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

Creating a virtual machine in Windows 11 may sound like a task for the tech-savvy, but it’s actually quite straightforward. Simply put, a virtual machine allows you to run another operating system on your computer, alongside your main system. This can be incredibly useful for testing out new software, accessing virus-infected data, or running programs that are not compatible with your main operating system. In less than 100 words, here’s how to do it: first, enable virtualization in your BIOS, then download and install a virtual machine program like Hyper-V or VirtualBox, and finally, set up and configure your virtual machine.

Step by Step Tutorial: Creating a Virtual Machine in Windows 11

Before jumping into the steps, it’s important to understand that creating a virtual machine involves setting up a completely separate environment within your computer. This means it will have its own storage, memory, and even operating system. Let’s break it down step by step.

Step 1: Check if Virtualization is Enabled

Begin by checking if virtualization is enabled in your computer’s BIOS.

If virtualization is not enabled, you’ll need to restart your computer and enter the BIOS setup (this usually involves pressing a key like F2, F10, or Del during startup). Look for a setting related to virtualization and enable it. This setting might be called "Intel Virtualization Technology," "AMD-V," or something similar, depending on your processor type.

Step 2: Download Virtual Machine Software

Next, download a virtual machine program such as Hyper-V, which comes with Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise editions, or a third-party program like VirtualBox.

If you’re using Hyper-V, you’ll need to enable it in the "Turn Windows features on or off" menu. For VirtualBox, simply download it from the official website and follow the installation prompts. Both options are user-friendly and well-documented, so choose the one that best fits your needs.

Step 3: Create a New Virtual Machine

Once your software is installed, open it and create a new virtual machine.

This process will involve selecting the amount of memory and storage to allocate to your virtual machine, as well as choosing the operating system you’d like to install. Make sure to allocate enough resources so that both your main operating system and the virtual one can run smoothly.

Step 4: Install the Operating System

With your virtual machine configured, the next step is to install the operating system.

You’ll need an ISO file of the operating system you want to install. This file acts as a virtual version of a physical disk, allowing you to load the operating system onto your virtual machine. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation, which should feel familiar if you’ve ever installed an operating system before.

Step 5: Install Virtual Machine Additions

Finally, install any additional tools or drivers that your virtual machine program offers.

These tools can enhance the performance of your virtual machine and make it easier to interact with. They typically include features like improved graphics, seamless mouse integration, and shared folders between your main system and the virtual one.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a fully functional virtual machine running on your Windows 11 computer. You can now use it just like you would use a separate physical computer, but with the convenience of quick access and no extra hardware required.

Tips for Creating a Virtual Machine in Windows 11

  • Always ensure that your main system has enough resources (like RAM and CPU power) to handle running a virtual machine.
  • Keep your virtual machine and all software up to date to maintain security and performance.
  • Consider using a solid-state drive (SSD) for your virtual machine to improve speed and responsiveness.
  • Take advantage of snapshots, a feature that allows you to save the state of your virtual machine and revert back to it if needed.
  • Familiarize yourself with the settings and options of your virtual machine software to get the most out of your experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I run any operating system on my virtual machine?

Yes, as long as you have a legitimate copy of the operating system in the form of an ISO file, you can install it on your virtual machine.

How much storage space does a virtual machine need?

This largely depends on what you plan to do with the virtual machine. A good rule of thumb is to allocate at least 25-50 GB of storage for basic tasks, but more if you plan to install large programs or store many files.

Is it safe to use a virtual machine for accessing virus-infected data?

One of the benefits of a virtual machine is its isolation from your main system. While it’s safer to open potentially infected files in a virtual machine, it’s still important to practice caution and have good antivirus software installed.

Can I use a virtual machine for gaming?

While it’s technically possible to play games on a virtual machine, performance may not be ideal. Virtual machines typically can’t utilize your computer’s hardware as efficiently as your main operating system can.

How do I delete a virtual machine?

To delete a virtual machine, simply remove it through your virtual machine program’s interface and delete the associated files from your storage.


  1. Check if virtualization is enabled
  2. Download virtual machine software
  3. Create a new virtual machine
  4. Install the operating system
  5. Install virtual machine additions


Creating a virtual machine in Windows 11 is a powerful way to expand your computing capabilities. Whether you’re a developer testing software, a student exploring different operating systems, or just someone looking for an extra layer of security, virtual machines offer a versatile solution. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you’ll be up and running with your virtual machine in no time. Remember to personalize your virtual machine’s settings to match your specific needs and use the tips provided to enhance your experience. And if you have any questions, the FAQ section has got you covered. So why wait? Dive in and create a virtual machine in Windows 11 today!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy