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Due to the way Wineskin works, you won't be able to play the newest, most graphically intense games or power-hungry software. But you can port older software and lightweight games that don't hog a ton of resources like many indie games. For more intense programs, you'll likely want to dual boot Windows with Apple's Boot Camp software instead. Software will likely run better with Boot Camp, but Wineskin is great because you can port your favorite program and run it right in OS X—without ever purchasing Windows or rebooting your computer.

With that out of the way, let's port some software. We've tested Wineskin with a number of apps, but we'll use Torchlight II as our sample since the Mac port seems to be dead in the water. Before you start, you'll need to download Wineskin. Once you've got it, go ahead and drag the file to your Applications folder and launch it. If you haven't already, download the Windows installer for your program of choice as well in this case, the Torchlight II installer.

How to run Windows applications on a Mac, without installing Windows

Instead of always updating the program itself, you'll update two different things in Wineskin: You'll get to the engine in the next step, but you can update the wrapper version right now by just clicking on the "Update" button. A wrapper is a set of registry files and a fake C: You'll need to make a new wrapper for each application you want to port.


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  • How to Run Your Favorite Windows Programs on OS X with Wineskin.

Next up, it's time to install a Wineskin Engine. This is where things get a little weird. An engine includes a bunch of settings that can help you run software. The newest version is WS9 1. You can download and use older Wineskin engines, and certain engines are more compatible with certain titles than others. When I first tried to run Torchlight II, I went with the newest version of the Wineskin engine and couldn't get it to work.

So, I did some digging to figure out why. Thankfully, Wine HQ features a huge list of software compatibility. So, before you pick your engine, dig around on Wine HQ to see what other people are saying about compatibility.


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The newest version isn't always the best, so pick whichever engine seems to have the most compatibility with the software you want to port. Your wrapper is now created. Before you can install software, though, you'll need to mess around with some options.

Next, it's time to make some tweaks to your wrapper. Double-click the file in Finder You might get an error message the first time, just double-click it again if you do and you'll open up the Wrapper settings. You'll see three options here: Unless you know your software is fully compatible with no additional settings, hold off on installing for now.

Instead, click "Advanced.

How to run Windows applications on a Mac, without installing Windows | ZDNet

The Advanced setting has a ton of options, and most of them are pretty confusing. On your main Configuration tab, you can set up a special Windows EXE file to open, change the app icon, and rename the app if you want. The Tools tab has a ton of different options to change up configurations, install special Winetricks to make software more compatible, and rebuild your wrappers. In short, you can run some Windows apps with CrossOver Mac without having to have a copy of Windows installed.

The catch and you knew there had to be one is that CrossOver Mac does not support all Windows programs, and those it does support are not always supported perfectly. CodeWeavers shoots for supporting as many of the most popular Windows programs as possible, and it currently supports nearly 15, It maintains an online inventory of programs that have been tested and either do or do not work or work with bugs or workarounds , with a five-star system for ranking compatibility.

But of course there are a lot more than 15, Windows programs. For those programs that do work, however, performance can be very reasonable, especially on faster machines.

5 top ways to run Windows on a Mac

This means that if you have a relatively small and defined set of Windows programs that you need to run on Macs, CrossOver Mac might be a good fit, but researching the compatibility database and doing thorough hands-on testing prior to implementation are essential.

CodeWeavers conveniently provides a day free trial to allow time for testing before deciding whether to commit to a purchase. Once running, the Windows app appears on the Mac desktop without the surrounding interface or overhead of the full Windows operating system. Pricing for CrossOver Mac depends on several options: The standard one-year subscription is periodically substantially discounted, so watching for discounts or negotiating for volume licensing can provide cost savings. The next version, CrossOver Mac 17, is due to be released this autumn and will be built on Wine 2.

VirtualBox is the odd duck in this list, in a way. And it has some of the pros and cons of each. VirtualBox can do almost anything the commercial products can do, and the price for the core package is right.

Virtual Machines

It has an extensive list of supported operating systems and enthusiastic online forums. But compared to the offerings from VMware and Parallels, VirtualBox is less polished and less easy to use. From an enterprise perspective, unless you can devote significant resources to it, you may be better off with one of the other options. Parallels may be the most intuitive and easy-to-use Windows-to-Mac virtualization product. It feels the most Mac-like. Installation of a new VM is easy and quick. A nice touch aimed at cross-platform developers is support for Modern.

IE test environments. Other developer-focused features include a network simulation module that can model degraded or minimal network connectivity scenarios within a VM. Thinkstock, Microsoft, Apple. Current Job Listings. Table of Contents Boot Camp 6.

HOW TO RUN WINDOWS APPS ON A MAC [FREE]

The most relevant question for enterprises is which Windows-on-Mac virtualization options offer:

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