How to Install Windows 11 on VMware Virtual Machine

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install windows 11 on VMware virtual machine

Whether you are a developer, IT specialist, or tech enthusiast, testing a new operating system without putting your main system at risk is a very appealing idea.

This is especially true with the latest Windows 11 version. While the version introduces new features, it is still not mature enough for critical business operations. 

VMware is a popular virtualization tool that enables users to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine. Installing Windows 11 on a VMware virtual machine offers a straightforward way to test the operating system and assess its features without affecting your main system.

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to install Windows 11 on a VMware virtual machine. We will start with an introduction to VMware virtual machines and then go into the details of installation. 

Table Of Contents

  1. What is VMware Virtual Machine?
  2. How to Install Windows 11 on VMware
    1. The Prerequisites to install Windows 11 on VMware
    2. Step #1: Set up a virtual Windows 11 Machine
    3. Step #2: Configure and Start the Windows 11 Virtual Machine
    4. Step #3: Install Windows 11
  3. Conclusion
  4. FAQs

What is VMware Virtual Machine?

VMware Virtual Machine is a software-based simulation of a physical system’s hardware and software. It allows users to run multiple operating systems and applications on a single physical machine by creating isolated environments called virtual machines.

Each virtual machine operates independently, with its own virtual CPU, memory, storage, and network interface. Users can create, modify, or delete VMs without affecting the host system or other VMs.

Virtualized environments have gained popularity in software development and system administration due to their efficiency and ease of use and maintenance. 

Thanks to virtualization servers, developers can adjust the CPU and RAM resources on demand and run multiple applications at the same time without conflicts.

Let us now discuss how to install Windows 11 on VMware.

How to Install Windows 11 on VMware

Now that you have a basic understanding of VMware, let us discuss how to install Windows 11 on a VMware virtual machine. However, before that, let us take a quick look at the prerequisites. 

The Prerequisites to install Windows 11 on VMware

Before diving into the installation, ensure you have the following:

  • A system running a Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education.
  • You have installed VMWare Workstation Player 17 on your system.
  • You have the Windows 11 ISO file (Download from the official website).

Note: Installing Windows 11 on VMware Workstation Player often requires adjustments in the virtual machine’s settings to meet the specific requirements of Windows 11 for seamless operation. 

Installing Windows 11 in VMware is as easy as the following three steps:

  • Building a virtual system for Windows 11.
  • Setting up the virtual machine.
  • Installing Windows 11 in the virtual machine.

Let us now discuss these steps in detail.

Step #1: Set up a virtual Windows 11 Machine

Open VMware Workstation Player and select Create a New Virtual Machine from the main window.

welcome window vmware workstation 17 player

The New Wizard Virtual Machine opens.

Select the Installer disc image file (iso) option. Click Browse and locate your Windows 11 ISO file. Click Next to continue.

new virtual machine wizard 1

Next, on the Name Virtual Machine Wizard screen, enter the virtual machine’s name (Here, Windows 11 on our test system). 

Click Browse to select the VM’s location. We recommend skipping this step if you prefer the default location.

Click Next to continue.

new virtual machine wizard 2

Next, on the encryption screen, select Only the files required to support a TPM are encrypted option.

Create an 8-character encryption password to protect your virtual machine.

We recommend the credential manager checkbox labeled Remember the password on this machine should be left selected for easy login in the future

Click Next to continue. 

new virtual machine wizard 3

Next, set the Maximum disk size to 64 GB. While this size is often the minimum for Windows VM, you can specify more (or less) disk capacity if you plan to install multiple programs.

Select Split virtual disk into multiple files and click Next to continue.

specify disk capacity

The Ready to Create Virtual Machine window displays all virtual machine settings.

Click Customize Hardware to edit virtual machine settings.

Under the Memory tab, allocate at least 6 GB RAM to avoid a slow Windows 11 experience. 

Under the Processors tab, allocate at least 4 cores. 

In New CD/DVD (SATA), choose Use ISO image file and select your Windows 11 ISO (As mentioned in the prerequisite, we have already downloaded the Windows 11 ISO file from the official website).

Close the hardware window and click Finish.

