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How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows PC

Written by John

As a tech lover, you would have come across tons of articles and posts related to installing windows on your mac but what about installing mac on your windows? We are going to be explaining in-depth on how to install the just-released macOS Big Sur 10.16 on VMware on your Windows PC.

macOS Big Sur Version 11.0?

Before we dive into the steps, let us talk about what’s new in macOS Big Sur. Here's everything you need to know about macOS Big Sur, including its release date and new features. Apple has been known to release a new version of macOS every year usually in September or October. But all thanks to Apple, we tech lovers and developers normally know what to expect from Apple months before the initial release date. Apple reveals many of the upcoming devices (iPhone, Ipad, MacBook, and iWatch inclusive), Operating systems and upcoming features at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, and because Apple runs a beta program for developers and those who sign up for the public beta program.

The next update to Apple's macOS operating system, macOS Big Sur Version 11.0, is in development at Apple's headquarters in California and was revealed on Monday, June 22.

macOS Big Sur New Features

Transition to ARM-based Silicon: Unarguably, the biggest news of WWDC 2020 is Apple's transition from Intel X86 chips to its ARM silicon. This means Apple is switching Macs to its ARM-based silicon processors later this year for the new macOS Big Sur. The role of Big Sur in this transition cannot be overemphasized, a "Rosetta 2" emulator will let x86 apps run on ARM, a new version of Xcode with ARM support, and support for the new "Universal 2" binary, which lets an app support both x86 and ARM.

Safari: During the WWDC 2020, Apple announced that Safari is getting the "biggest update ever since it was introduced." Apple says the new Safari will load pages 50 percent faster than Chrome. A new "Privacy Report" button will be available on the toolbar to provide info on website tracking. Not only that, but Safari will also now feature native translations. There's a home screen for Safari with different wallpaper to customize and choose from.

Control Center and Widgets: One of the exciting news announced was the introduction of the Control Center for Mac. Mere clicking on the toolbar by the time will bring up the control center, just like the notification panel. Also, Mac Widgets have been reworked with a gallery display view, and you can easily drag them into the side widget bar.

macOS Big Sur seems to focus on interface updates and modernizing macOS' visual design elements rather than adding new features. Enough of that, let’s talk on how to install the new macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows PC.

What is VMware?

Like we explained in-depth in our previous articles, a Virtual machine is something that doesn’t physically exist but instead uses your computer's physical resources to act virtually through VMWare Workstation Player. In this instance, we’re talking about a macOS virtual machine that is running on a Mac OS system. You can also run Mac OS through a virtual machine if you have a Windows Desktop. VMware Workstation Player is just like any other software you would run on your desktop. First, you need to create what is called a macOS Big Sur ISO image which in essence is the same type of file macOS users would use to install the Operating System initially. In addition to this, you will have to download VMWare Player itself as an additional Patch Tools file.

How to Install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows PC

We have taken our time to map out the necessary steps and procedures you will need to take to install macOS Big Sur on VMware on Windows PC.

Step 1: Download the macOS Big Sur Installer File.

This is the very first step needed to begin the installation of macOS Big Sur on your Windows PC. To run macOS Big Sur using VMware, you will need a macOS Big Sur installer file. The file can be downloaded from the Apple Developer portal.

  1. On your Mac, visit
  2. Click the “Discover” tab and select “macOS.” Then click on “Download.”
  3. Sign in with your developer account details if you are prompted. Once on your account, scroll down then click the “Install Profile” button for macOS Beta Install.

Step 2: Create a macOS ISO File

Normally, the downloaded macOS from the mac app store does not come in an ISO file. You have to mount it to convert it to an ISO file. Don’t worry, it is pretty simple. First of all, locate the downloaded file and move it to the application folder if it is not there already. Find the “macOS Beta.App” and move it to the Application folder.

The next thing to do is to use the Terminal to convert the files to an ISO image file. Go to “Utilities” under the applications and in there you will find “Terminal” or you can search for terminal at the top right corner and open it.

To create a macOS ISO file, the following commands must be typed sequentially and correctly.

# Create a Big Sur Virtual Disk Image
hdiutil create -o /tmp/bigsur -size 10250m -volname bigsur -layout SPUD -fs HFS+J
# Mount this Image to macOS
hdiutil attach /tmp/bigsur.dmg -noverify -mountpoint /Volumes/bigsur
# Use macOS Big Sur Createinstallmedia Tool to create a Installer Image
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ --volume /Volumes/bigsur --nointeraction
# Unmount Volume Big Sur
hdiutil eject -force /Volumes/Install\ macOS\ Beta
# Convert the bigsur.dmg to a bigsur.iso for Virtual Machine
hdiutil convert /tmp/bigsur.dmg -format UDTO -o ~/Desktop/bigsur.cdr
# Move and Rename bigsur Image to Desktop
mv ~/Desktop/bigsur.cdr ~/Desktop/bigsur.iso

Following the above commands correctly, you should see an ISO image on your desktop labelled “BigSur.iso”

Step 3. Install VMware Workstation Player 15.1

Install VMware Workstation 15 Player

After creating the ISO image for macOS Big Sur you need to download and install the latest version of VMware Player 15.1 otherwise known as VMware Workstation Player. VMware Workstation Player is the ideal utility for running a single virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC. You can download it by clicking here.

