steps. Choose your edition and language. Then download. The download can be very large so depending on your internet speeds it may take some time.
    • When downloading Windows 10 for Boot Camp Microsoft recommends that you download Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Windows 10 does not require the purchase of a product license. Instead, you will have an unregistered copy of it. The only difference I have found is that Windows will nag you to buy a copy and you will not be able to change your desktop picture.
    • If you are downloading Windows 8.1 or 7 you will need to have a product code.

Step 2: Setup Boot Camp

  1. Open Boot Camp by navigating to your “Utilities” folder which can be found in the “Applications” folder.
  2. Read the “Introduction” and then click “Continue”
  3. Click the “Choose” button and find your Windows download file. Underneath the “ISO image” path uses the slider to make to choose the size of your new Windows partition. Think twice about the size because you can not adjust it later.
  4. Then hit the “Install” button.
  5. Your copy of Windows and all of the appropriate drivers will then be installed.

Step 3: Installing Windows

After the install, your computer will then restart and boot up into the new partition. The Windows setup wizard should then appear. Follow the steps to set up your version of Windows. You might have trouble connecting to the internet or any other wireless connected devices. If you do run into a problem using the setup wizard just skip the step. Once completed you will be taken to your new desktop.

Step 4: Installing Boot Camp

Once you have been taken to the desktop of your new Windows you will get a pop up to set up Boot Camp. This setup will install the appropriate drivers for all other connected devices like printers, wireless mice and keyboards, WiFi, and Ethernet. Once this is complete you will then be required to restart your Mac.

Boot Camp Tips and Tricks

Changing Default Startup Disk

After setting up Boot Camp your default startup disk be WindowsOS. When you want to boot to another drive hold down the option key while powering on your Mac. To change your default start-up drive boot up your Mac to macOS by holding the option key. Then open System Preferences and go to the Startup Disk preference pane. Unlock the pane by clicking on the lock at the bottom left corner of the window. Now that you can make changes click on the partition that you want to use. The volume with the highlighted name will be your default startup drive. Every time you turn on your computer you will boot up to that selected volume.

Sharing Files between macOS and WindowsOS

You can share files between macOS to WindowsOS. When you boot up using macOS WindowsOS will show up as a connected drive but you will be unable to move files from WindowsOS to macOS or macOS to WindowsOS. This is because Windows and macOS format their drives differently. An alternative to being able to move files from macOS to Windows is to create a shared partition. In order to do this you must:

Method 1: ExFAT Partition

  1. boot up your Mac into recovery mode by holding ⌘+R upon startup.
  2. Then click on Disk Utility.
  3. On the top tab click on the partition.
  4. Click on the plus which can be found under the pie chart.
  5. On the right resize the drive size.
  6. Format the partition as ExFAT. ExFAT is a format that both WindowsOS and macOS.
  7. Then click apply and restart.

Method 2: External Drive

Another way to do this is to use an external hard drive or a thumb drive and format it using ExFAT.

  1. Open up Disk Utility on your mac
  2. Then select the hard drive that you would like to format from the left menu
  3. Now click the “Erase” button from the top tab
  4. Now type in a name for the drive and underneath name field click the drop-down and choose ExFAT from the options
  5. Then click “Erase”
  6. Your drive will now be reformatted. Once completed you will be able to read and write the drive from both macOS and Windows.

Method 3: Online Storage

If none of these options are for you then you can use an online storage method like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud Drive, or Microsoft’s One Drive.

Method 4: NAS

Or you can buy a Network Attached Storage or NAS. A NAS basically is an external drive that is connected to your network that allows any device to connect to it.  I would recommend looking into a Synology NAS if you want to use this method.

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