Replace MacOS? (With Windows, Unix)

MacOS, previously known as MacOS X, is the primary operating system for Apple’s Mac computers. macOS is the second most used computer operating system; the leading computer operating system is Microsoft Windows. If you have a Mac computer and you want to use Microsoft Windows, you might be wondering if it is possible to replace macOS with Windows.

So, can you replace macos with windows? MacOS can be replaced with Windows on a Mac computer using a tool like Boot Camp, which is included with MacOS. This program partitions the hard drive to accommodate both operating systems, allowing the user to choose which one to boot at startup. However, this process may be complex, and it’s crucial to back up data before attempting it, as any error can result in data loss. Furthermore, not all features may work as expected in Windows on a Mac device due to hardware differences.

To install Windows on your Mac you can make use of Boot Camp Assistant. You can also install a visualization program that can run Windows 10 like an application on top of your macOS.

MacOS and Microsoft Windows are the most prominent computer operating systems; currently, Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in the world. Apple Inc. likes to have their devices run on their software; hence, they developed macOS for their Mac computers.

When you buy any Mac computer from Apple Inc., it will come with a macOS, the primary operating system for all computers developed by Apple Inc. MacOS is quite different from Microsoft Windows, and if you were previously using a Windows PC, you might miss some of its features. Instead of buying another Windows PC, you might wonder if you can replace macOS with Windows.

You cannot replace macOS with Windows because macOS is the primary operating system of all Mac computers, and Apple Inc. would not want their computers to run on any operating system that they do not develop or own. However, you can install the Microsoft Windows

Boot Camp Assistant

Operating system to your Mac and use it alongside macOS. Apple Inc. added the Boot Camp Assistant option, which allows you to install and use Windows 10 operating system on your Mac. Mac computers are designed to work best with a macOS; hence, completely replacing the macOS with another operating system could make your Mac malfunction.

Apple Inc. includes Boot Camp Assistant for certain Mac computers that you can use to install Windows 10. When you install Windows 10 on your Mac using Boot Camp, you can switch between Windows and macOS when starting your computer. However, this process requires a Mac with an Intel processor; hence, if your Mac uses an M1 chip, you cannot install Windows 10.

You must also update your macOS to ensure the Boot Camp Assistant is fully updated. You should also ensure your Mac has more than 64GB of free storage space. The 64-bit Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro is the best version you should install on your Mac.

To install Windows 10 on your Mac, check the Secure Boot setting and ensure “Full Security” is enabled. Use the Boot Camp Assistant to create a Windows partition on your Mac. Go to your Applications folder, locate the utility folder and open the Boot Camp Assistant.

You might be prompted to insert a USB drive; if you are asked to do so, plug in the flash drive in your Mac, and the flash drive will be used to create the bootable USB drive required for this installation.

You should consider the storage space requirements when creating partitions. You should also create a partition that will meet your needs because you cannot change the size again after installing Windows.

After creating the partition, your Mac will restart to the Windows installer, and if prompted where to install Windows, click on the BOOTCAMP partition before clicking Format. Sometimes, the installer will automatically select and also format the BOOTCAMP partition.

Ensure you unplug all the external devices you don’t need for the installation and proceed to click “Next” and then follow the instructions you’ll see on the screen to begin installing Windows. Once the installation is complete, your Mac will start in Windows and will open a window to Welcome you to the Boot Camp Installer.

Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the Windows installation by installing Boot Camp and Windows drivers. After installing the drivers, you will be prompted to restart your Mac.

Sometimes the Boot Camp install will not open automatically; you can manually open it to complete the installation. If you have an external display connected to a Thunderbolt 3 port on your Mac, the screen on display will be blank for up to 2 minutes during the installation process.

It might have a black, gray, or blue color. If you want to use Windows on your Mac, turn it on or restart it. When your Mac is restarting, press and hold the Option or Alt key on your keyboard, and release the button once the Window displaying startup volume appears. Select the Boot Camp volume and press Return or click the up arrow.

Change the OS of a Mac

Operating systems are usually tied to the hardware they are installed in, and sometimes users are free to change to another OS. The main reason people change operating systems is a bad user experience; hence, switching to an operating system they like the most. If you have purchased a Mac computer and do not like the operating system, you might wonder if you can change it.

You can change the operating system of a Mac, but the options are limited to operating systems developed by Apple Inc. only. You can change the operating system on your Mac to a new version or a supported older version. You need to check hardware compatibility before you can update macOS or install an older version of macOS.

However, you cannot change the operating system to one that Apple Inc. did not develop, for example, Microsoft Windows or Linux. If you want to use a Microsoft Windows operating system on your Mac, you can install it and use it together with the macOS. 

If you are using a Mac with an operating system incompatible with the hardware, you can change it to a more suitable one. You should note that the version of macOS that came with your Mac is the only earliest version you can use; you cannot downgrade further than that.

For example, if your Mac came with a macOS High Sierra 10.13, it cannot use macOS Sierra 10.12 or earlier. You should also check the hardware requirements of any older macOS version you want to install on your Mac. For example, if you have a MacBook Air and want to install a macOS Mojave, you need a MacBook Air Mid 2012 or later.

