Boot Camp (software)

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For other uses, see Boot camp.
Boot Camp Assistant
Boot Camp Large.png
Boot Camp 1.1.png
Boot Camp 5.1.2 running on Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release April 5, 2006; 11 years ago (2006-04-05)
Stable release
6.1.0 / August 10, 2016; 8 months ago (2016-08-10)
Type Software assistant for dual booting
License Proprietary

Boot Camp Assistant is a multi boot utility included with Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X that assists users in installing Microsoft Windows operating systems on Intel-based Macintosh computers. The utility guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning (including resizing of an existing HFS+ partition, if necessary) of their hard disk drive and installation of Windows device drivers for the Apple hardware. The utility also installs a Windows Control Panel applet for selecting the boot operating system.

Initially introduced as an unsupported beta for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger,[1][2] the utility was first included with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and has been included in subsequent versions of the operating system ever since. Previous versions of Boot Camp supported Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Boot Camp 4.0 for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard up to Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion version 10.8.2 only supported Windows 7.[3] However, with the release of Boot Camp 5.0 for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion inversion 10.8.3, only 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 are officially supported.[4][5]

Boot Camp 6.0 added support for Windows 10. Boot Camp 6.1 (macOS 10.12 Sierra only) will only accept new installations of Windows 10.



Setting up Windows 10 on a Mac requires a USB flash drive and the ISO image of Windows 10 provided by Microsoft. Boot Camp reformats the flash drive as a Mac bootable install disk, and combines Windows 10 with install scripts to load hardware drivers for the targeted Mac computer.

Boot Camp currently supports Windows 10 on a range of Macs dated mid-2012 or newer. [6]

Startup Disk[edit]

By default, Mac will always boot from the last-used startup disk. Holding down the option key (⌥) at startup brings up the boot manager, allowing the user to choose which operating system to start up. When using a non-Apple keyboard, the alt key usually performs the same action. The boot manager can also be launched by holding down the “menu” button on the Apple Remote at startup.

On older Macs, its functionality relies on BIOS emulation through EFI and a partition table information synchronization mechanism between GPT and MBR combined.[7]

On newer Macs, Boot Camp keeps the hard disk as a GPT so that Windows is installed and booted in UEFI mode.[8]


Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion[edit]

Apple's Boot Camp system requirements lists the following requirements for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion:[9]

  • GB USB storage device, or external drive formatted as MS-DOS (FAT) for installation of Windows drivers for Mac hardware
  • 20 GB free hard disk space for a first-time installation or 40 GB for an upgrade from a previous version of Windows
  • A full version of one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate
    • Windows 8 and Windows 8 Professional (64-bit editions only)

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard[edit]

Apple lists the following requirements for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard:[9]

  • An Intel-based Macintosh computer with the latest firmware (Early Intel-based Macintosh computers require an EFI firmware update for BIOS compatibility).
  • A Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installation disc or Mac OS X Disc 1 included with Macs that have Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard preinstalled; this disc is needed for installation of Windows drivers for Mac hardware
  • 10 GB free hard disk space (16 GB is recommended for Windows 7)
  • A full version of one of the following operating systems:
    • Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional Edition with Service Pack 2 or higher (32-bit editions only)[10]
    • Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise or Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit editions)[11]
    • Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit editions)

Supported Macintosh computers with Windows 8[edit]

Officially, the earliest Macintosh models that support Windows 8 are the mid-2011 MacBook Air, 13-inch-mid-2011 or 15 and 17-inch-mid-2010 MacBook Pro, mid-2011 Mac Mini, 21-inch-mid-2011 or 27-inch-mid-2010 iMac, and early 2009 Mac Pro.[12][13] By running the Boot Camp assistant with a compatible version of Microsoft Windows setup disc in the drive and switching to a Windows 8 disc when. Mac OS X reboots the machine to begin installing Windows, Windows 8 can be installed on older unsupported hardware.[citation needed]


  • Boot Camp will only help the user partition their disk if they currently have only a primary HFS partition, an EFI System Partition, and a Mac OS X Recovery Partition. Thus, for example, it is not possible to maintain an additional storage partition.[14] A workaround has been discovered that involves interrupting the standard procedure after creating the Boot Camp partition, resizing the primary Mac OS X partition and creating a third partition in the now available space, then continuing with the Windows install.[15] Changes to the partition table after Windows is installed are officially unsupported, but can be achieved with the help of third party software.[16]
  • Boot Camp does not help users install Linux, and does not provide drivers for it. Most methods for dual-booting with Linux on Mac rely on manual disk partitioning, and the use of an EFI boot manager such as rEFInd.[17]

Boot Camp Version history[edit]

April 5, 2006
  • Original release
  • Contained a software bug that prevented certain users from booting back into Mac OS X[1]
August 26, 2006
  • Support for the latest Intel-based Macintosh computers
  • Easier partitioning using presets for popular sizes
  • Ability to install Windows XP on any internal disk
  • Support for built-in iSight cameras
  • Support for built-in microphones
  • Right-click when pressing the right-hand Apple key on Apple keyboards
  • Improved Apple keyboard support including Delete, PrintScreen, NumLock, and ScrollLock keys
September 14, 2006
  • Support for Core 2 Duo iMacs
October 30, 2006
  • The Apple USB Modem now works correctly
  • Trackpad scrolling and right-click gestures work correctly
  • Fixed idle sleep bugs
  • Reduced dialogs during Windows driver installation
  • Improved international support
  • Improved 802.11 wireless networking support
March 28, 2007
  • Support for 32-bit Windows Vista
  • Updated drivers, including but not limited to trackpad, AppleTime (sync), audio, graphics, modem, iSight camera
  • Support the Apple Remote (works with iTunes and Windows Media Player)
  • A Windows Notification Area icon for easy access to Boot Camp information and actions
  • Improved keyboard support for Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, and French Canadian
  • Improved Windows driver installation experience
  • Updated documentation and Boot Camp on-line help in Windows
  • Apple Software Update (for Windows XP and Vista)
June 7, 2007
  • Support for the MacBook Pro's backlit keyboard
  • Apple Remote pairing
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer
  • Improved international keyboard support
  • Localization fixes
  • Updated Windows Help for Boot Camp
August 8, 2007
  • Support for the MacBook Pro's backlit keyboard
  • Adds Apple Remote Pairing
  • Updated graphics drivers
  • Improved Boot Camp driver installer
  • Improved international keyboard support
  • Updates to Windows help for Boot Camp
2.0 October 26, 2007
  • Updated Boot Camp control panel
  • Updated keyboard support
  • Updated drivers
  • Updated localization
  • Support for the latest Mac models
  • Updates to Windows help for Boot Camp
2.1 April 24, 2008
  • Supports for Windows XP with Service Pack 3
  • Supports for 64-bit Windows Vista
2.2 November 19, 2009
  • Fixes issues with the trackpad and digital audio ports on portables
  • Adds support for Apple Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard
3.0 August 28, 2009
  • Read Mac Volumes from Windows
  • Read/Copy Files between Mac and Windows
  • Support for advanced features on Apple Cinema displays
  • Improved tap-to-click support
  • Command line version of the Startup Disk Control Panel from Windows[18]
3.1 January 19, 2010
  • Support for Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate)
  • Addresses issues with the Apple trackpad
  • Turns off the red digital audio port LED on laptop computers when it is not being used
  • Supports the Apple wireless keyboard and Apple Magic mouse
3.2 November 18, 2010
  • Adds support for the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, Apple USB Ethernet Adapter, MacBook Air SuperDrive
  • Addresses critical bug fixes
  • Drops support for 64-bit Windows Vista[11]
3.3 August 24, 2011
  • Addresses critical bug fixes
  • Adds support for new hardware
  • Drops support for Windows XP, Windows Vista[19]
4.0 July 20, 2012
  • Drops support for all versions of Windows XP and Vista[20]
  • Currently only available in Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard", Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion", and OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion"
  • Added Support to Install ISO files from USB
5.0 March 14, 2013
  • Support for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro (64-bit only)
  • Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3 TB hard drive
  • Drops support for 32-bit Windows 7
  • Currently only available in OS X Mountain Lion version 10.8.3 and later
5.1 February 11, 2014
  • Support for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit only)
5.1.2 October 16, 2014
6.0 August 13, 2015
  • Support for Windows 10 (64-bit only)
6.1 (Sierra only) September 20, 2016
  • Only accept new installations of Windows 10

Boot Camp Support Software (for Windows) Version History[edit]

Version Date Supported Systems
5.1.5621 Feb 11, 2014
  • MacBook Air (11-inch & 13-inch, Mid 2011)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch & 13-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch & 17-inch, Mid 2010)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, & 15-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch,15-inch & 17-inch Late 2011)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch & 15-inch, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch & 15-inch Early 2013)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2009)
  • Mac Pro (Mid 2010)
  • Mac Pro (Mid 2012)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012)
  • iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010)
  • iMac (21.5-inch & 27-inch, Mid 2011)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2011)
  • iMac (21.5-inch & 27-inch, Late 2012)
  • iMac (21.5-inch) Early 2013
5.1.5640 Feb 11, 2014
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)
  • MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)
  • MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)
  • iMac (27-inch, Late 2013)
5.1.5722 Aug 12, 2015
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014)
5.1.5769 Aug 12, 2015
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2014)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Broersma, Matthew (April 13, 2006). "Users Find Flaw in Boot Camp". PC World. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ Mossberg, Walter (April 6, 2006). "Boot Camp Turns Your Mac Into a Reliable Windows PC". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ Kessler, Topher (August 1, 2011). "Boot Camp 4 requires Windows 7 or later". CNET. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Boot Camp 5: Frequently asked questions". Apple Inc. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Apple BootCamp 5.0 only supports 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and 8". BetaNews. March 15, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Use Windows 10 on your Mac with Boot Camp". Apple Support. Retrieved 2016-10-29. 
  7. ^ "You need BIOS compatibility and a MBR partition table to boot Windows". rEFIt project. December 9, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2009. 
  8. ^ "EFI and Windows on Option Boot Screen". Twocanoes. December 4, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Boot Camp: System requirements for Microsoft Windows". Apple Inc. January 19, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Boot Camp 2.0: Which versions of Microsoft Windows are supported?". Apple Inc. June 17, 2008. Retrieved October 3, 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Boot Camp: Macs that work with 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows Vista". Apple Inc. December 21, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Boot Camp: System requirements for Microsoft Windows operating systems". Apple Inc. March 14, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Boot Camp: Frequently asked questions about installing Windows 8". Apple Inc. March 14, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Set up a Windows partition on your Mac". 
  15. ^ "Successful setup of OS X Lion + Data Partition ... - Apple Support Communities". 
  16. ^ "how to resize my bootcamp partition without del... - Apple Support Communities". 
  17. ^ "How to Install and Dual Boot Linux on a Mac". 
  18. ^ Apple Inc. (March 16, 2011). "Boot Camp 3.0, Mac OS X 10.6: Frequently asked questions". Apple Inc. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Boot Camp Software Update 3.3 for Windows". 
  20. ^ Keizer, Gregg (August 2, 2011). "OS X Lion requires Windows 7 for Boot Camp". Computerworld. Retrieved August 2, 2011. 

External links[edit]