How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows – PC

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

In this article, I am going to show you how to install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows. So, Apple announced its latest and greatest operating systems in WWDC 2020. If you want to give macOS Big Sur Beta a try, then you’re in the right place.

macOS Big Sur is Currently in Beta, and obviously, it’s baggy. When a new release/version comes out then depending on how many vital fixes it has, I may update the ISO file linked below. Although you can make your own ISO. I will create a step by step guide on how to create your own macOS Catalina ISO and link it below. So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump into it.

Required: If you haven’t already then you should enable Virtualization Technology (aka Intel VT or AMD-V).

Steps to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows

  • Download the prerequisites
  • Install the Prerequisites
  • Unlock VMware to Install macOS Big Sur
  • Create a New Virtual Machine
  • Edit macOS Big Sur VMX File
  • Start macOS Big Sur Virtual Machine
  • Complete Basic macOS Account Settings
  • Install VMware Tools (Optional)

Step 1: Download the Prerequisites

To begin with, you should download some files, and you may also download & install some applications, which are required later on in this guide. But if you have done any of the followings already, then you may skip it. Here is the list:

Step 2: Install the Prerequisites

Now install the VMware Workstation Pro applications, and if you already have it by any chance then you’re welcome to Skip but make sure then it works properly, and it’s compatible.

  • Install VMware Workstation Pro 15.5.x or VMware Player 15.5.x

After downloading the VMware Workstation pro/player, run the setup and follow the prompt leaving all the options as default.

Step 3: Unlock VMware to Install macOS Big Sur on Windows

Firstly make sure VMware Workstation application is closed completely otherwise the VMware unlocker won’t work. You can do this by Clicking on File Tab > Exit.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware - PC

Exit VMware Workstation

You should have downloaded macOS Unlocker V3 for VMware from GitHub or the direct link. Extract the macOS Unlocker V3.0. Right-click on win-install.cmd and select Run as Administrator.

Note: You may always uninstall the previous version of the Unlocker before using a new release. Failure to do this could render VMware unusable. – David Parsons

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Run win-install.cmd As Administrator

How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware

Unlocker 3.0.2 for VMware Workstation

Step 4: Create a New Virtual Machine

#1. Open VMware and click on Create a New Virtual Machine (Ctrl+N) then select Typical (Recommended) and click Next.

#2. Now select I will install the operating system later and click Next. Choose Apple Mac OS X from operating system list then select macOS 10.16 from version drop-down list and click Next.

#3. Name the virtual machine as you prefer like macOS Big Sur Beta. Click Browse then choose a location to save virtual machine files and click Next, or you may let it as default.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Name and Save macOS Big Sur Beta

#4. Specify the disk size of 120 GB or more than 50 GB. Then select Store virtual disk as a single file and click Next.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Specify Disk Capacity

#5. On Ready to Create Virtual Machine, Click Customize Hardware.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Customize macOS Big Sur Hardware

#6. Increase the Memory from 4 GB to 8 GB or higher for better performance.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Increase RAM

#7. Select Processor menu then increase the CPU processor core from 2 cores to or Higher cores for better performance.

Note: If you don’t have enough resources then you may not increase the Memory and Processor since the minimum requirement is 4 GB Memory and 2 Cores of Processor.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Increase Number of Processors

#8. Select New CD/DVD (SATA) from the menu then click Use ISO image file: and click Browse.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Click Browse

#9. Locate the macOS Big Sur Beta.iso file then click Open. If you don’t have this file then you should download this from Step 1: Download the Prerequisites section.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Select macOS Big Sur Beta ISO

#10. After selecting the macOS Big Sur ISO to save all the changes click Close.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Save Change by Clicking Close

#11. Finally on the New Virtual Machine Wizard Window, Click Finish.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Ready to Create Virtual Machine

Step 5: Edit macOS Big Sur VMX File

#1. Navigate to the virtual machine folder which you select in step #4.3 of this guide. If you didn’t specify a new location, then the default location is in Document > Virtual Machine. Right-click on macOS Big Sur Beta.vmx then open it via Notepad or any third-party text editor of your choice.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Open macOS Big Sur Beta VMX with NotePad

#2. Scroll down to the bottom of texts and add the following code; then click on FileSave. After that, you may close it as you don’t need it anymore.

smbios.reflectHost = "TRUE"
hw.model = "MacBookPro14,3"
board-id = "Mac-551B86E5744E2388"
smc.version = "0"
How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Save the macOS Big Sur Beta VMX File

Step 6: Start macOS Big Sur Virtual Machine

#1. Open VMware and on the macOS Big Sur VM window Click Power on this Virtual Machine.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Start macOS Big Sur VM

#2. Wait for it boot up.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Wait for Boot Up