Note: Set at least 2 processor cores and 4 GB of memory to meet Windows 11 requirements.

ready to create virtual machine

Step #2: Configure and Start the Windows 11 Virtual Machine

Once you have set up a virtual environment, configure it to install Windows 11.

Select your Windows 11 VM from the left panel and click Play Virtual Machine.

In the Windows Setup screen, choose your Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method.

Click the Next to continue.

windows setup

Click Install Now.

windows installation

The Activate Windows screen displays.

You can either enter your product key or skip it for now by selecting I don’t have a product key.

Click Next to continue.

windows activation

The list of operating system versions will be displayed.

Select your desired Windows 11 version and click Next.

operating system selection

Next, the Applicable notices and license terms window opens. Read and accept the Microsoft Software License Terms. Click Next to continue.

license terms and conditions

You will now be prompted to choose the installation type. We recommend choosing the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.

installation type

The system will now display the partition information window. Select New to create a new partition and allocate the desired size (If not, Windows will use all available space by default).


Click Apply to create the partition.

installation path

Once Windows completes partitioning the drive, The entire partition list will be displayed.

Select the Primary partition from the list and click Next.

installation path 2nd window

The Windows 11 installation starts.

Step #3: Install Windows 11

The installation will proceed and you can observe the progress on the Installing Windows window. This may take some time.

copying windows

Once installation is completed, the virtual machine will restart.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Windows 11 setup process, including:

  • Connecting to a network
  • Setting up a Microsoft account or creating a local account
  • Choosing privacy settings
  • Customizing your Windows experience

After setup is complete, you’ll be taken to the Windows 11 desktop in your virtual machine.


Users can sample Windows 11’s new features and interface without changing their primary operating system by installing Windows 11 on a VMware virtual machine. You may effectively test and explore Windows 11 by creating a virtual environment by following the instructions provided in this guide. 

Installing VMware Tools for optimum performance, appropriately configuring VMware settings, and ensuring your machine satisfies the requirements are crucial. 

Following these instructions, you can experiment with Windows 11 and take advantage of virtualization’s flexibility, making it a great option for home and work testing environments.


Q. Can I install Windows 11 on any version of VMware?

Yes, you can install Windows 11 on VMware Workstation Pro, VMware Fusion (for macOS), and VMware Player. Ensure your VMware version supports Windows 11 and meets the minimum requirements.

Q. What are the system requirements to install Windows 11 on VMware?

Ensure your host system has sufficient RAM, CPU cores, and disk space as per VMware’s recommendations. For Windows 11, allocate at least 4GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, and 50GB disk space to the virtual machine.

Q. Can I enable TPM and Secure Boot for Windows 11 on VMware?

Yes, Windows 11 requires TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot. Ensure these features are enabled in the virtual machine settings under VM > Settings > Options > Advanced.

Q. How do I create a new virtual machine for Windows 11 on VMware?

Open VMware, and click Create a New Virtual Machine or New depending on your VMware version. Choose Typical or Custom installation, select the Windows 11 ISO file, and follow the prompts to set up the virtual machine.

Q. Can I upgrade an existing virtual machine to Windows 11?

Yes, if your existing virtual machine meets the Windows 11 requirements, you can upgrade it by mounting the Windows 11 ISO and running the upgrade process within the VM.

Q. How do I optimize performance for Windows 11 on VMware?

Install VMware Tools after installing Windows 11 to enhance graphics, mouse, and other performance features. Adjust virtual machine settings like memory allocation and CPU cores based on workload requirements.

Q. Is installing Windows 11 on VMware safe for testing purposes?

VMware provides a sandboxed environment, ensuring that your primary operating system remains unaffected. It’s suitable for testing Windows 11 features, compatibility, and applications.

Q. What if I encounter issues during the installation or setup process?

Check VMware’s documentation and community forums for troubleshooting steps. Ensure your VMware version is current, and consult VMware support if needed.

Q. Can I run Windows 11 on VMware on macOS or Linux?

Yes, VMware Fusion allows you to run Windows 11 on macOS, and VMware Workstation supports Windows and Linux host systems for running Windows 11.

Q. Where can I find more resources for installing Windows 11 on VMware?

Refer to VMware’s official documentation, community forums, and support for detailed guides and assistance specific to your VMware version and installation scenario.

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