How to Enable Virtualization in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Enabling virtualization in Windows 11 allows you to run multiple operating systems on one machine, which can be incredibly useful for developers, testers, and anyone looking to make the most out of their hardware. Here’s a quick guide to get you started: Open the BIOS/UEFI settings and enable the virtualization feature, save the changes, and then verify the settings within Windows 11.

How to Enable Virtualization in Windows 11

Enabling virtualization in Windows 11 is a straightforward process that involves a few key steps: accessing the BIOS/UEFI settings, turning on the virtualization feature, and then confirming those settings within Windows. Follow these steps to ensure your machine is ready to run virtual machines efficiently.

Step 1: Access BIOS/UEFI Settings

Turn off your computer and turn it back on while pressing the key to enter BIOS/UEFI settings, usually F2, F10, Delete, or Esc.

When you turn on your computer, the key to enter BIOS/UEFI settings will be displayed briefly. It’s important to press it quickly. If you miss it, just restart and try again.

Step 2: Find the Virtualization Option

Navigate to the "Advanced" tab or a similar section in BIOS/UEFI settings and locate the option for virtualization technology (VT-x or AMD-V).

The exact location of the virtualization setting can vary depending on the motherboard and BIOS version. Look for terms like "Intel Virtualization Technology", "VT-x", "AMD-V", or something similar.

Step 3: Enable the Virtualization Feature

Select the virtualization option and change it from Disabled to Enabled.

Once you’ve found the virtualization setting, simply select it and enable it. This will allow your CPU to support virtual machines.

Step 4: Save and Exit BIOS/UEFI

Save your changes and exit BIOS/UEFI settings.

After enabling virtualization, make sure to save your changes before exiting. Usually, there’s an option like "Save & Exit" or "Save Changes & Reset".

Step 5: Confirm Virtualization in Windows 11

Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, go to the Performance tab, and check if Virtualization is enabled.

Once back in Windows 11, open Task Manager, navigate to the Performance tab, and confirm that virtualization is enabled. This ensures that the changes you made took effect.

Once you complete these steps, your computer can run virtual machines. You might install software like VirtualBox or VMware to create and manage virtual environments.

Tips for Enabling Virtualization in Windows 11

  • Check Your CPU: Ensure your CPU supports virtualization. Most modern CPUs do, but it’s always good to double-check.
  • Update BIOS/UEFI: Make sure your BIOS/UEFI is up to date. Manufacturers often release updates that improve compatibility and add new features.
  • Backup Important Data: Before making changes in BIOS/UEFI, it’s wise to back up your important data, just in case something goes wrong.
  • Consult Your Motherboard Manual: If you have trouble finding the virtualization setting, refer to your motherboard’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Use Manufacturer Forums: If you’re stuck, manufacturer forums can be a goldmine of information and troubleshooting tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is virtualization?

Virtualization is a technology that allows you to run multiple operating systems and applications on a single physical machine by partitioning its hardware resources.

Why should I enable virtualization?

Enabling virtualization enhances your system’s ability to run virtual machines, which is useful for testing, development, and running different OS environments.

How can I tell if my CPU supports virtualization?

You can check your CPU’s specifications on the manufacturer’s website or use tools like CPU-Z to see if it supports virtualization technologies like Intel VT-x or AMD-V.

Do I need to enable virtualization for gaming?

Generally, no. Virtualization is more for running different operating systems and development environments. Most gamers will not need to enable it.

Can I disable virtualization if I no longer need it?

Yes, you can always go back into your BIOS/UEFI settings and disable virtualization if you no longer need it.

Step-by-Step Summary

  1. Access BIOS/UEFI Settings: Restart your computer and press the key to enter BIOS/UEFI.
  2. Find the Virtualization Option: Navigate to the "Advanced" tab.
  3. Enable the Virtualization Feature: Change the setting from Disabled to Enabled.
  4. Save and Exit BIOS/UEFI: Save your changes and exit.
  5. Confirm Virtualization in Windows 11: Check the Task Manager’s Performance tab.


Enabling virtualization in Windows 11 is a simple yet powerful way to maximize your computer’s potential. This feature allows you to run multiple operating systems, create isolated environments for testing, and more. While the process involves tweaking settings in the BIOS/UEFI, it’s a straightforward task that can be completed in a few minutes. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily enable virtualization and start exploring its benefits. Whether you’re a developer, a tester, or just someone curious about running different OS environments on the same machine, virtualization is a handy tool to have. If you found this guide helpful, consider exploring more advanced virtualization topics or software to fully harness the power of your system!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

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