Installing Windows and Office 365 in a VM on a Mac

Installing Windows and Office 365 in a VM on a Mac

Important note: Apple Macs with M-series ARM-based processors do not support standard Intel-based x86/x64 Windows installations. If you have an M1/M2 Mac, you will not be able to install or run Windows virtual machines on your Mac using the guide below.

The following guide describes the steps you might use to create a Windows 10 virtual machine on your Mac computer. This consists of 5 main phases:

  1. Download Windows 10 from the Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching site.
  2. Download and install VirtualBox. The VirtualBox software that allows for the creation of a virtual machine (VM) on a mac.
  3. Create a new Windows 10 VM using VirtualBox.
  4. Install Office 365 on the Windows 10 VM. Office 365 includes applications like Access, Excel and Word.
  5. Install software updates. This will patch Windows 10 and other Microsoft software, like Office 365, to ensure everything is up to date.

Adding a virtual machine to a computer is a complex, intensive process. Technical issues and resource limitations can prevent this process from being successful.

There are many factors which can influence the amount of time required to install a virtual machine.  Factors such as free disk space and computer account privileges can potentially result in this process taking additional time.  Please allow enough time to troubleshoot any issues that you may encounter.

If you run into technical issues or need further assistance, please refer to the Technical Support section below.

Phase 1: Get Windows from Azure Dev Tools for Teaching

To download Windows 10 from Microsoft's Azure Dev Tools for Teaching website:

  1. Follow steps 1-5 from our How to Log On to Azure Dev Tools for Teaching article to log in and reach the Azure Dev Tools for Teaching Education portal.
  2. In the Search box, type in Windows 10 and hit Enter. You will be shown a link for Windows 10 Education (among other options). Click it to see its details.
    Screenshot of Azure Dev Tools for Teaching education portal website. Type Windows 10 into the search box to find the Windows download options.
  3. In the right-hand pane, click the button to View Key to generate a Product Key for your licensing of this download. Note your Product Key and save it for future steps and for re-installation in the future. Then, click the Download button to begin your download of Windows 10.
    Screenshot of Azure Dev Tools for Teaching website's search results for Windows 10. On the Windows 10 Education page, click View Key to generate a license key (Product Key) and then click on Download to start your software download.

    We'll use the download and the Product Key in Phase 3.

Phase 2. Download and Install Oracle VirtualBox


NOTE: If you already have or use a virtualization software, like Parallels or VMware Fusion, and you're knowledgeable of its functionality, you may be able to skip this phase of the instructions and proceed to phase 3, adapting those instructions for the software that you're already familiar with. Our instructions use Oracle VirtualBox because it is popular, free and the UITS 24/7 IT Support Center is familiar with its operation, which may be helpful in case you need assistance.

NOTE: VMware Fusion is available to MIS students and faculty free of charge. Please see our page on the VMware Academic Program for more information.

To download Oracle VirtualBox:

1.  Go to the Oracle VirtualBox download page, available at 

2.  Download 2 items:

    • The current VirtualBox Platform Package for OS X hosts.
    • The current VirtualBox Oracle VM VirtualBox Extension Pack for All supported platforms.
virtual box step 1

3. When the download is complete, navigate to the location of the two downloaded files.  

The default location should be the Downloads folder.

Click the VirtualBox.dmg file to begin the VirtualBox installation.

virtual box step 2


4.  Click on the VirtualBox.pkg Icon.

virtual box step 3


5.  Click the Continue button.

virtual box step 4



 6.  Click the Continue button.

Virtual box step 5


 7.  Click the Install button.

virtual box step 6


8.  Enter the Username and Password for an account on the Mac computer that has administrative privileges, then click the Install Software button.

virtual box step 7


9. When the installation completes successfully, click the Close button.

virtual box step 8


10.  Return to the download location used earlier. Now we can install the VirtualBox VM Extension Pack. 

        Click on the Oracle_VM_VirtualBox.vbox-extpack file. 

virtual box step 8.5


11.  Click the Install button.


click on install


12.  Click the I Agree button to accept the license agreement.

click on I agree


13.  Enter the Username and Password for an account on the Mac computer that has administrative privileges, then click the OK button.

virtual box step 11



14.  When the installation completes successfully, click the OK button.

step 12

You have now installed VirtualBox and can proceed with creating a Windows 10 VM.

Phase 3. Creating a Windows 10 Virtual Machine in VirtualBox 


1.  In VirtualBox, click the New button.

click on new in the vb


2.  Configure the basics of your Virtual Machine.

Name can be anything you choose. In this example, we are naming our VM "Windows".

Type should be Microsoft Windows by default.

For Version select Windows 10 64-bit, unless your Mac is too old to support 64-bit processing and/or it has 2GB of RAM or less. 

