In this guide, we will walk you through all the steps to install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox Windows. We will show you each step with screenshots and have a video to walk you through visually. Because there may be issues with system compatibility with installations like this, check out our forum. The new GEEKrar forum is a great place to post questions or find fixed to frequently occurring issues. 

What is macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur is the 17th release of the Mac operating system for Macintosh computers and is the successor to macOS Catalina. The OS was officially released to the public on November 12, 2020, and is available for a series of Mac computers and can also be installed virtually, like we are in this guide.

What you need for this installation
– Windows 10
– 8 GB RAM
– 60 GB of free disk space
– VirtualBox Windows and Expansion Pack (found here)
– macOS Big Sur ISO image file (found here)
– A command file (download here)

Please Note: All image files are created only for educational purposes. Any misuse of any files is not our responsibility.

How to Install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox Windows

Step 1 – Creating a Virtual Machine

To begin, we need to install VirtualBox Windows. If you have done already, this article will walk you through the full process. Once VirtualBox is up and running, we want to ensure that you have your command file and Big Sur ISO file handy. We will need them to proceed.

1-a. In the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager, like the blue ‘New’ icon at the top

Create new VM for install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox Windows

1-b. In the first window, we will be naming and identifying the type of virtual machine we’re creating. In the Name field, type in ‘BigSur.’ Machine Folder field can remain as the default unless you have a reason to change it. The Type will be Mac OS X. Version will be ‘macOS 10.13 High Sierra (64-bit). 

Label virtual machine

1-c. Under Memory size, we want to increase the available memory to at least 8GB of RAM. Click Next

Provide at least 8GB of RAM or 50% of available

1-d. ‘Hard disk,’ we will leave the default ‘Create a virtual hard disk now’ and click ‘Create.’

Hard disk

1-e. The ‘hard disk file type’ will also remain with the default VHD (Virtual Hard Disk). Click Next.

Hard disk file type

1-f. ‘Storage on physical hard disk’ will be Dynamically allocated.

Storage on physical disk

1-g. In ‘File location and size,’ we’re leaving the default folder path, but below in the disk size, we want to increase it to at least 60GB. I have tried 40GB and 50GB with many issues. So 60 or greater is strongly suggested. Once complete, click ‘Create’ and finish the first step.

65GB is minimum recommend space

Step 2 – Modifying VirtualBox with Command File

Now that the new VirtualBox is created, we need to run a few commands to modify it and proceed with running macOS Big Sur. If you haven’t downloaded the command file text, click here to get it. 

2-a. Open the text file, go to the ‘Edit’ menu at the top, and then down to ‘Replace…” Here we want to type “VBoxNAME” in the ‘Find what’ field. In the ‘Replace with’ field, type in the name you called the VirtualBox (step2). Click the ‘Replace all’ button, and this should convert all items with the new file name.

Before replacement of VBoxNAME
After replacement

2-b. Now head over the command prompt (Start, type ‘cmd’ hit enter), paste the first line, and hit enter. (run command prompt as administrator)

cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\"

2-c. This command will shift us to the VirtualBox windows directory, and we will be ready for the next commands.

VirtualBox windows directory

2-d. Before proceeding, verify that you are in the above directory. If you are not there, you must navigate there now before proceeding.

Highlight and copy the next six lines, paste them in the command window, and hit enter.

copy commands

2-e. Once done, we can close out all the windows and start to load macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox Windows.

Step 3 – Setup for install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox Windows

During this step, we will need to have the macOS Big Sur ISO file availableIf you haven’t already downloaded it, click here to get it. 

3-a. First, open VirtualBox and select the newly created install macOS Big Sur virtual machine on the left, then click the ‘Start’ button at the top.

Start macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox image

3-b. We will be prompted to ‘Select start-up disk,’ click on the folder icon to the right 

Select folder icon

3-c. At the ‘Optical Disk Selector,’ click the ‘Add’ icon, and navigate to the folder where you have the Big Sur ISO file downloaded. Once selected, click on ‘Open’ and back at the window with the Big Sur ISO selected, click on ‘Choose.’

click the Add button

3-d. Back at the ‘Select start-up disk window, we should now have the BigSur ISO populated in the field, and we are ready to click ‘Start.’

select image, click start

3-e. The macOS Big Sur operating system will begin to load. This step may take a few minutes, but a prompt will pop up to select a language to continue when it’s done. 

Select your language

3-f. We now want to prep the drive for installation. We will format the drive to allow macOS Big Sur to be installed. Click on ‘Disk Utility,’ then continue.

Select disk utility

3-g. In the Disk Utility window, select the VBOX HARDDISK option on the left and the ERASE icon at the top. 

select your virtual drive and erase

3-h. In the Name field, give the drive a label, leave the other options as default, and click Erase. This will format the drive for macOS. When the formatting is complete, click on ‘Done,’ and you can close out of the Disk Utility window.

