How To Install Windows 8.1 On Mac Without Boot Camp

Mac users have a couple of options when it comes to installing and running Windows on Mac. One can install Windows 8.1 on Mac with the help of Boot Camp software, use virtualization software like VirtualBox to install Windows 8.1 inside Mac, or manually create a new partition and then install Windows 8.1 without the help of Boot Camp.

Windows 8

In one of our previous articles, we discussed about installing Windows 8.1 on Mac with the help of Apple’s Boot Camp software. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to install Windows 8.1 on Mac without Boot Camp software. This method involves creating a new partition for Windows, preparing a bootable Windows 8.1 USB, and of course, installing Windows 8.1 on your Mac.

Complete the given below instructions to successfully install Windows 8.1 on your Mac without Boot Camp software.

Step 1: Turn on your Mac machine and boot into Mac OS X. Open Launchpad, click Other, and then click Disk Utility to open the same.

Install Windows 8.1 Mac Without Boot Camp software

Step 2: Once Disk Utility is launched, select the drive (your SSD or HDD) in the left-side, and then switch to the Partition tab.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.29.50 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.30.33 PM

Step 3: Next, click on the small “+” sign to create a new partition.

Step 4: Select the newly created partition, enter a name for your new partition (remember the name as you can easily select the newly created partition later while installing Windows), select the size (at least 20 GB), and then select the format as DOS (FAT) or ExFAT. You can select either DOS or ExFat here, as you can format the partition with NTFS while installing Windows.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.31.05 PM

Click Apply button to create a new partition to install Windows. Click on the Partition button when you see the warning message. Once the new partition is ready, close Disk Utility.

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 3.32.01 PM

Step 5: Next, you need to prepare bootable Windows 8.1 installation media. We advise you follow our how to create bootable Windows 8.1 USB on Mac guide to quickly create the bootable installation media and also download important support software from Apple. And if you already have the bootable media, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 6: Once you have the bootable media, restart your Mac, hold down the Alt (Option) key while restarting the Mac, choose the option titled Windows (don’t select EFI unless you are very sure) to begin installing Windows on your Mac.

Windows 8.1 Mac Without Boot Camp

Step 7: Follow the simple on-screen instructions, and when you see the partition selection screen, select the newly created partition (be sure to select the right partition), click Format to format the partition with NTFS, select the formatted partition, and then click Install button to continue installing Windows on your Mac.

Windows 8.1 Mac Without Boot Camp1

Windows 8.1 Mac Without Boot Camp2

Note that during the installation, your system will be rebooted a couple of times. Every time your system reboots, hold down the Alt (Option) key, and then select Windows to continue the installation.

Step 8: From here on, you need to follow the normal Windows 8.1 installation procedure.

Step 9: Once Windows is installed on your Mac, Boot Camp setup will automatically launch. Click Next button, accept license agreement, and then click Next button again to begin installing support drivers. Once done, you’ll be asked to reboot your system to complete the installation. That’s it! Enjoy Windows 8.1 on your Mac.

If you plan to use Windows as your default operating system, we suggest you set Windows as default OS in boot selection screen to avoid pressing the Alt key every time you turn on your Mac. How to quickly reboot into Mac from Windows guide might also interest you.



  1. Marc Thalheim says


  2. SomeGuy says

    It doesn’t help me when I need Bootcamp to install windows to a usb stick. Bootcamp doesn’t work at all on my Mac. So DON’T USE BOOTCAMP WHEN YOU SAY WE DON’T NEED IT IN THE DESCRIPTION!!

  3. AKSJS says

    When I boot holding the alt key I don’t see my usb with Windows 10 on it to choose? All i see are my OS X partition and the recovery hd. I tried booting and the plugging the usb as well as plugging in the usb before booting and both options didn’t work.

    Listen, I really want windows on my mac. I’ve been trying to get windows 7 through bootcamp but it always freezes… something to do with the drivers or some such bullshit.

    Bootcamp won’t let me install anything other than windows 7. Would it be possible if I create two usb’s? One with windows 10 and one with 7. That way I use bootcamp to install windows 7 and right whens it restarts to open windows I can replace the usb’s so it opens windows 10 instead?


  4. Pat39 says

    i followed all the steps but I can’t use the ask-Fi. What do I do? I really just want it so I can use Steam, but so far I’ve found no easy solution to the problem, so I would really appreciate the help.

