How to Run Virtualbox on Mac M1, M2 & later in 2024

Running Virtualbox on Mac has always been a tricky business. The situation did not change with the Apple Silicon processors either.

Oracle, the company behind it, eventually stopped releasing Virtualbox for the newer Macs. A few users tried running VirtualBox with Rosetta 2, but the results were not good.

So, we take the last available build of the VM app and show you how to run Virtualbox on Mac M1 and later Apple silicon variants.

You will also learn to create a virtual machine on an M1 Mac computer in simple steps using any operating system file of your choice.

How to run Virtualbox on Mac M1

1. Download Virtualbox for Mac M1, which is only available as a beta version in the old builds section.

2. Open the downloaded file from the browser.

Run virtualbox on mac m1

3. Then, double-click on the VirtualBox icon in the new window.

Run virtualbox on m1 mac

4. Click on continue in the VirtualBox setup.

Run virtualbox on m1 mac computer

5. Then, click on the install button.

6. After that, type in your password to start installing VirtualBox on your M1 Mac.

7. Once successfully installed, click continue to close the installation wizard.

create VM on m1 mac

Press the Pause Button

If you want to learn how to create a virtual machine on M1 Mac then follow the below given steps.

8. And now, now its time to launch VirtualBox, for which we will head to the launchpad.

Alternatively, you can use Spotlight search by pressing command + space.

create VM on m1 mac

9. Open the VirtualBox from here.

Run virtualbox on m1 mac

10. Create a new virtual machine by clicking on the new button.

Run virtualbox on mac m1

11. Next, assign a name to the virtual machine.

Note – The VirtualBox build only supports 32-bit operating systems.

Run virtualbox on mac m1

12. After that, choose where to store it and load the ISO file.

If you are using a well-known operating system such as Ubuntu, VirtualBox will recognize it and automatically complete the remaining details for you.

Once done, head to the hardware section.

Run virtualbox on mac m1

13. Now, specify the virtual machine’s (VM’s) resources, such as RAM and number of processors.

Make your selection based on the activities you intend to perform with the OS. A sensible approach is to dedicate about half of your Mac’s RAM and CPU cores to the VM.

After that, head to the hard disk section.

Run virtualbox on m1 mac

14. Next, choose the storage settings for your virtual machine (VM) to create a virtual hard disk. Look at the basic needs of the OS and think about how much extra space you will need beyond need.

Once done, click on finish to complete the VM creation process.

Run virtualbox on m1 mac

15. Now, you have successfully created a virtual machine on Virtualbox for M1 Mac. You can launch it through the start button.

Run virtualbox on m1 mac

Can you run Windows on M1 Mac?

Technically, it is possible to run Windows via a virtual machine on M1 Mac, but there is more to that. VirtualBox and VMware fail to emulate most operating systems due to newer architecture.

If you want to run Windows apps on M1, consider using Parallels, a paid option but reliable and dependable alternative.

Run VM on Apple Silicon

This is how you can run a virtual machine on Apple Silicon, aka the M series processors by the manufacturer themselves.

Creating a VM is one thing, but successfully running it on the M1, M2, etc, is still not always possible. You have to test which OS runs and on a specific set of settings to get it right.

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Amaan Rizwan
Amaan Rizwan
Anything and everything because titles should not define us. A non-fiction lover. Khalid Hosseini and Ruskin Bond fan. Aspiring to be better than yesterday.


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