How to Install macOS Catalina on VMware on Windows 10 – PC

Install macOS Catalina on VMware

In this article, I am going to show you how to install macOS Catalina on VMware on Windows. So, Apple announced macOS Catalina in WWDC 2019. If you want to give macOS Catalina a try, then you’re in the right place. We will provide a link to download macOS Catalina ISO or a guide to create your own ISO if you want. So without wasting any more time, let’s get started. If you want Catalina on Virtualbox then follow the article on how to install macOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows.

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

Steps to Install macOS Catalina on VMware on Windows 10

  1. Download the prerequisites
  2. Install the Prerequisites
  3. Unlock VMware to Install macOS Catalina on Windows
  4. Create a New Virtual Machine
    • Edit macOS Catalina VMX File (Optional)
  5. Install macOS Catalina as VM on VMware
  6. Complete Basic macOS Account Settings
  7. Install VMware Tools (Optional)

Step 1: Download the Prerequisites

Before you begin, you should download some files, and you may also download & install the Virtualisation application, which is 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 following application, and if you already have it by any chance then you’re welcome to Skip but make sure then it works properly and updated to the latest version.

  • 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 Catalina 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 GitHub or the direct link above. So now extract the macOS Unlocker V3.0 for VMware Workstation. 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 3.0.3 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 10.15 from version and click Next.

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

Name macOS Catalina VM

Name & Save macOS Catalina VM

#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.

Customize Hardware macOS Catalina

Customize 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 Catalina 10.15.5 (19F101).iso file then click Open. If you don’t have this file then you should download this from Step 1: Download the Prerequisites section.

Browse macOS Catalina ISO

Browse macOS Catalina ISO

#10. After selecting the macOS Catalina ISO, to save all the changes click Close.

Save Changes to macOS Catalina

Save Changes

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

Ready to macOS Catalina VM

Ready to macOS Catalina VM

Edit macOS Catalina VMX File (Optional)

  1. Do these 2 steps only if you can’t boot into macOS or have other issues. 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 Catalina.vmx then open it via Notepad or any third-party text editor of your choice.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of texts and add the following code; then click on File > Save. 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"

Step 5: Install macOS Catalina as VM on VMware

  1. Open VMware and on the macOS Catalina VM window Click Power on this Virtual Machine.
    Power on macOS Catalina VM
  2. Wait for it boot up.
    Booting macOS Catalina 10.15.5
  3. Select English on the language page then click Continue Arrow.

    Select Language and Click Continue Catalina

    Select Language and Click Continue Catalina

  4. Now, you’ll see macOS Utilities Window. From the list, select Disk Utility and click Continue.

    Go to Disk Uitlity Catalina

    Go to Disk Utility

  5. Select VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media then click Erase. Choose the following options and again click Erase.
    • Name: Catalina HD (You can type any name you want)
    • Format: APFS (If you get an error, select Mac OS X Extended Journaled)
    • Scheme: GUID Partition MAP

      Format the VMware VSHDM

      Format the VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media

  6. From Disk Utility Tab, click Quit Disk Utility

    Quit Disk Utility

    Quit Disk Utility

  7. From macOS Utilities, select Install macOS and click Continue.

    Install macOS on the VMDK

    Install macOS

  8. Click Continue on Install macOS Catalina screen.

    Install macOS Catalina

    Install macOS Catalina

  9. Agree to the macOS Catalina License agreement.

    Agree to the macOS Catalina License agreement

    Agree to the macOS Catalina License agreement

  10. Select Catalina HD and click Install.

    Installing macOS On the VMDK 1

    Install macOS On the VMDK

  11. Wait for macOS Catalina will restart 2/3 times to complete the installation itself without you touching anything. It will take roughly 15-20 minutes depending on your system, be patient.

Step 6: Complete Basic macOS Account Settings

Once the installation part complete, the VM will reboot, and after the reboot, you should see macOS Catalina Welcome page.

Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

macOS Catalina Welcome Page

  1. Select your Country and click Continue.
  2. Choose a Keyboard Layout and click Continue.
  3. On the Data & Privacy page, click Continue.
  4. Select Don’t transfer any information now and click Continue.
  5. Click on Set Up Later then Skip.
  6. Click Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  7. Fill out the Full name, Account name, Password, and Hint then click Continue.

    Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

    Create a Catalina Computer Account

  8. Click on Continue on the Express Set Up page.
  9. On the Analytics, click Continue.
  10. Click Continue on Screen Time.
  11. Skip set up Siri
  12. Select any appearance theme and click Continue. You can choose between dark mode or light and Auto mode.
  13. Finally, wait a little while for macOS to finish setting up then it should boot into the macOS Catalina Desktop.

    Install macOS Catalina on VMware using VMDK

    Successfully Installed macOS Catalina on VMware

Step 7: Install VMware Tools (Optional)

So now you should have noticed that the resolution of macOS Catalina can’t be changed and it’s not working as smoothly as you expected. To fix macOS Catalina 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 Catalina

Summary

Basically, in this article, I’ve shown you the step by step pictorial guide on how to install macOS Catalina on VMware on Windows 10 using ISO. After reading and following this guide, you should have done the following:

  1. Download the prerequisites
  2. Install the Prerequisites
  3. Unlock VMware to Install macOS Catalina on Windows
  4. Create a New Virtual Machine
    • Edit macOS Catalina VMX File (Optional)
  5. Install macOS Catalina as VM on VMware
  6. Complete Basic macOS Account Settings
  7. Install VMware Tools (Optional)

Related: New version of macOS is out!. Check out How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows and Install macOS Big Sur on VirtualBox on Windows.

We are ready to keep receiving your feedback about this article, and other posts on wikigain. Your suggestion and feedback are highly appreciated.

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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.

20 Comments

  1. blankAmbuj Reply

    After selecting the hard drive to install tha os it stucks everytime and after some time whole laptop screen goes blank and cant do anything aprat from forcing window off by pressing and holding the power button. What to it is not installing everytime same thing happens. Screen freezes and later goes blank the whole screen blank.

  2. blankstarcy Reply

    After installing, I still cannot boot the system. it always stuck on apple logo when progress bar full. I can use mouse and keyboard but nothing happens…
    By the way, could someone explain what those fields mean in vmx file? I cannot edit that file because it will be rewritten every time I start the VM…

  3. blankFrank Biene Reply

    It didn’t work for me, the last entry in the “vmware.log” file is:”2020-08-17T14:20:05.516+02:00| vmx| I005: Vix: [guestCommands.c:1942]: Error VIX_E_TOOLS_NOT_RUNNING in VMAutomationTranslateGuestRpcError(): VMware Tools are not running in the guest” and then the VM is frozen.

  4. blankMichael Reply

    is it possible to do on amd processor , because when i tried booting up it give me an information CPU has been disabled.

  5. blankXander Reply

    When I change the file system to Windows 10 x64 I get a message pop up “The CPU has been disabled by the host. Please shutdown or restart the machine.”

  6. blankwave Reply

    Step 5 is not clear.
    “#5. Now click on Options tab then from Guest operating system section select Microsoft Windows and make sure Windows 10 x64 is selected in the Version drop-down. Finally, Click OK to save changes. ”

    Yet, the picture states to change it back to MacOS. Changed it to MacOS, working fine now.

    Thanks

  7. blankMichael Reply

    I was anxious to test this out and take a peek, but when I try to attach the harddrive, I get an incompatibility error. I was using V.14, so I upgraded it to V.15 but still get the error. Any thoughts?

    Error:
    The selected virtual disk is incompatible with this Workstation 14.x virtual machine. Adding this disk would make this virtual machine incompatible with older VMware products.

    Interesting, the same error is obtained whether using v.14 or v.15….. It won’t allow the drive to be saved.

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