How to install Windows 8.1 on a Mac running OS X Mavericks

This video will show you how to install Windows 8.1 on a Mac running OS X Mavericks.

What you will need.
* A blank DVD to burn Windows 8.1
* 1GB USB Drive to store the Windows Support Software

Step 1. Go to Go and Utilities and click on Bootcamp assistant. Run the Bootcamp assistant and click continue. Put a tick in Download Windows Support Software and tick Install Windows 7. On later versions of Mac it will have Install Windows 8.

Step 2. Make sure you have your USB drive plugged into your Mac. This will be formatted with the MS Dos FAT file system. Once this is formatted you will be adding the boot camp drivers for your Mac hardware to the USB drive. To find out more info on the boot camp drivers needed for your model of Mac click your model below.
MacBook Pro
MacBook Air
MacBook
iMac
Mac mini
Mac Pro

Step 3. After clicking continue you will need to select the USB drive that you just formatted with FAT. Then the next screen should display as “Downloading Windows support software . . .” and then “Saving Windows support software”.

Step 4. You can install Windows 8.1 via DVD or ISO file depending on the age of your Mac. For this video we use a DVD and if you don’t have a copy of Windows 8.1 handy you can actually download and use the Windows 8.1 preview version from the 123myIT.com website here. This preview version will ask you to buy a copy of Windows after one month.
Don’t know how to burn the Windows 8.1 ISO file to DVD? The two videos below will show you how.
How to Burn an ISO to DVD Windows Bootable
or
How to Burn an ISO or DMG file to DVD on a Mac

Step 5. Click Add helper. Boot Camp will ask you to put in the DVD you just burnt. You will need to go into Utilities and then Disk Utility, select your hard drive and partition your hard drive.
This will create some disk space on your Hard disk to install Windows 8.1. Click the plus button and make the hard drive size equal in size. Click on the second partition and change the name to Windows so you can identify the different drives. Change the format to exFAT. Then click apply and partition.

Step 6. Make sure your Windows DVD is in the DVD drive. Hold down the ALT option Key on your keyboard and restart your Mac. Once your Mac restarts you should see a that has the OS X and Windows drives and DVDs. Like the picture below.
Mac Pre Boot

Use your arrows keys and move across until the Windows DVD is selected.

Step 7. You should then see the Windows install screen come up. Select your country and click Next. Enter you serial key. If you are using the Windows Blue Preview version then you can get the serial Key from the Downloads page mentioned earlier. Click here.

Step 8. From here on in you should just be able to follow the prompts. If you find that your mouse track pad or keyboard buttons don’t work, look for your model of the boot camp drivers link above and make sure they are installed.

More info on installing Windows on a Mac, you can check out the official Windows and Apple sites.

113 thoughts on “How to install Windows 8.1 on a Mac running OS X Mavericks

  1. I think you’re videos are in a pro way but I’m sorry to say that theres a newer version of bootcamp that has 3 ticks: 2 of them are the same but one new one says:create windows 7 or later version install disk.
    so I’m quite confused whether to tick this box or not.
    There is another comment which is that when I do what you say theres no option to burn the disk or save to a memory stick.
    So can you please make a new video on how to make windows 8 on a mac but this time using the new version and thank you

  2. Hi.. I have mac OS X mavericks version.. I try to download windows 8.1 from your website into a dvd disc, but when I pop up the windows disc on bootcamp and click continue.. It show that the installer disc could not be found.. Could you tell me what format should be in the disc?

      • Hi Matt,

        When I open the disc..it shows one file with iso format. when I click again it has 8 files inside. What should i need to do?

        Cheers,
        N-D

        • Hi N-D
          In this case you have not burnt the file correctly. You have just burnt the file to the DVD. But actually when you burnt it correctly it should extract the whole iso and have many files on the DVD. Are you using a Mac?
          Cheers
          Matt

          • Hi Matt,

            Yeah..I am using Mac. I will try to download and burn it again.. We will see how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚
            If I still have a problem, I will contact you again….
            Thank you so much for your time and help.
            Have a great day Matt ๐Ÿ™‚

            Cheers,
            N-D

  3. Hey Guys awesome video and instructions, well everything it’s clear except for one thing, and it is that if i would like to return or well if i would like to use the os x system how do i return to it? do i need to press any key or how do i do to return? thx and keep the excellent job!