Step 4: Install Patch Tool

Once you have installed VMware Player 15.1, the next thing to do is to download and install the Patch Tool by Donk by clicking here. All you have to do is do is right-click on "win-install" and choose the option Run as Administrator and this will then install the patch tool for you.

Install Patch Tool

Step 5: Create a macOS Big Sur Virtual Machine on VMware

If you have been following the steps sequentially and correctly, you should be able to get VMware up and running. The next thing to do is to create a new Virtual Machine by selecting the top left option that says "create a new virtual machine". A wizard is going to pop up and will guide you through the process. It is imperative you chose the “I will install operating system later” option. When the wizard prompts you to select the Guest OS go ahead and select “macOS” and then click ‘Next’.

Select Guest OS and Version

The next step is to name your virtual machine (preferably macOS Big Sur) and where you want it to be stored. Select the “VMX folder” and then click Next. For the storage space, you can choose to remain with the default 100GB or increase it. You should select the “Store virtual disk as a single fine” option. After you have done all that, click confirm and finish and your virtual machine is ready.

macOS Big Sur and Virtual Disk Size

Step 6: Make Changes to the Virtual Machine

After creating a new virtual machine, you are halfway done. the next step is to edit the new virtual machine. For your sake, we have made it simple by providing you with the settings needed to make the new virtual machine perform optimally.

First of all, go to setting and click on the “memory” tab. For the RAM allocation, we suggest that you set it to at least 4Gb or 50% of your machines RAM, so if your desktop has 16GB RAM allocate 8GB of this to the virtual machine. For optimal performance, we suggest you set the Processor to 80% of your CPU because Big Sur needs a lot of CPU power.

Edit Memory and Processor

Click on the CD/DVD tab from the list on the left and click on the “Browse” button. browse through file explorer to the location where you stored the "BigSur.iso" file before and select that and click finish.

Add Big Sur ISO Image to VMware

Finally, Open up USB Controller Tab. In USB compatibility, select USB 3.0. Then click "OK". You can leave the Soundcard and Display settings on “Auto detect”.

Step 7: Edit the VMX File

Open your “VMX Folder” in step 4. We referred to this before and that is the VMX File (VMware virtual machine configuration). This is a configuration file essentially for the whole of your virtual machine. Right-click on VMX file, selecting "Open with" and then choose more apps, and from the list of choices select ‘Notepad’. This will open the VMX file in Notepad.​

Replace "darwin18-64" to "Darwin20-64".

Edit VMX File with Darwin20

At the bottom; Add the code: smc.version = "0" . Save the changes by clicking on “Ctrl+S”.

Edit VMX File with Notepad

Step 8: Upgrade to new VMware Player 15.5.6 and Reinstall Patch Tool

Open VMware Site, and download a new version VMware Player 15.5.6.

Upgrade to new VMware Player 15.5.6

Next steps, you need reinstall the Patch Tool.

Install Patch Tool

Step 9: Install macOS Big Sur on VMware

Open Disk Utility to format Virtual Disk

Reopen your VMware, this will automatically turn on your VM and the macOS utilities window will pop up. Click on “Disk Utility”. Select the VMware Virtual Disk and format it with Mac OS Extended or APFS Partition. Then Install macOS Big Sur on your VMware disk.

Format Big Sur Virtual Disk with APFS Partition

Install macOS 10.16 Big Sur on Virtual Disk.

Install macOS Big Sur on VMware Virtual Disk

Step 10: Create a New Account and Install VMware Tool

Once your installation has completed, turn off your Virtual machine, Open VMware Player setting, then click on the CD/DVD tab and uncheck the "Connect at power on" button. Turn on your Virtual Machine and create a new account.

Create a new account in macOS Big Sur

After installing macOS Big Sur, download VMware tools by clicking here. Open VMware Workstation Player, click "Player", then select “Removable devices” then “CD/DVD” then click “Setting” and open the “VM Tool.iso” file. Check the “connected” button and click “OK”.

Install VMware Tools in macOS Big Sur

Next up you have to install the VMware tools. For this process, you will have to enable "System Extensions" by opening "Open Security Preferences" and click "Allow". Click on the Restart button this will restart your virtual machine. You have successfully installed macOS Big Sur on Vmware!

Install macOS Big Sur Version 11 on VMware

How to fix "BIErrorDomain error 3" on VMware 

Edit your VMX file in step 7 with this code (read more here).

Fix BIError on VMware

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