#3. Select English on the language page then click on Next Arrow icon.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Select English Language

#4. Select Disk Utility and click Continue.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Go to Disk Utility

#5. Select VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media then click Erase.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Erase VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media

#6. For Name, type disk macOS Big Sur Beta then select APFS from Format drop-down list and click Erase.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Name and Select Format Type

#7. Click Done to close the dialog box.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Close the Dialog Box

#8. From Disk Utility Tab, click Quit Disk Utility.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Close Disk Utility

#9. Select Install macOS and click Continue.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Select Install macOS

#10. Click Continue.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Continue macOS Installation

#11. You have to Agree to the terms of the software license agreement.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Agree to the terms of the software license agreement

#12. Select the available disk then click Install.

NOTE: If you get the Operation Couldn’t be Completed BiErrorDomain Error 3 then follow this step by step guide to Fix the Operation Couldn’t be Completed BiErrorDomain Error 3.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows - PC

Select Install Location

#13. Now, macOS Big Sur will restart 2/3 times to complete the installation itself without you touching anything. It will take roughly 15-30 minutes depending on your system, be patient.

Step 7: Complete Basic macOS Account Settings

  1. Select your Country and click Continue.
  2. Choose a Keyboard Layout and click Continue. If you don’t agree with preset options then you customize it. Just click Customize Settings.
  3. You can turn on the Accessibility features now with macOS Big Sur. You’ve several options with accessibility like vision, motor, hearing, and cognitive. If you don’t want to set up right now just click Not Now button to skip them.
  4. Read Data & Privacy and click Continue.
  5. On the Migration Assistant page, click the Not Now button to continue.
  6. Click on Set Up Later then Don’t Sign In. You can add your Apple ID later. IMPORTANT: Don’t sign in with your Apple ID since some people have mentioned in the comments section that they have issues with it.
  7. Click Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  8. Fill out the Full name,  Account name, Password, and Hint then click Continue.
  9. If you want to customize Express Set Up, you can click on Customize Settings otherwise click on Continue.
  10. On the Analytics page click Continue.
  11. On-Screen Time, click Set up Later.
  12. Select an appearance theme and click Continue. Here you choose your dark mode if you want.
  13. Finally, wait a little while for macOS to finish setting up then it should boot into the macOS Big Sur Desktop

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Step 8: Install VMware Tools (Optional)

So now you should have noticed that the resolution of macOS Big Sur can’t be changed and it’s not working as smoothly as you expected. To fix macOS Big Sur Resolution on VMware or Make it more responsive, you need to install something called VMware Tools. It’s quite easy and straightforward to work with any system. So to do that we have created a comprehensive guide. Please click the link below and follow the guide Step by step.

See this guide: How to install VMware Tools on macOS Big Sur

Conclusion

That’s all on the step by step pictorial guide on how to install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows PC. We covered the following:

  • Download the prerequisites
  • Install the Prerequisites
  • Unlock VMware to Install macOS Big Sur
  • Create a New Virtual Machine
  • Edit macOS Big Sur VMX File
  • Start macOS Big Sur Virtual Machine
  • Complete Basic macOS Account Settings
  • Install VMware Tools (Optional)

If I left out something and didn’t mention please let me know by commenting down below this post. Please share your feedback with us if that above guide worked for you. It would help if you also share some of your system information through the comments section below. We have lots of new posts related to macOS Big Sur so stay up to date with us.

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I am the CEO of wikigain.com and a network instructor. Here is my online pictorial notebook. I would like to write and share my experience through this website for computer enthusiasts, how to guides and technology geeks.

90 Comments

  1. blankJulinaB Reply

    I had a running Catalina system [VMWare ver 15.5.1] and installed Bir Sur on a new virtual disk (migrated across the settings from the origonal disk) and am booting via Clover. I can login with my Apple ID to iCloud but not tried either Messages or Facetime yet, and all is good. Except clicking on the menu bar at “control center”, “WiFi”, “Account” or “Time” causes me to be logged out.

      1. blankSprechen Sie

        Beta 3 is now out. I can no longer login to my Beta 2 instance. It automatically logs me out when I log on to it.

    1. blankJulinaB Reply

      I had an issue when trying to shrink my drive. I used terminal to run “cat /dev/zero > bigfile” to zero out the unused disk space. When the command terminated (errored out as disk was full) the system logged me out. Every time I tried to log in it tried to restart terminal and logged me out. It was not disk space as I deleted ‘bigfile’ havinmg booted into my old Catalina drive. It seems that when commands error out you get looged out. So if you are getting logged out every 10 minutes then I guess there is something runing every 10 minutes in the background that errors out, but have no ideas what it might be. Maybe something checking email? Think the default is 5 mins.