Downgrade macOS to earlier version

To change the OS of your Mac to an earlier version, download the installers using the Safari browser on your Mac. Safari has several links to the old macOS installers in the App Store. After downloading the compatible macOS, it will open automatically.

The installers usually appear as a disk image titled “InstallMacOSX.dmg” or “InstallOS.dmg”.  Once you’ve opened the .pkg installer, usually in the disk image, it will then install an app that’s named after the macOS you wish to install, for example, “Install macOS Catalina”.

Open that app to start installing the operating system. Before you install another operating system, ensure you have a backup of all data saved on your Mac.

Upgrade macOS

If you are using an old Mac and Apple releases a new macOS, you can upgrade your macOS. You should also create a back of your data before you install a different operating system. To upgrade your Mac’s operating system, open the Apple menu on your Mac and select “System Preferences”.

In the “System Preferences,” locate and open “Software Update” and click “Upgrade Now.” Upgrade Now will install the new macOS version compatible with your Mac. You should ensure you have enough free storage space before you begin the upgrade process.

If you want to upgrade to a new macOS, you should not click on “Update Now.” “Update Now” will only install updates for the current macOS installed on your Mac. For example, if you have macOS Big Sur 11.5 and click on “Update Now,” your Mac will update to macOS Big Sur 11.6.

Since it is impossible to change your Mac’s operating system to another one developed by a different party, the only option you have is to install two operating systems. Through the Boot Camp Assistant, Apple Inc. has allowed users to install Windows on their Macs.

After installing Windows 10 on your Mac, you can switch between Windows and macOS whenever you want. You need a macOS with an Intel processor to use Boot Camp to install Windows. To switch between macOS and Windows 10, you can do it by restarting your Mac or when you turn it on.

MacOS Unix base

Unix is a group of multitasking and multiuser computer operating systems that originated from AT&T Unix, developed in the 1960s by Bell Labs. Unix was intended to be used in the Bell System, but AT&T decided to license it to other parties. When using your Mac, you might be wondering if macOS is Unix based.

MacOS is a Unix-based operating system because Apple Inc. acquired the license to use Unix from Open Group. MacOS became a UNIX 03-compliant operating system after Apple Inc. bought the license to use the system in their operating systems at the beginning of 2007. Apple Inc. began to use Unix on their Mac OS X 10.5, the only exception being Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Compliance with the Unix license resumed with the OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Open Group is the present owner of the trademark UNIX, and it is the certifying body for the UNIX trademark. Suppose you have created an operating system and want to call it a UNIX-based operating system.

In that case, Open Group has to confirm that your operating system is compliant before distributing it. If your operating system is deemed compliant by Open Group, it will be known in the market as a UNIX operating system.

If it is deemed non-compliant, it will be referred to as a Unix-like operating system. Since macOS is deemed compliant by Open Group, any version of macOS is usually described as a Unix operating system.

Unix origins began in the mid-1960s at Bell Labs, where Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others wanted to create an operating system for the Bell System. AT&T did not see Unix as something they would gain profits from; hence, they decided to distribute Unix with a liberal license.


Anyone who wants to use Unix as a source code would only pay for shipping and packaging and a small royalty. When Steve Job left Apple Inc., he went on to found a company named NeXT and began developing the NeXTSTEP platform.

In 1996, Apple Inc. bought NeXT and acquired the NeXTSTEP platform, which formed a big part of the macOS. The Mac OS X used an upgraded version of the Mach kernel, which was created for the NeXTSTEP platform using Unix source codes. Apple Inc.

You can trace the lineage back through FreeBSD to BSD all the way to the Unix system that was free to use. However, Open Group has increased the licensing fees, and only a few companies developing operating systems can afford to pay the license fees.

Anyone who develops an operating system that satisfies the requirement of Unix will have to pay royalties to Open Group. If a company does not pay the license fees, its operating system will not be referred to as a Unix operating system.

The macOS is considered UNIX 03-compliant because it conforms to version 3 of SUS. A compliant operating system is awarded five marks. They include UNIX 93, UNIX 95, UNIX 98, UNIX 03, and UNIX V7.

UNIX 95 is for operating systems compliant with version 1 of the SUS, UNIX 98 for version 2 of SUS, UNIX 03 for version 3 of SUS, and UNIX V7 for version 4 of SUS. Other Unix operating systems include AIX, EulerOS, HP-UX, OpenServer, UnixWare, and z/OS.


It is impossible to replace macOS with Windows on your Mac. Apple Inc. prefers their devices to run on operating systems they have developed; hence, letting users replace their software with one from their rival is not a good business move.

However, Apple Inc., through the Boot Camp Assistant, has allowed users to install Windows 10 on their Mac. You can switch between macOS and Windows after installing Windows on your Mac.

Depending on your hardware’s compatibility, you can also change your macOS version to an earlier one. If you upgraded to a new version and it is not working properly, you can downgrade to a previous version. MacOS has been a UNIX operating system since its beginning, the only exception being Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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