Out of all the Apple operating systems, macOS High Sierra is the most manageable and straightforward macOS installation on VirtualBox. Using the VMDK formatted file, we are taking a very intentional path to run the operating system in a virtualization environment.
Like our other guides, we will try to provide simple steps to install macOS High Sierra on VirtualBox on Windows PC. We’ve included screenshots for all the steps to help you through the steps outlined below and have included a detailed video to lead you through the installation visually. You will find the link at the bottom of the page.
What is VirtualBox?
VirtualBox, created by Oracle, is a comprehensive virtual machine app similar to VMware Workstation but packed with the essentials and provided free. This virtual machine application forms a sandboxed setting that can install another operating system separately from the existing operating system. This application makes the virtualization process relatively easy. While installing macOS High Sierra, we will need to make some small modifications to ensure we get the maximum use and the ability to use all its features.
macOS High Sierra – Highlights and Features
Similar to Mojave, Apple builds on a solid platform to advance itself to include more practical features. These new features allow users to work more efficiently, manage their time better, and stay on task. Here are just a few of the highlighted features.
- Photos app started as a tool to maintain your photo library and sync pictures across devices through the cloud. It’s now a powerful editing software. There is a persistent sidebar that shows your library, Memories, Live Photos, and albums.
- Refined organization – here’s a new filtering drop-down in the list view, so you can drag-and-drop photos into an album or even to the desktop to export it.
- Block auto-playing videos – set preferences for individual websites or block all autoplay altogether.
- Automatic Reader mode – Set Safari to Reader mode blank-out the page and show just article content.
- Blocks adverts – Set preferences for individual websites or a block all autoplay altogether.
- Split-screen – Split View in Mail and to reply to an email while searching through your inbox.
- Top Hits- Search much more accurately and how recently you’ve read a message
- Highlighted search words – Easily locate a word in the results.
- Natural voice – more natural voices similar iOS 11.
- Get a personalized playlist and ask it to play something based on a mood.
- Improved family sharing – Everyone can use up storage from the same storage plan. Up to 200GB of iCloud storage at $2.99 per or 2TB is $9.99 a month
- Improved file sharing – iCloud Drive enables collaboration.
- Capture a Live Photo – capture a Live Photo using the other person’s camera and mic on their Mac or iOS device. Users are notified whenever a Live Photo is taken. Simply look for the new shutter button
Install macOS High Sierra on VirtualBox
Please Note: All images and files are created only for educational purposes. Any misuse of any files is not our responsibility.
What you need for this installation:
– 6 GB RAM (recommend 8 GB)
– 25 GB HDD (recommend 50 GB)
– At least a dual-core CPU (recommend Quad Core CPU)
– VirtualBox Windows and Expansion Pack (found here)
– macOS High Sierra VMDK image file (found here)
– Command file (download here)
– Screen Resolution File (download here)
Before we begin, we assume that you already have VirtualBox installed on your Windows 10 PC, with the Extension Pack installed. If you have not already done this, you can follow this guide or this video to you ready.
Part 1 – Download macOS High Sierra
- To get the most updated copy of macOS High Sierra, you can head over to Apple’s support website and download the image. These image files are in the DMG format and must be converted to either an ISO file format or a VMDK file format to be used to install a virtual machine. This tutorial will be using the VMDK file format because it allows for an easy installation with VirtualBox. You can get a copy of the VMDK file here. Once downloaded, keep the file in an easily accessible location.
Part 2 – Create Virtual Machine
- Open the Oracle VM Virtual Box Manager. At the main screen, select the ‘New’ icon at the top
2. In the first window, under the ‘Name’ field, type in “HighSierra”. Machine folder can remain as default. In the ‘Type’ drop-down menu, select “Mac OS X”. In the ‘Version’ drop-down menu, select “macOS 10.12 Sierra (64-bit)”. Click ‘Next’
3. In ‘Memory size’, increase the available memory to for 4GB (4096 MB). Click ‘Next’
4. In ‘Hard disk’ select the third option, “Use an existing virtual hard disk file”. Click on the folder icon, and find the High Sierra VMDK image file you downloaded in Part 1.
5. Once located, select the file, and click the ‘Open’ button.
6. In the Hard Disk Selector, ensure you files is selected and click on ‘Choose’
7. Back at the Create Virtual Machine window, click on ‘Create’ button at the bottom.
Part 3 – Run Commands
Now we need to modify the VirtualBox Manager to allow us to run the macOS High Sierra smoothly without errors. Open your command prompt window by click on the Start button and type in ‘cmd’. Right-click on it and select ‘Run as administrator.
- In the command prompt, run the first line to change the directory to VirtualBox’s default location.
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\"
2. Next, assuming you named your virtual machine in Part 1 StepX “HighSierra” you can copy and paste the below lines in the command window and hit enter. If you have a name, change “HighSierra” with whatever you called it, but leaving the quotation marks.
VBoxManage.exe modifyvm "HighSierra" --cpuidset 00000001 000106e5 00100800 0098e3fd bfebfbff VBoxManage setextradata "HighSierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemProduct" "iMac11,3" VBoxManage setextradata "HighSierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiSystemVersion" "1.0" VBoxManage setextradata "HighSierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/efi/0/Config/DmiBoardProduct" "Iloveapple" VBoxManage setextradata "HighSierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/DeviceKey" "ourhardworkbythesewordsguardedpleasedontsteal(c)AppleComputerInc" VBoxManage setextradata "HighSierra" "VBoxInternal/Devices/smc/0/Config/GetKeyFromRealSMC" 1
It will look similar to the below.
You can now close out of the command prompt and head back to your VirtualBox Manager.
Part 4 – Modify Virtual Machine Settings
We need to open the VirtualBox Manager and modify a couple of settings as the last steps before installing macOS High Sierra.
- Select the newly created ‘HighSierra’ virtual machine on the left side, then click on the orange settings button at the top.
In the menu on the left, select ‘System’, then click on the ‘Motherboard’ tab and ensure we have at least 4096 MB (4GB) of memory. Below we can uncheck the ‘floopy’ for Boot Order.
Click the next tab ‘Processor’. Below increase the available processors to atleast 2.
In the left side menu, select Display. Under the first tab ‘Screen’ increase the available memory to the max available amount.
Once complete, click the ‘OK’ to close the window.
Part 5 – macOS High Sierra Setup
At the main VirtualBox Manager window, select the macOS High Sierra virtual machine on the left side, and click the green ‘Start’ button to boot up the machine.
As the operating system boots up and loads the setup files, you will have a terminal window pop up, like below. This is entirely normal and will take a few minutes as it begins.
Once loaded, the first screen will ask you to select your region. In this guide, we will be using the United States, but you can use your preference region. Click continue.
Next is the Keyboard layout. You can leave this as the default unless you require something different. Click continue.
At the ‘Transfer Information to this Mac’ window, select the third option, ‘Don’t transfer any information now.’ Click ‘Continue’.
For the ‘Sign In With Your Apple ID’, select ‘Don’t sign in’ and click on ‘Continue.’
You will need to select the ‘Agree’ option on both windows at the ‘Terms and Conditions’ window to proceed with the installation.
At the ‘Create a Computer Account’ window, you will be creating your user account and password. The user information here will be the main account for this operating system. Fill out the fields and click on ‘Continue.’
In ‘Express Setup’, leave the default selection and click on ‘Continue.’
One last dialog box will pop up as an introduction. Click on ‘Continue’ to close out the box, and now you are at the desktop of macOS High Sierra. This concludes the installation of the operating system.
At this point, you can start using the macOS High Sierra as you please. You may notice that if you expand the window, it will not fill the screen. You may want to take an extra step and change the screen resolution with the below method.
Part 6 – Set Screen Resolution
Before changing the screen resolution to the virtual machine, exit out of the virtual machine by going to the File menu and selecting Close at the prompt, select ‘Power off the machine’.
To get the best results, you will want to know the native resolution of your screen (i.e. 1080p is 1920×1080 or 720p is 1280×720) .
At the Windows desktop, click on the Start button and type in ‘cmd’. Right-click on it and select ‘Run as administrator .’
In the command prompt, run the first line to change the directory to VirtualBox’s default location.
cd "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\"
Now you want to modify the below line to fit your needs. “HighSierra” is the name of our virtual machine and can be left as is. Where “x” is, replace it with your screen size.
VBoxManage setextradata "HighSierra" VBoxInternal2/EfiGraphicsResolution "x"
The monitor we’re using in this example is 720p, so it will look like this.
Once you have, it typed in, hit enter and close out of the command prompt.
Go back into the VirtualBox Manager, and start your virtual machine.
As it loads up, the appearance should change. Once you have logged in, you can go the the ‘View’ menu at the top and select ‘Full Screen Mode’.
You have now entered full-screen mode and have complete the full installation of macOS High Sierra on VirtualBox on Windows PC.
VIDEO – macOS High Sierra on VirtualBox on Windows PC
Here is a visual guide to walk you through all the steps that we just covered. If you need any help with the installation or have any issues, you can put it in the comments below or put it in the forum.