How to create a Windows 10 virtual machine in VirtualBox

Add Windows 10 to your stable of virtual machines.

How to create a windows 10 VM
Credit: Stephen Glasskeys

Windows 10

Many developers use virtual machines to test apps running under various hardware and software configurations. Because Windows 10 has already proved itself to be a very popular OS, developers and programmers already have a need to create Windows 10 VMs for app testing.

Besides the upgrade, Windows 10 can also be downloaded from Microsoft using the Windows Media creation tool. Mark Hachman wrote this excellent piece about the Windows 10 upgrade process, along with information on how to use the creation tool to make bootable Windows 10 USB sticks and ISO files. I chose to make an ISO, intending to use it to create a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM).

VirtualBox

Provided you have a license, the Windows 10 ISO file can be installed onto a virtual machine using the latest version of VirtualBox. If you are upgrading VirtualBox, the app can also automatically "pick up" VMs you've created previously using an older version.

To illustrate, VirtualBox listed my Slackware Linux and Andy the Android emulator VMs in its VM pane, both were created using a previous version.

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

Creating the VM

To start, click the New toolbar button, ensuring that Microsoft Windows and Windows 10 are selected as Type and Version.

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

For Memory size, try to allocate as much as possible. But in most instances, 1024 MB is sufficient to install Windows 10 in a VM.

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

One VirtualBox setting that is often overlooked is found under the System, Acceleration tab: Make sure both Hardware Virtualization boxes are ticked.

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

Select VirtualBox Disk Image as hard disk type, dynamically allocated, with a minimum size of 32GB.

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

After the drive has been created, add the Windows 10 ISO file to the Storage Tree, this is done so the ISO file will be treated as an optical drive by the VM.

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

Finally, click the green start arrow to start the VM, and begin the installation...

How to create a windows 10 VM Stephen Glasskeys

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