How to create a virtual machine in Windows 11: A step-by-step guide

Creating a virtual machine in Windows 11 is like having a computer within your computer. It’s a handy tool that allows you to run a separate operating system without messing with your main system. You can use it to test new software, browse the internet securely, or even play around with different operating systems. In less than no time, you’ll be up and running with your very own virtual machine. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Create a Virtual Machine in Windows 11

Before we start, creating a virtual machine (VM) means you’re setting up a software version of a computer that runs on your actual computer. It’s like a digital twin of your physical machine. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Check if Virtualization is Enabled

Ensure your computer supports virtualization and that it’s enabled in the BIOS settings.

Most modern computers support virtualization, but it’s not always enabled by default. You might need to restart your computer and enter the BIOS settings to turn it on. Keep an eye out for terms like ‘Intel VT-x’, ‘AMD-V’, or ‘Virtualization Technology’, and make sure they’re enabled.

Step 2: Install a Hypervisor

Download and install a hypervisor like Hyper-V or VMware.

A hypervisor is what creates and runs virtual machines. If you have Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, you can use Hyper-V, which is built right into Windows. Otherwise, there are plenty of other options like VMware Workstation Player, which is free for personal use.

Step 3: Create a New Virtual Machine

Open the hypervisor and create a new VM, specifying the operating system and hardware settings.

This step is like buying a new computer. You get to decide how much memory, storage, and processing power your virtual machine will have. It’s important to give it enough resources to run smoothly but not so much that it slows down your actual computer.

Step 4: Install the Operating System

Mount the ISO file of the operating system you want to install and go through the setup process.

An ISO file is like a digital copy of a DVD. You’ll need to download an ISO of the operating system you want to install on your VM. Once you’ve got that, your hypervisor should walk you through the setup process, just like if you were setting up a brand new computer.

Step 5: Install VM Tools (Optional)

Install any additional tools or drivers offered by your hypervisor to improve performance.

Some hypervisors offer special tools that can make your virtual machine run more smoothly and make it easier to move files between your VM and your actual machine. It’s usually a good idea to install these.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a fully functioning virtual machine that you can start using for whatever you need. It’s like having an extra computer without the extra cost.

Tips for Creating a Virtual Machine in Windows 11

  • Make sure your main system meets the hardware requirements to run a VM smoothly.
  • Always allocate enough memory and processing power to your VM, but not at the expense of your host machine’s performance.
  • Keep your VM software updated to benefit from the latest features and security improvements.
  • Use snapshots or backups to save the state of your VM so you can revert to it if something goes wrong.
  • Explore the settings and features of your hypervisor to optimize your VM experience further.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a virtual machine?

A virtual machine is a software emulation of a computer system that runs on your existing hardware. It allows you to run different operating systems and applications in an isolated environment.

Can I run any operating system on a virtual machine?

Yes, you can run almost any operating system on a virtual machine as long as you have the appropriate ISO file and your hypervisor supports it.

How much memory should I allocate to my virtual machine?

It depends on what you plan to use it for. Generally, you should allocate at least 2GB of RAM for lightweight tasks and more for heavier applications.

Can I access the internet from my virtual machine?

Absolutely, virtual machines can use your computer’s network connection to access the internet just like any other computer.

Is it safe to test malware or visit unsafe websites on a virtual machine?

While it’s safer than using your main system, VMs are not foolproof. Malware can sometimes escape a VM and infect the host machine, so caution is still advised.


  1. Check if virtualization is enabled.
  2. Install a hypervisor.
  3. Create a new virtual machine.
  4. Install the operating system.
  5. Install VM tools (optional).


Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to create a virtual machine in Windows 11! This powerful feature opens a world of possibilities for safely testing software, exploring new operating systems, or even browsing the internet without risking your main system. Remember, the key to a smooth VM experience is balancing the resources you allocate with what’s available on your host machine. With the correct setup, you can enjoy the benefits of multiple computers all within the comfort of your own PC. So why not give it a try? Experiment, explore, and enjoy the virtualization journey!

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