      BTW if you want to zero the unused space on the disk before compacting the virtual drive it seems you can’t afford to have a command shell erroring out in terminal …… a solution is to SSH in (enable it in sharing) and run the command shell that way. When it errors out you can simply delete the file, exit, shutdown from the gui and compact the disk.

  2. blankTim H Reply

    On my AMD system with a Ryzen 7 3700X I get an error upon booting the VM saying that the guest operating system has disabled the CPU Running all the latest software in this article on windows 10 1909

      1. blankTim H

        Yes virtualization is enabled I’ve run multiple other VM”s with no issues mac os is refusing to boot with an AMD CPU.

      1. blankmxx

        Is this like a modified version of the .iso? Because I didn’t use the .iso from the article because Mediafire downloads super slowly (around 80KB/s) so I used an iso I found somewhere else. The iso you provided would take me 2 days to download (I have a 100mbit connection so the problem is with Mediafire). I can try with that one but it will take at least 2 days to download unless you happened to have the file on some other cloud storage provider. That’d be really amazing.
        I appreciate you even writing this guide in the first place!

      2. blankFaiz Post author

        No mate, I really don’t have the skills to modify macOS and inject some kind of virus init (why would I do that? lol). All I did was, I downloaded the latest version of macOS Big Sur from Apple then used this guide: How to Create macOS Big Sur ISO Image File and uploaded that to Mediafire.

        I will upload it to OneDrive soon and link it to the article, but my I can download around 12MB/s(my max internet speed) from Mediafire right now.

      3. blankFaiz Post author

        Btw, I have updated the article’s download section and included the new version macOS Big Sur Beta (Beta 2).

      4. blankmxx

        Sorry for the confusion, I didn’t mean that you modified it to inject some sort of virus, I just thought you needed to change something so it runs on Windows. I didn’t want to accuse you of anything.
        Mediafire is still downloading at 100KB/s for some reason though 🙁

      5. blankmxx

        I just tried downloading it using Opera VPN and now it’s downloading with 10MB/s so it’s all good now. I’ll let you know if it works on AMD when it’s finished downloading

      6. blankMxx

        I just tried it and when I try to start the virtual machine it shows the Apple Logo and then a message from VMware pops up saying “The CPU has been disabled by the guest operating system. Power off or reset the virtual machine.”
        I’ll see if I can find a solution

      7. blankMukhtar Jafari

        Hi Mxx,
        That’s because Virtualization Technology is not enabled on your host machine. Shut down your main system and go to BIOS. Find Virtualization Technology (VTx/VTd)and enable it.

      8. blankMxx

        Hi, virtualization was already enabled. I assume it does not boot because I have an AMD processor. I have found some solutions on the internet about masking the CPU in VMware but I have not gotten it to work.

      9. blankFaiz Post author

        Please let me know if you found the solution so I can update the article and help people with AMD CPUs.

      10. blankMxx

        Hi Faiz, I just tested this and I still can’t get it to work. The .vmx file now has this at the bottom:

        smbios.reflectHost = “TRUE”
        hw.model = “MacBookPro14,3”
        board-id = “Mac-551B86E5744E2388”
        smc.version = “0”
        cpuid.1.eax = “0000:0000:0000:0001:0000:0110:1010:0101”

        But I still get the same issue. I’m a little short on time right now, but I’ll try on some other PCs soon, I have another one with a newer AMD processor and another one with an older Intel one. I’ll keep you updated. Thanks for your time so far!

      11. blankFaiz Post author

        Alternatively, you can use these also in the vmx:

        smbios.reflectHost = "TRUE"
        hw.model = "MacBookPro15,3"
        board-id = "Mac-1E7E29ADo135F9BC"
        smbios.reflectHost = "TRUE"
        hw.model = "iMac19,1"
        board-id = "Mac-AA95B1DDAB278B95"
      12. blankmxx

        I tried with the new hw models and board ids you provided and sadly no luck so far. I still don’t have a lot of time so I couldn’t yet test on another AMD or an intel system

      13. blankFaiz Post author

        Thanks for the update. Please let me know if you found a solution. I’ll see if I can get an AMD system from friends and test it out.

  3. blankMoeen Reply

    Thanks for step-by-step tutorial that works perfectly, my biggest issue is that when I try to open the control center or anything from top right corner of my screen the screen freeze and goes black, then want to login again, all the applications closed and reopened after. just like respring in iOS. do you have any idea what’s wrong?

      1. blankMoeen

        Thanks for your reply, the problem is that it grows and I can’t even login after a few times.
        When I login it tries to load the top menu, it doesn’t show up and the screen freezes, suddenly I’m pushed to login screen again.

      2. blankFaiz Post author

        Yes, It is like that for everyone. I will update the article as soon as a new version of macOS comes out.

