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How to install Windows 10 in VirtualBox for free [Guide]

If you were on the look out for Windows 9, forget it.  Microsoft has skipped straight from 8 to 10, and there is now a preview version of Windows 10 available for download and the full final release of Windows 10 will be available sooner rather than later.  Previews are great, because they allow you to get used to new features before the full system is launched.  You can test it out and see whether you want to be first in line to upgrade or not.  However, you don’t want to replace your current OS with a preview version: they are buggy and unreliable.  So, what can you do if you want to test out Windows 10 while still keeping your current system?  The answer is a virtual system.

This guide shows you how to install Windows 10 in VirtualBox. Keep reading to learn more.

WHAT IS VIRTUALBOX?

VirtualBox is a program that you can download and run on your computer.  It allows you to set up a virtual computer system within your computer.  Within VirtualBox, you can download a different operating system, download and run applications, save files, etc.  You can still access your normal files while using VirtualBox.

Essentially, VirtualBox allows you to run another operating system (e.g. Windows 10) like a regular program on your computer — open and run VirtualBox when you want to use it, delete VirtualBox if you are done with it.

BEFORE WE BEGIN

The prospect of sampling Windows 10 before deciding to install it as your main operating system is exciting, but you won’t be satisfied if it is too sluggish for you to use.  So make sure your computer is strong enough to run Windows 10. These are the requirements Microsoft recommends:

Windows 10 works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 8.1:

  • Processor: 1 GHz or faster
  • RAM: 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

Since you’re going to be running Windows 10 in VirtualBox, you’ll get the best results if your computer exceeds these base requirements.

STEP 1: HOW TO INSTALL VIRTUALBOX

This installation will probably take between 20-30 minutes, depending on the performance of your computer. That being said, to learn how to install VirtualBox, do the following:

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If you see the above window, you are done — you have successfully installed VirtualBox! Now proceed to Step 2 below to learn how to install Windows 10 in VirtualBox.

STEP 2: HOW TO INSTALL WINDOWS 10 IN VIRTUALBOX

To learn how to install Windows 10 in VirtualBox, do the following:

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Done!

CONCLUSION

Although it’s time consuming, downloading VirtualBox so you can run another operating system like Windows 10 is rewarding.  Now you can check out the new features of the system before switching over completely, without fear that a bug will mess up your whole hard drive.  If you find Windows 10 is not your liking, simply delete it from VirtualBox and you are good to go — no need to worry about how it will effect your computer because you never actually installed it on your computer… you installed it in VirtualBox!  You can delete VirtualBox at any time.

For some new things in Windows 10, check out our articles on Copy and Paste in Command Prompt [37] and Creating Multiple Desktops [38],  and keep your eyes peeled for more Windows 10 articles [39].