      • THX a lot!!! now i got a problem while installing the windows, the thing is that whenever i got to the point to select the partition to install the windows it doesn’t allow me to click on next due that is showing me an error that says something about a that the partition has table format something ๐Ÿ™ and i need to get the windows install, guys please help meโ€ฆ once again THX!!!

      • The common recurring issue with these walkthroughs is the partitions being created in GPT partition style(which won’t work for windows) or/and not in NTFS(which windows requires.) Nothing works. Everyone says to click the “options” button in windows install and then you can click “format” and it will work fine. False. that does not work. Nothing works.

        using 10.10 OS
        and Win 7.

  4. Hi Matt,
    Thanks a lot.
    I have installed windows 8.1 blue build 6431on MacBook Pro with retina display from your web site know I want to activate this windows can you advise me please.
    Regards
    Ali Aledresi

      • hey i been stuck on figuring this out for hours i followed your video, but always get stuck after i select my language and get to the driver page it says

        bootcamp windows 8.1 load driver “a media driver your computer needs is missing this could be a DVD USB or hard disk driver if you have a CD DVD or USB flash drive with the driver on it please insert now”

        • Hi Jesse breed
          Can you take a screen shot and email it to me so I can see what its doing, or a photo.
          See my contact details on the contact part of the 123myIT.com website here.
          Cheers
          Matt

  5. Hi Matt, First of all thank you heaps for posting these videos mate, you are doing a awesome job. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Recently I updated my MAC OS X to Macericks (help from your other video thanks!!!) and it works great. Yesterday my attempt to install windows 8.1 failed.

    I began creating a partition for windows in exfat (120gb) from disk utility as instructed and started boot camp assistant and when I start BCA an message pops up saying “The startup disk cannot be partitioned or restored to a single partition. The startup disk must be formatted as a single Mac OS extended (Journaled) volume or already partitioned by boot camp assistant for installing windows.” I press the OK button and it does not allow me to click on the “install or remove windows 7 or later version”.

    Just to let you know my imac is 2011 version and I’m installing the windows in a internal 1tb hard drive. Further, I already had 2 partition in my hard drive and what I did was, partitioned it further to 120gb for win8.1 and formatted it into exfat. So I’ve 3 partition altogether.

    Since BCA didn’t work I try to do it another way, trusting it may work.

    I tried to boot from installation WIN8.1 DVD and slowly it started. I selected the time zone and typed in my serial key, all worked fine. I formatted the exfat partition, but it wouldn’t allow me to go further and says “Windows cannot be installed to the disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style.”

    What am I doing wrong?

    Your help will be greatly appreciated Matt.

    Again thank you for wonderful videos.

    Cheers,
    Nitesh

  6. I have a late 2008 Macbook Aluminum. Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
    I was able to download and install Windows 8.1 blue preview from your website. My problem is when I originally ran bootcamp and saved the setup files to a usb they were for Windows 7. When I open this setup file in Windows 8.1 it doesn’t work. I tried downloading other files from the Apple bootcamp site even though they were not for my model and then manually installing the drivers within the file one by one. I still don’t have illuminated keys, volume keys and etc.. Do you know what I can do to get the full function of my keyboard and trackpad (no right click function) without having to install Windows 7?

