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.
Table of Contents
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
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).
1-c. Under Memory size, we want to increase the available memory to at least 8GB of RAM. Click Next
1-d. ‘Hard disk,’ we will leave the default ‘Create a virtual hard disk now’ and click ‘Create.’
1-e. The ‘hard disk file type’ will also remain with the default VHD (Virtual Hard Disk). Click Next.
1-f. ‘Storage on physical hard disk’ will be Dynamically allocated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 available. If 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.
3-b. We will be prompted to ‘Select start-up disk,’ click on the folder icon to the right
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.’
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.’
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.
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.
3-g. In the Disk Utility window, select the VBOX HARDDISK option on the left and the ERASE icon at the top.
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.
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.
3-j. You will be prompted twice for the terms of the software license agreement. To proceed, click on ‘Agree’ for both.
3-k. We will select a drive, which should be the only drive available, and click on Continue.
3-l. Now the macOS Big Sur is going to copy over and install. This process will take 15-30m to complete.
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.
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.
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.
3-p. For Terms and Conditions, you will be prompted twice. Select ‘Agree’ both times to proceed.
3-q. At the Create a Computer Account window, enter a Name and password for your user profile and click on Continue.
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.
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.
Any questions? Check out our forum some posted fixes and documentation