There are many reasons that can lead us to want create a virtual machine on our Windows 11/10 PC. But what is a virtual machine? A virtual machine allows you to quickly set up a replica of the Windows 11/10 operating system, useful for example to be able to test software that you would otherwise not be able to install on your PC or to safely test changes to the registry that you want to make to the operating system (without risk damaging your PC)
To create a virtual machine on Windows 11/10 you can use various software (including Microsoft Hyper-V, integrated into Windows 11/10 Pro). But below we suggest using VMWare vCenter Converter which is really simple to use and free.
Here’s how you can create a virtual machine from your existing Windows 11/10 installation.
Convert Windows 11/10 to Virtual Machine
First you need to download VMware vCenter Converter. After clicking on the link Downloadsyou will need to register and create an account”MyVMware“. This is a quick process and only requires an email and password.
After download, install VMWare vCenter Converter on your Windows 11/10 PC.
Once installed, launch vCenter Converter, and then click on the “ button at the topConvert machine“.
Then select the “Powered on” and in the drop-down menu that opens choose the option “This local machine“. Click Next to proceed.
On the next screen you will be able to edit and specify which drives of your operating system you want virtualize: devices, networks, and so on. In this tutorial, the total size of Windows 11/10 OS exceeds the capacity of where we want to save it. For this reason, drive “D:” must be removed.
To do this, just click on the “Data to copy” item, and then in the right pane, deselect the drives to virtualize using the checkboxes. In the left pane, you can change the system services you want to transfer to the virtual PC, such as network adapters and so on. We recommend keeping them as is if you want the most accurate virtualization of your Windows 11/10 PC.
When you’re ready, click Nextchoose where you want to save your virtual machine (you can also put it on an external hard drive if you want), and finally start the conversion process. This operation can take a few hours, depending on the size of the Windows volumes you are converting.
Once the conversion is complete, you will have successfully created one virtual machine from your existing Windows 11/10 PC. Now let’s see how to run this newly created virtual machine.
Note: If you want to start the virtual machine on another PC, you need to access its directory and copy it to an external hard drive. You may need to compress it using compression software such as 7-Zip, WinZIP or WinRAR to save space. Of course, depending on the size of your VM (virtual machine), this may take some time. Connect the external drive to the other PC where you want to run the virtual machine, transfer the file and unzip it.
How to Start Virtual Machine
On the computer you want to start your virtual machine on (which can be the same PC you used in this guide), you’ll need free virtualization software from VMware Workstation Player.
Once installed, open Workstation Player, click “Open Virtual machines“, then go to the newly created VM and click Open.
Before opening the VM, you can go to “Edit VM settings” and change things like how much memory to allocate to it. When you are ready to open it, click “Play Virtual Machine” and you’re good to go!
That’s all about how create a virtual machine from an existing Windows 11/10 installation.
Even “macOS” computers can be virtualized, and there are many users who create a Widnows virtual machine on macOS so that they can install and use Windows software on their macOS too. However, to virtualize a macOS you need other software, such as VMware Fusion, which however is not free. The procedure to follow, however, is very similar to what was seen above to virtualize a Windows 11/10 PC.