    • Hi Wesley
      I am confused. What are you trying to do exactly? If you want right click in OS X you can go into System Preferences > Trackpad > secondary click.
      If you want to install Windows 8.1 and you already have Windows 7 boot camp, just boot into windows and put the Windows 8.1 dvd in the dvd rom. This will update it without the need for reinstall.
      Good luck,
      Matt

      • I tried boot camp for my model of Mac and it said it only supports Windows 7,so it would not continue with the Windows 8.1 BLUE preview ISO DVD I made. I then partitioned the hard drive myself and then booted from the DVD. Everything installed fine but the illuminated keyboard, keyboard sound keys, right click, and etc will not work in Windows 8.1. I assume this is because the drivers for the Mac are not installed. I tried installing the drivers that downloaded to a USB when I ran boot camp in Mavericks, but the setup file says it will not work because it was intended for Windows 7. My question is how can I get the correct drivers to install on my older MacBook? The link to Apple just directs me to Windows 7 setup files that will not run in Windows 8.1.

  7. Stuck on the “fish” page at boot. On a 2010 Mac Pro with wireless keyboard and trackpad. Do I need to have a USB mouse/keyboard?? Just wondering if this is the reason why I’m stuck looking at a fish. Any help would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Denver

    • Hi Denver Riddle
      Because there have been no drivers installed at this stage for Windows on your Mac.
      For the time being I would recommend using a Mouse, once you are into windows 8, you can then run the windows support software and it should fix this issue.
      Cheers
      Matt

  8. Hi,
    I am trying to install windows 8 pro 64 bit in mac. The model is macbook pro latest model. purchased a week ago. i have downloaded a copy of the windows image from your website. i went into boot camp and completed the first 2 steps which means i was left with just installing windows. when it prompts for the product key, after I input the product key, I am getting an error message that product key is not valid. Am I missing something. Also while installing windows should I have the windows image file in the USB drive? Your help would me much appreciated

    • Hi kart
      Did you download the Windows 8.1 preview copy from the 123myIT downloads sections?
      And you have used the same serial key from that page as well? I have not tested this lately however it always worked for me in the past.
      Cheers
      Matt

      • Hi Matt,

        thanks for your response. I downloaded the software from downloads section from 123myIT website and I have my own key which I bought from microsoft website.
        Should I use the same key as mentioned in your website? Also do I need to have the ISO image that I downloaded from your site in the USB while installing windows? The reason I am asking is there are 3 options. first one is to create windows install disk and download windows software. Once when these 2 are done, should I copy the ISO image from macbook to USB before clicking install windows? I don’t have an optical drive in my mac and have to USB drive.

        Karthik

  9. I am doing everything like you have done in the video, but when I get to the point where Windows is asking where I want to install it is giving me an error message. It is saying that the it cannot install because the selected disk is of the GPT partition style. Even after I select format and the drive changes from ExFAT to NTFS, I still cannot select continue and still get the error mentioned above. I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro, 2.6 GHz i7, 16 GB Ram, 512 GB hard drive, & NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics card. Os is: OS X 10.9.4 (13E28).

  10. Hi! I followed everything step by step but when the setup starts I get this message: Windows cannot read the setting from the unnatend answer file. What am I doing wrong??

  11. Hey 123 ive come across a problem in which i am unable to find a solution for.. every single time i try to install windows 7 or 7 after dividing my partitions it restarts and a black screen comes up thats says ” no bootable device– insert boot disk and press any key”

    keep in mind that i created a bootable usb using bootcamp along with all the downloadable software.. it seems that the computer isnt recognizing the bootable usb that it created.. is there something im doing wrong?.. ive successfully installed windows on my mac before.. why cant i do it anymore..

    • Hi Jonh
      You can find the information you are after one this page here.
      http://www.123myit.com/boot-camp-drivers/macbook-pro/
      It look like you model just missed out on the support from Apple. Don’t be too worried you might still be able to install it, it just might not have the support you are after. What you could try is to install Windows 7. Run the boot camp drivers found on the same page for your model so Windows 7 64-bit, 4.0.4033. Once Windows 7 is installed and all the sound buttons are working. Simply run the Windows 8.1 iso file to upgrade the Windows.
      I have not tested this, but it your situation it might be the best bet.
      Good luck,
      Matt

  12. Hi! I followed all the steps but half way through the copying of windows file into USB I got an error saying “Your bootable USB drive could not be created – An error occured while copying the Windows installation files.”
    So what should I do now?