  5. mahdi says

    I follow this step until chose drive,I chose that drive it was EXFAT but error me windows can’t install in this drive I tried but I can’t.
    how I make it NTFS drive?

  6. Dean says

    Your title is “How To Install Windows 8.1 On Mac WITHOUT BOOT CAMP”, yet it depends on Boot Camp to create the USB installer!!!!! Bogus.

  7. Jose says

    I followed this guide and found it great, except I was still getting issue “Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only….”

    So I followed the steps detailed here:

    After that I restarted the mac, and then followed your guide from step 7 onwards 🙂

  8. nic bailey says

    i have a mac mini late 2014 3ghz fusion drive. have been trying to install windows7 via boot camp with usb sticks . usb formatted on mac with a windows iso created from a windows disc, but also tried windows iso downloaded from microsoft. usb also created on windows xp machine using windows dvd/download and also tried rufus. (rufus creates log of process, ending by saying that stick is bootable) all trials have been run on 3 different sticks. boot camp gets as far as creating partition then boots to black screen; in all cases. windows dvd checked by creating a bootcamp partition on an old mac pro (without problem). just bought an external dvd drive. mac mini sees disc drive and cd on desktop. run boot camp, but it does not see it. so create fat32 partition using disk utility and your very clear instructions. restart hold down option key….black screen. b.t.w. this is mac mini no 2, having sent no 1 back after 2 weeks of earlier frustration, including a visit to a genius bar where all they could tell me was that it was “formatted unusually”. do you know of anyone who has successfully installed windows 7 on a new mac mini with fusion drive?

  9. Iván García says

    For all of those having the “GPT” error, make sure you are using a 64 Bit version of the Windows installer, because 32 bit versions wont work.

  10. Muhammad Farooqi says

    After reading all comments I though i’m in between.. weither I would be able to install it or no.. and when i decided to give it a try I got an error .. 🙁 I can’t install windows because of some thing GTP etc type error.. I could boot into windows installation, and formate but “next” option doesn’t get appear to be clicked…

    ONLY you can’t install windows on bla bla bla..

    Can you guys tell me if it is some “hardware” issue or windows?. Some of guys above do have the same issue..


  11. admin says

    @ Vern
    Did you follow the Step 9 in our guide? Have you installed all necessary Boot camp drivers after installing Windows on Mac?

  12. vern says

    i installed window 8.1 into my apple computer but i can’t get on line first it said i needed to install driver network adapter. which i did and now it says i need to install intel r adapters isn’t these adapters in windows 8.1 what did i do wrong
    can someone please help me. iam begining to wish i never brought an apple computer. first one i ever owned
    thank you very much for any help i can get

  13. Roddy says

    Can you install Windows 8.1, whilst completely wiping out the OS X partition?

    If I ever need to install Mac, simply run Internet recovery. But space on the SSD drive is precious. I plan on run Mac on the Windows side as a VM. Completely backwards I know, but is what I was thinking.

  14. Brooke says

    This was amazing. I can’t tell you how much of an absolute disaster this process has been. How many times I’ve accidentally wiped my hard drive trying to follow directions from different websites for installs via the command line. How many DVDs I went through. How many hours searching online.

    I started trying to get this to work back in September, gave up and moved on to updating to Yosemite and setting up OS X Server. Now that all that’s done and good to go for all my devices, I thought I’d return to this …

    Your instructions worked perfectly. I don’t understand what was different this time as opposed to before, but I was able to format the drive within the Windows install process just fine. Before, it wouldn’t even let me do that (which is how I ended up braving a few different sets of instructions for command line installs).

    At any rate, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  15. Mark Brown says


    If you install manually will this enable Virtualisation on the CPU without having to cold boot into Mac OSX then restart into Windows?


  16. Danny says

    You can change from gpt to Mbr, by clicking on options before, in Disk utility (for the selected partition )

  17. Sai Lin Han says

    Finally successful install Win 8.1. Here a tip. Just follow the Post guide for how to create partition. you can use a copy of win 8.1 on dvd too. When installation step reach (Upgrade or Custom) Just choose custom and delete the partition you create in Mac OS. after that selete new and don’t format it. now you can click next and continue install win 8.1 hope that help you guys.

  18. Arya says

    It keeps repeating that it couldn’t create a partition after i formated it. So it can’t install on this disk. I can’t use bootcamp because my Mac is too old. What can i do ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *