How to Turn on Hardware Virtualization in Windows 11: A Quick Guide

Turning on hardware virtualization in Windows 11 can unlock features like running virtual machines or improving performance for certain applications. This guide will walk you through the steps to enable hardware virtualization on your Windows 11 machine. Following these steps will ensure that your computer is set up to take full advantage of virtualization technology.

How to Turn On Hardware Virtualization in Windows 11

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to note that hardware virtualization allows your computer to run multiple operating systems at once. This is particularly useful for developers, IT professionals, and tech enthusiasts. Let’s get started with enabling it on your Windows 11 machine.

Step 1: Access BIOS or UEFI Settings

To access the BIOS or UEFI settings, restart your computer and press the designated key during the boot-up process (usually F2, Del, or Esc).

Entering the BIOS or UEFI settings is the first step. This is where all the magic happens. Once you restart your computer, keep an eye out for the prompt that tells you which key to press. It might vary depending on your computer’s manufacturer.

Step 2: Navigate to the Advanced Tab

Once inside the BIOS/UEFI settings, use the arrow keys to navigate to the ‘Advanced’ tab.

The ‘Advanced’ tab is where you’ll find most of the settings related to your CPU and hardware. Navigating here is usually straightforward, as it’s typically one of the main tabs in the BIOS/UEFI menu.

Step 3: Find the Virtualization Setting

Look for a setting named ‘Intel Virtualization Technology’ or ‘AMD-V’ and set it to ‘Enabled.’

This step is crucial. The setting might have slightly different names depending on your CPU manufacturer, but it will generally be something like ‘Intel VT-x’ or ‘AMD-V.’ Just toggle it to ‘Enabled.’

Step 4: Save Changes and Exit

Press the key indicated on your screen to save the changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI settings.

Saving changes is a must. Usually, you’ll press F10 to save and exit, but the exact key might differ. Make sure you follow the on-screen instructions to ensure your changes take effect.

Step 5: Restart Your Computer

Your computer will restart, and hardware virtualization will now be enabled.

Once your computer restarts, hardware virtualization will be active. This means your system is now ready to run virtual machines or any other application that benefits from hardware virtualization.

After enabling hardware virtualization, you can now use software like VirtualBox, VMware, or Hyper-V to create and run virtual machines. This can be especially useful for testing software in different environments or running older versions of Windows or other operating systems.

Tips for Turning On Hardware Virtualization in Windows 11

  • Check Compatibility: Make sure your CPU supports hardware virtualization. Most modern CPUs do, but it’s always good to double-check.

  • Update BIOS/UEFI: Sometimes, you’ll need the latest BIOS/UEFI update to access or enable the virtualization settings.

  • Backup Data: Always backup important data before making changes in the BIOS/UEFI settings.

  • Use Proper Tools: Once enabled, use reliable virtualization software like VirtualBox or VMware for the best experience.

  • Consult Manuals: If you’re unsure about navigating BIOS/UEFI, consult your computer’s user manual or manufacturer’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hardware virtualization?

Hardware virtualization allows one CPU to function as if it were multiple separate CPUs. This is essential for running virtual machines.

Do all CPUs support hardware virtualization?

Most modern CPUs support hardware virtualization, but it’s best to check your CPU’s specifications to be sure.

Can I enable hardware virtualization on a laptop?

Yes, you can enable hardware virtualization on most laptops as long as they have a compatible CPU.

Will enabling hardware virtualization affect my computer’s performance?

Enabling hardware virtualization generally won’t affect your computer’s performance unless you’re actively running virtual machines.

What if I can’t find the virtualization setting in BIOS/UEFI?

If you can’t find the setting, it might be hidden under a different tab or name. Consult your motherboard’s manual or look for a BIOS update.


  1. Restart your computer and press the designated key to access BIOS/UEFI.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  3. Find and enable ‘Intel Virtualization Technology’ or ‘AMD-V.’
  4. Save changes and exit BIOS/UEFI.
  5. Restart your computer.


Turning on hardware virtualization in Windows 11 is a straightforward process that can vastly improve your computing capabilities, especially if you regularly use virtual machines or need to run multiple operating systems. This feature, tucked away in your BIOS/UEFI settings, might seem elusive at first, but following these steps will ensure you can leverage virtualization technology effectively.

It’s an invaluable tool for developers, IT professionals, and even hobbyists who want to explore the capabilities of different operating systems without needing multiple physical machines. So, don’t hesitate—take these steps to enable hardware virtualization and unlock a new level of functionality for your Windows 11 computer.

For those interested in further optimizing their system, consider exploring additional BIOS/UEFI settings or looking into advanced virtualization software options. Happy computing!

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