    Please reply soon! thanks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hi conor
      Backup video with Time Machine here.
      Look no real danger as you only use the empty space of your hard disk. However dont take the chance in case you format the wrong disk.
      Good luck,
      Matt

  13. Hello, I followed all your step on how to install windows 8 on my 13 inch mac but I still cannot install it all because it says the installer disc could not be found. I am using a DVD-R and when I downloaded the Windows Blue 64 bit I copied the 8 items that was there into the dvd disc. I’m wondering how can I make it work and what are the exact steps or correction to make it happen.

  14. if you don’t back up your files, while downloading windows on windows setup, is that when bad things would happen or did i pass it already

  15. Hey Matt,

    So the other day i dropped my 2011 13″ macbook pro. it sustained some cosmetic/physical damage and i took it into the apple store at 1:30. they verified the Mac disk and said it was fine but said they couldnt tell me anything about the Windows side. at around 9:00 on the same day (4.5hrs earlier) I went out for about 2.5 hours. before i left the house i opened steam to run some updates on some games. my sister was home and she usually fiddles with my computer so i turned the brightness all the way off. according to my father the fan started up quite loudly and he went over to the computer to check on it. Seeing that the screen was black and that pressing keys on the keyboard and clicking the mouse resulted in no response my father shut down the computer and closed the lid. I returned from my outing went to the apple store and retuned home where i powered up the computer and selected the windows side. I am running windows 8.1 Pro so i got the little blue windows icon and the loading dots below. They disappeared (as usual) but the screen then went black. The computer was on. I could hear it. and when i pressed the power button the little white light on the front of the computer turned on (as is usual when the computer is in its sleep mode). I pressed the power button again and the screen changed to a different shade of black. i have tried turning on the brightness to no avail and have tried every imaginable button possible (esc, spacebar, enter, right mouse click, left mouse click, fn+F2, fn+ctl+alt+delete, command/mac button). I think im going to have to re-install windows but i want a professional opinion first. I have no idea what to do. Please Help Me!!!

    ~Eli

    • Hi Eli
      First thing I would do is boot it back into OS X and see if you have any problems with it?
      This will tell you if its a problem with the Windows installation or a problem with your Mac in general.
      Good luck
      Matt

      • OS X is fine. Windows was running perfectly until this these events occurred. I can easily re-install Windows 8.1, in that case, do you know how to safely delete a partition?

        • The issue has been resolved. As i was loading up windows i held down fn+Lshift+F8 and windows began diagnosing the issue

          ~Eli

  16. I am having the “Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The select disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks” problem. I have a MacBookPro 2011 late with HD an SSD in place of optical dvd disk. I tried bootcamp with USB and with External DVD drive and I got the same error… Can you help me?

  17. Hi,
    Unfortunately my DVD drive isn’t working. I have a 15″ MacBookPro early 2011. My problem is that when I run Boot Camp, it doesn’t give me the option to “create windows 7 or later install disk”. I only get the bottom two selections. I’ve tried doing some of the Info.plist editing from some of your other videos but Boot Camp won’t work. I’m running Mavericks. Please help.

  18. Hi ther my boot camp dosnt open anymore after doing usb pre model support on boot camp contest dat plist image file I can’t open anymore boot camp anymore plz reply me as soon as possible?thnks

    • HI Mohsin
      Just reverse the change that you made to the file.
      Add it back in and try delete โ€œPreโ€ of this part and of โ€œPreUEFIModelsโ€ instead. See it that works.
      Good luck
      Matt๏ปฟ

  19. Hi admin…
    I need some help.. Im installing Windows 8.1 on my MacBook pro 13″ early 2011.. I followed all your steps.. I already created a partition for windows and restart it then by pressing the alt button I can see the Windows Installation option, by selecting it and restart I stack in the cursor and nothing happen..what should I do? I cant continue installing the windows 8.1…Please Help me…thanks in advance…

  20. I have a mid-2012 macbook pro running Mavericks. This may seem odd, but i don’t have any usb drives. Is there a way to burn a dvd for the Windows support software from Apple? There’s no prompt for anything other than a usb in the boot camp assistant. Thanks for any help you can offer.