When complete, click the Continue button.

new windows vm details


3. Click the Continue button.

NOTE: The amount of RAM allocated to the virtual machine can be adjusted later, but the default setting often works best.

set ram


4.  Make sure the Create a virtual hard disk now option is selectedClick the Create button.

set virtual hard disk


5.   Click the Continue button to keep the default VDI file type.

set virtual hd settings


6.   Click the Continue button.

dynamic fixed storage


7.   Click the Continue button to accept the default suggestion for disk size.

NOTE:  The minimum hard drive size of the new virtual machine is set here. Please consider the amount of software that will be used on the VM as the amount of space minimally dedicated to the virtual machine cannot be changed later.

hd size Windows


8. Click the Start button to launch the Windows 10 virtual machine.

     Note:  The start button will be used in the future each time to start the Window 10 virtual machine.

click on start


 9.   Click the Folder Icon to choose an optical disk file.

select disk image


10.  Navigate to the location of the Windows 10 Education 32/64-bit (English) download.  The default location should be the Downloads folder.

Select the downloaded Windows 10 file.

Click the Open button.

NOTE: If you need to re-download software or get your product key from any previous orders in Microsoft Azure, please see our instructions

To get your Microsoft Windows 10 please refer to the Phase1 instructions above.

selected disk image windows vm


click on open


11. Click the Start button to start the new VM and begin installation

load disk image


 12.  Once this screen appears, select language, time, and keyboard options before clicking Next.  

select options


13.  Click Install now to begin installing Windows 10 on the Virtual Machine. 

click on install


14.  Enter the Product key that was displayed in the order summary section of the Microsoft Imagine webpage.

NOTE: If you need to re-download software or get your product key from any previous orders in Microsoft Azure, please see our instructions

step 1 for installation


 15.  Check the I accept the license terms to accept the software license agreement, then Click the Next button.

click on I accept


16.  Click the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.

custom windows option


17.  Click the Next button to accept the installation defaults.

click on next


18.  Windows 10 is now installing. This can take many minutes, especially on older systems.

windows is now installing


19.  After the installation is complete, we need to configure the system. Click the Use Express settings button.



20.  Select the Join a local Active Directory domain option and Click the Next button.

join local AD


21.  Create a Username and Password for the Windows 10 VM user account.

create user name


22. The system will now reboot and be ready for first time use. You can log in with the credentials created in the previous step.

If prompted to enable Network Discovery, click the No button.

click on no


 You now have a basic Windows 10 VM.


Phase 4. Installing Office 365 in Windows 10 virtual machine

Office 365 is available for free to students at the University of Arizona. To find out more about this program, see the University of Arizona BookStores Office 365 page.

To download Office 365, please complete the following steps within the Windows 10 virtual machine:

1.  Click on to go to the Office 365 download webpage.  

2.  Enter your University of Arizona Email Address.

Screenshot shows a student entering their UA e-mail address at the Microsoft logon prompt.

3.  Click the Install Apps button.

Screenshot shows a student clicking on the "Install Apps" button from the Microsoft 365 portal.

4.  Click the Microsoft 365 apps button to start the download.

Screenshot shows a student clicking on the Microsoft 365 apps button to begin their download.

5. Click the Got it button and click the Open file button. Alternatively, open the OfficeSetup.exe file from your Downloads folder.

Screenshot shows a student opening the Office installer file from their browser

6. Click the Yes button on the User Account Control prompt to allow the installer to make changes to the system.

Screen shows a student clicking Yes on a User Account Control prompt to allow the Office 365 installer to make changes to the system.

7. Office 365 is being downloaded and installed. This will take a some time to complete.

Screenshot shows the Microsoft 365 and Office installer running.


 8. When the installation of Office 365 completes successfully, click the Close button to exit the installer.

Screenshot shows a student clicking on the Close button to dismiss the Microsoft 365 installer after it has completed.

You now have a functional Windows 10 virtual machine with Office 365. Congratulations!

You should Update your machine to install the latest critical and security patches to Windows and Office 365.

You can do this by clicking Start and typing Windows Update and stepping through the wizard.

Assuming you have enough space, you can install other software in this VM as well. As an MIS student, you can use Microsoft Visio and Project in the course of your studies. We have guides on how to install those titles on our Instructions + Documentation page.

Phase 5. Install software updates

To install updates for Windows 10 and other Microsoft products, like Office 365:

1.  Click the Start button.

update step 1


2. Type Windows Update and click the Check for updates option.

update step 2


3.  Windows 10 is now checking for updates, this may take a few minutes.

office step 3


4.  If Windows 10 finds any updates, they will begin installing. This process may take significant time if there are many updates to apply.

office step 4


5.  After installing the updates, Windows 10 may need to be restarted.  Click the Restart now button.

update step 5


6.  After Windows 10 restarts, it may return to the Windows Update status window. You may want to Check for updates one more time to make sure the system is up-to-date.

update final 6



Your Windows 10 VM is now up-to-date and ready for use.


Technical Support

If you have questions or feedback on this guide, or are having trouble with the MIS department's software license systems, remote desktop services, or other systems, please contact the MIS Academic and Research Technologies Group by e-mailing Please include as many details as you can, and provide screenshots if necessary. We generally respond to support requests within 1-2 business days.

If you experience technical issues with your computer, you may want to contact The 24/7 IT Support Center. The 24/7 provides computing support to University of Arizona students, faculty and staff. You can find their contact information on the 24/7 IT Support Center webpage

If you do not know your NetID credentials, or are having trouble with the WebAuth system, please contact the 24/7 IT Support Center at 520-626-TECH.