  4. blankWikiUser Reply

    Does this work on Unlocker 3.0.2 in VMware Workstation 15.1.0? After installing the operating system, I get stuck on the Apple logo screen.

    1. blankWikiUser Reply

      It’s really slow although I gave my virtual machine 8 gigs of ram and 4 processors.

      Here’s my system spec:
      Intel i7-8550U CPU @ 1.80GHz
      16 gigs of ram
      Running Windows May 2004 update 64-bit

    2. blankFaiz Post author Reply

      I haven’t tested that but it works with 15.5.2. Upgrade your VMware to the latest version then try again and see how you go.

  5. blankGASTON Antoine Reply

    Hello, I’m French but I don’t speak a treacherous word of English. So I set up my virtual machine like this: region and languages ​​France and French and I entered my Apple ID and password. as soon as I open my session it closes 5 seconds after opening it.

    1. blankFaiz Post author Reply

      In the meantime, please don’t sign in with your Apple ID. Apple doesn’t like macOS to be run on VMs so they block it as soon as you sign in with your apple id.

  6. blankbenov Reply

    Signing with Apple ID in XCode to pulish an app also leading to signout.
    Can’t be used for development this way.

      1. blankbenov

        After I install the macOS. I’ve tryed upgrading working Cataling with my Apple ID signed in, and intsalling fresh Big Sur. When I install fresh macOS Big Sur it is working until I sign in with my Apple ID.

      2. blankMukhtar Jafari

        Some people have these issues and we’ve not found the solution. We’ll let you guys know once we find a solution.
        Thanks for raising your problem.

      3. blankMukhtar Jafari

        Some people have this issues and we’ve not found the solution. We’ll let you guys know once we find a solution.
        Thanks for raising your problem.

  7. blankMichael Franchino Reply

    Followed this 2x.
    First time I used my normal icloud account, and when I get the opportunity to try and sign on, it would go for about 15 seconds, flash and then back to the login screen.
    Second time, i create a brand new icloud account. I was able to login, do stuff. I wanted to try to change the resolution, but it wouldn’t let me. I also wanted to load the vmware tools, it wouldn’t give up the CD/DVD drive. I rebooted the image normally and now when I signon it signs on, see the finder but then in about 3 seconds goes back to the signon screen.. Any ideas?

    1. blankFaiz Orz Post author Reply

      Skip signing into your iCloud account since Apple doesn’t like macOS on VMware(Especially on Windows). When the installation finished make sure to eject or disconnected the macOS Big Sur ISO from the VM.

      For VMware tools after ejecting/disconnecting macOS Big Sur ISO follow this guide: How to install VMware Tools on macOS Big Sur.

      P.S: Use the default VMware tools provided by VMware (Step 1).

    2. blankAdam Stepansky Reply

      Having the same issue as Michael F. Happens with or without sign into iCloud. Have tried upgrades and fresh installs. With a valid serial, at least with Catalina, this was not an issue. Seems to be some sort of graphics rendering crash from what I can tell.

  8. blankTobias Reply

    Hi, im always getting the error message: Error while powering on: Failed to power on ‘E:\VirtualPCs\macOS_BigSur\macOS BigSur.vmx’. What am i doing wrong? All other VMS fail to start as well, when installing the unlocker in the newest version?!

  9. blankAdam Stepansky Reply

    Same issue with mouse and keyboard. Any chance of a vmdk upload? Would be very much appreciated. I’m using version 15.

  10. blankJordan van Bergen Reply

    It’s working, see: https://i.imgur.com/bFxq5lL.png

    2 things for everyone to know:

    – Use unlocker version 3.03 and NOT v3.02 (with 3.02 it won’t work)
    – Use these quotes with smc.version = “0” as smc.version = “0” didn’t work for me

    After these 2 enhancements it’s working nicely with VMWare player 15.5.6 build-16341506

    1. blankMukhtar Jafari Reply

      Did you install win-install.cmd? When you run this as administrator your VMware should be quit and exit. It should not be opened otherwise, you won’t see Mac OS X on the list.

      1. blankJordan van Bergen

        Yes, but you provide 3.02 as well. With this unlocker it will fail. You need at least 3.03 if you have latest vmware player.

      2. blankMukhtar Jafari

        We’ve already provided the latest unlocker file on our Download section of this guide. Please download all the necessary files before you begin the installation.

      1. blankJordan van Bergen

        And if you copy paste what’s on this page:

        smbios.reflectHost = “TRUE”
        hw.model = “MacBookPro14,3”
        board-id = “Mac-551B86E5744E2388”
        smc.version = “0”

        It won’t work as the last line should be:
        smc.version = “0”

        So other quotes.

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