  21. Hi,

    Hoping you might be able to help me. When I try it install windows on the partition I created through disk utility (exFAT) I get an error: “Windows cannot be installed on this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.”. I tried to change the partition table in disk utility but you can’t change it as it is the start up disk. Is there any other option?

    Thanks,

    Ryan

  22. Hey,

    after everything is completed, i cannot connect to wifi when I’m in windows 8. I checked and I don’t have the wifi driver. How can i get that?

    Thanks, Peter

  23. Hi, I have a mid 2011 imac. I’ve followed all the guides, but when I go to try and install windows I get a black screen with the white line like im in a windows command prompt. I noticed that my windows dvd isnt the same size as the iso file could this be the problem?

    ISO file: 3,753,558,016 bytes (3.75 GB on disk)
    DVD: 3,752,935,424 bytes (3.75 GB on disk)

    • HI Sean
      At this stage the Mac is looking for your USB install or DVD to read the Windows files.
      So check this source and make sure its working correctly.
      Cheers
      Matt

      • I tried reburning the disk again, but at the very end I keep getting a “medium write error”? I’m trying the windows 8.1 provided on this site 64-bit.

        My Main harddrive is partitioned + formatted in Exfat, and my USB is formatted in MS-DOS (FAT).

        Maybe the mac isn’t picking up the USB when I restart, any ideas to fix that?

          • I’m using the Dvd, I do press alt on restart, and both come up. I click on windows, and I get a black screen. I tried clicking on the efi once, and I get an orange/white screen.

            My mac is mid imac 2011, and I have mavericks. I also have the latest apple software from bootcamp.

  24. Love your site. I’m trying to create a Windows 8.1 bootable USB on my MacBook Air running Mavericks so that I can install Windows on my new PC computer (no optic drive). I reviewed many of your videos and downloaded the IMP_CCSA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV5 file from your site.

    But when I use Boot Camp, and select it, I’m returned the following error message: “Your bootable USB drive could not be created. Boot Camp only supports Windows 7 or later installation on this platform. Please use an ISO file for Windows 7 or later installation.”

    Any suggestions? I’m stumped by how to get the ISO file from my installation on my MacBook Air, which doesn’t have a drive. I thought your process would solve this. Perhaps I’m missing a step?

    Once I do get the ISO file on my MacBook Air, it sounds like Boot Camp will allow me to create the bootable USB.

    • HI Christina
      I should be able to help. First of all let me know what you are tyring to do? Are you trying to create a USB drive to install Windows on a PC not a Mac? Also you could try moving the file from the desktop to the Document’s folder?
      Cheers
      Matt

  25. Hi Matt,
    Great video for a mac user who has to put windows on for MYOB. If I install the trial software on my MacPro (2012) can I then purchase a student version and use that key instead?
    Cheers

  26. Great video and clear instruction i love it. i’m not sure if you are still answering threads but after i finished downloading and saving windows support softwares in bootcamp it kicked me out and when i tried selecting only install windows 7 or later it says disc drive couldn’t be found. does that mean i have to actually have a disc in order to install windows on my mac (MBP 15” early 2011)

      • Thanks for the response Matt! i’m trying to burn WindowsBlue-ClientwithApps-64bit-English-X1899605.iso into a DVD with 4.2gb/120mins storage. However i kept getting fail messages from the burning process. Do you have any idea which could help finishing the process without failing

  27. hi…am using macbook pro 2015 13.3 inch retina and i can’t find any boot camp support software for my mac, can u send me any website so i can download from it?
    and also i do install 8.1 on my mac then i remove it and now i cant re-install it again (by using boot camp, it will partition the hard disk but fails to run the windows installation window) plz give me some advise…

  28. hi dear
    I have early 2011 macbook pro trying to install windows 8.1. every thing goes fine till i reach the final step of installation in which an error massage says “windows cannot prepare your computer boot next phase installation” .. what should I do. plz help me plz i tried every thing and change windows copy with no benefit

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