Using VirtualBox
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Using VirtualBox to install Windows and the dev tools on your Mac

[This article is for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x developers writing Windows Runtime apps. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation]

Use Oracle VirtualBox to install Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 on your Mac.

What you'll need

To use VirtualBox to install Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 on your Mac, you'll need:

  • VirtualBox.
  • A Windows 8.1 bootable DVD or USB drive that contains Windows 8.1. To get it, go to this page on the Windows Dev Center.
    Note  If you plan to develop apps for Windows Phone also, you need a 64-bit (x64) version of Windows 8.1. Otherwise, a 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 is fine.

Step 1: Install VirtualBox

  1. Run the VirtualBox-Build_Number-OSX.dmg package that you downloaded earlier.
  2. Double-click the VirtualBox.pkg file.
  3. If a This package will run a program to determine if the software can be installed dialog box appears, click Continue.
  4. In the Welcome to the Oracle VM VirtualBox Installer page, click Continue.
  5. In the Standard Install on "Macintosh HD" page, click Install.
  6. In the Installer is trying to install new software... dialog box, type your Mac user name and password, and click Install Software.
  7. After the installation is done, in the The installation was completed successfully page, click Close.

Step 2: Create a Windows 8.1 virtual machine

  1. Run Finder.
  2. Click Applications, and then run VirtualBox.
  3. In the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager page, click New. The Create Virtual Machine wizard appears.
  4. In the Name and operating system page, in the Name box, type a name for your virtual machine, for example "Win8VM".
  5. In the Type box, click Microsoft Windows.
  6. In the Version box, click Windows 8 (32-bit) or Windows 8 (64-bit) to match the architecture of your Windows 8.1 .iso file that you downloaded earlier, and click Continue.
  7. In the Memory size page, select the amount of memory to allocate to your virtual machine (minimally, 2 GB (2048 MB); 4 GB (4096 MB) is optimal), and click Continue.
  8. In the Hard drive page, click Create a virtual hard drive now, and click Create. The virtual machine is created, and the Create Virtual Hard Drive wizard appears.
  9. In the Hard drive file type page, leave the VDI (VirtualBox Disk image) option selected, and click Continue.
  10. In the Storage on physical hard drive page, click Dynamically allocated, and click Continue.
    Note  If you want to use a fixed image size for performance, allocate at least 30 GB.
  11. In the File location and size page, leave the virtual hard drive file name unchanged (for example, "Win8VM").
  12. Select the size of the virtual hard drive (since this is your image's upper size limit, we recommend at least 40 GB), and click Create. The virtual hard drive is created, and the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager page reappears.
  13. Associate your virtual machine with your downloaded Windows 8 .iso file: in the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager page, with the Windows 8.1 virtual machine entry (for example, "Win8VM") selected, click Settings.
  14. In the Settings page, click Storage.
  15. In the Storage Tree list, click the Controller: IDE entry, and click the Add CD/DVD Device icon (the icon of a CD with a plus symbol on top of it).
  16. In the You are about to add a new CD/DVD drive to controller IDE dialog box, click Choose disk.
  17. Browse to and select the Windows 8.1 .iso file that you downloaded earlier, and click Open.
  18. In the Storage Tree list, the Windows 8.1 .iso file appears under the Controller: IDE entry. Click OK. The Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager page reappears.
  19. Start the virtual machine: with the Windows 8.1 virtual machine entry (for example, "Win8VM") still selected, click Start.
  20. If a You have the Auto capture keyboard option turned on dialog box appears, make a note of which shortcut key combination is currently set to capture or uncapture the keyboard and mouse (by default, this shortcut key is Left Command), and click OK.
    Note  When the keyboard and mouse are captured, only your virtual machine can interact with them. When the keyboard and mouse are uncaptured, your other apps can interact with them. Press the shortcut key to toggle between these captured and upcaptured states.

Step 3: Install Windows 8.1

After you start your virtual machine from the previous step, your virtual machine will start installing Windows 8.1 automatically. Follow the on-screen directions to finish installing Windows 8.1.

Step 4: Install Visual Studio 2013

In Windows 8.1, use Windows Internet Explorer to go to Developer downloads for programming Windows Store apps. In Download the tools and SDK, click Download now. Complete the installation for Visual Studio 2013.

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