Provide name for drive

3-i. Now we are ready to start installing macOS Big Sur. Click on the option that says ‘Install macOS’ and click on the Continue button.

Start install macOS for macOS Big Sur

3-j. You will be prompted twice for the terms of the software license agreement. To proceed, click on ‘Agree’ for both.

software license

3-k. We will select a drive, which should be the only drive available, and click on Continue.

select drive and continue

3-l. Now the macOS Big Sur is going to copy over and install. This process will take 15-30m to complete.

installation will begin

3-m. After the files have been copied over, we need to wrap up the installation with some customization details. Select Your Country or Region will prompt you to select your location, then click Continue.

select your region

3-n. Under the Written and Spoken Languages, you can leave the default settings. If you want to change these, you can click the customize option at the bottom left, or click on Continue.

select your preferences

3-o. For Accessibility, Data & Privacy, and Migration Assistant options, you can click on Continue.

At the Sign In with Your Apple ID, select the option ‘Set Up Later’ at the bottom left and ‘Skip’ when prompted.

skip the sign-in option

3-p. For Terms and Conditions, you will be prompted twice. Select ‘Agree’ both times to proceed.

software agreement

3-q. At the Create a Computer Account window, enter a Name and password for your user profile and click on Continue.

Create a user account

3-r. Next, for Express Setup, Analytics, and Screen Time, we can click Continue. Your virtual machine will complete its setup and reboot. After starting, a login screen will appear—type in the password you have assigned when creating the user profile. 

sign in with newly created account

3-s. Lastly, a prompt for a Feedback Assistant will appear. You can either continue with it or close it out.

Now, you will see the macOS Big Sur desktop for the first time. The installation is complete! You can begin using the desktop and install any applications you’d like.

installation complete

Any questions? Check out our forum some posted fixes and documentation

Visual Step by Step Guide – How to Install macOS Big Sur in VirtualBox Windows 2021

42 Comments

  1. Great, I can now run BigSur and run my mac apps.
    I have several doubts, I will detail with numbers for better understanding:
    1 -It still has a lower performance than expected, could this parameter “cpu-profile” be the one that causes it? (I still figure as cpu unknow in details of big suro)
    2- I also figure 3mb of video card, and I assigned 64mb, is there another way to improve it?
    3- I have tried to assign more cores to it, but then it does not start, any tips to try to improve performance?

    • hey, glad its up and running…
      1. yes, there’s many variation to try but Intel Core i7-5600U has helped most users. I will look up the list and add it.
      2. for video card memory, its recommend maxing out the available memory in the VM manager settings for the specified machine.
      3. i dont know the answer. I have also had some random issues with Big Sur that i havent been able to get around. Its a little tricky running VMs smoothly and seems to be a lot of trial and error. As of right now, the smoothest installation for macOS has been High Sierra.

  2. Wow thankyou it works! I am amazed. Mac OS BigSur runs since some days on my Surface Book now 🤩 A great Blog from you!
    But I have two questions:
    1. Is that normally, that the Mac is very slow and needs much time to open Apps ore the Finder? I installed MacOS because of Xcode. It’s also running now but extremely slow…. I already install the guest Tool like here:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=e_8exf1wdFQ

    but the performance is not much more better… (My Laptop only has 8 GB RAM so my virtual iMac only has 4GB RAM)

    2. I would like to add now my personal Apple ID (from my iPhone) (I could use it to download Xcode from the App Store, but IMessage, Face Time, ICloud and so on are locked 😟)
    I also tried the „Clover Configurator“ and „Hackintool“, to change Serialnumber and so on, but when I mount the EFI-Partition, the Partition is an empty Folder. So I cannot use the confic.plist to change the device-data. Can you help me for this problem? I already tried very much Tutorials but all of them use the file confic.plist. It would be very very nice, if you are able to help me…

    • Hey, i am happy you found the guide useful. for the first question, i have had similar slow issues with some apps, and darwin unfortunately didnt help. I’m trying to find a better solution to help speed things up. I’ll keep you posted. for 2. have your tried spaghetti? some users here have had success, but you will manually need to modify parameters like board id and s/n. Here’s the url: https://github.com/myspaghetti/macos-virtualbox

  3. I cannot get past #[EBILOG:EXITBS:START] I have tried C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage modifyvm “BigSur” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K” and that does not resolve the issue. What am I doing wrong?

  4. Will this work on a Ryzen 5 5600x machine with 32 gigs of ram and an 8 gig rx 580 video card?

    • I have notice issues with AMD chips in general. Those specs, however, *should* be well more than enough to run it.

  5. Hi, mine goes all good till the installation process itself, it say 14 minutes remaining, then after a while jumps the ¨ guru meditation ¨ of virtual box and disrupt the process…some solution to this ?

    • solved, seems to be that mac has to reboot several times during the installation process and that causes virtual box to crash reporting the irrecoverable error ¨ guru meditation ¨ but if you simply restart, the machine will continue with the installation to the end.

      great, I ended up setting my Bigsur virtual machine but it seems not to have 3D acceleration for it is extremely lagging.

      do you know a way to speed it up ? besides, audio output and input does not work either, nor the shared windows bluetooth.

      looking for your answers.

      • thanks for letting me know, how many reboots did you have to preform?
        to speed things up, some users are trying the Darwin.ISO for VMware. I haven’t had much success personally, but others have.

    • Hey Tony, try running this line in the command prompted (now added to Step 2)
      VBoxManage modifyvm “VBOXName ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”

        • There is a series of *experimental* entries that can be used. You have to match up your processor as best as you can. here are some examples…
          VBoxManage modifyvm “” –cpu-profile “Intel Xeon X5482 3.20GHz”
          VBoxManage modifyvm “
          ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-2635QM”
          VBoxManage modifyvm “
          ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-3960X”
          VBoxManage modifyvm “
          ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i5-3570”
          VBoxManage modifyvm “
          ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-5600U”
          VBoxManage modifyvm “
          ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”

          • Emiliano

            “Intel Core i7-5600U” works fine for me, I managed to finish the installation.

  6. Eduardo Mera Reply

    I installed Bigsur without problem. Now I want to create my apple ID, password and an account in iCloud, what should I do? thanks and have a great day…

    • i would only create the apple id if you plan to use iCloud. Otherwise I wouldn’t recommend using it.

      • Eduardo Mera Reply

        Thanks for your quick answer Ali. I have installed Mojave, Catalina and BigSur and they work perfectly,
        but, I need to create the iCloud account, to receive a remote file transfer (TeamViewer), which a user has in their cloud (iCloud), to mine, any suggestion I would appreciate…

          • Eduardo Mera

            Thanks so much, Ali, I continue treating…

  7. Akash Paul Reply

    Admin pleased add this line in the terminal command if it showing : #[EBILOG:EXITBS:START] 2021-02-26T11:43:10
    VBoxManage modifyvm “VBOXName ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”

  8. Rane Gillian Villanueva Reply

    Step 3-d fails on me. After selecting the ISO and clicking start.
    It was stuck on this command:
    #[EBILOG:EXITBS:START] 2021-02-26T11:43:10

    • Hey, when you were prepping your machine did you run all the commands in the command prompt as administrator? (step 2)
      This usually happens when the lines are not entered incorrectly. A couple of things, make sure you are running the command prompt as administrator. Then ensure all items with “VBoxNAME” have been switched to the name of your virtual box.

    • I was having the same problem and what fixed the problem for me is when editing the parameters for the virtual machine I added this command line.

      VBoxManage modifyvm “virtual name” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”

      • I’m having the same issue, but when I enter that it says “VBoxManage.exe: error: Unknown option: -cpu-profile”
        Any idea how to solve this or if I did something wrong?

          • a double dash at cpu like this… VBoxManage modifyvm “MacOS Big Sur” –-cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”

    • I have the same system halts than you, also with a similar system like yours (same AMD Ryzen CPU and 16GB memory).
      Have you found a solution?

      • Hey GUys try running this line in the command prompted (now added to Step 2)
        VBoxManage modifyvm “VBOXName ” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”

        • look at this.
          C:\WINDOWS\system32>cd “C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\”

          C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage modifyvm “BigSur” –cpu-profile “Intel Core i7-6700K”
          VBoxManage.exe: error: The machine is not mutable (state is Saved)
          VBoxManage.exe: error: Details: code VBOX_E_INVALID_VM_STATE (0x80bb0002), component SessionMachine, interface IMachine, callee IUnknown
          VBoxManage.exe: error: Context: “COMSETTER(CPUProfile)(Bstr(ValueUnion.psz).raw())” at line 874 of file VBoxManageModifyVM.cpp

          • Emiliano

            You need to start the virtual machine, await to saved state is loaded, and then go to the close button, and select power off (NOT SAVE STATE THIS TIME) for this purpose, then you can run the sentence that previously give the error

  9. Before Step 3-e the VM showed a console for a long time. Tried rebooting VM with no luck. In another post, I saw that you must select USB 3 instead of the default USB 2 in the VM setup. After that, it booted to the “Language” screen of 3e. Thanks for the writeup

    • yes, I believe you are correct. I didn’t do it, but I have seen a lot of people say USB 3 is required. I think I will add this to the post, could be very helpful to others. thanks!

  10. Maybe it should be mentioned under point 2-b that the command line should be started with administrator rights.

    • Were you able to add the ISO image? I’ve numbered the steps so you can point out where you are stuck

Write A Comment