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How to Switch Between Mac and PC (Windows) Using Boot Camp

How to Switch Between Mac and PC Using Boot Camp

The video tutorial above shows users how to switch between Mac and PC (Windows) using the Boot Camp application.

Boot Camp by Apple allows users to install a Windows partition on the hard drive of their Mac computer. This allows users to use both Mac and Windows operating systems on the same computer. This is especially useful for running applications that are only available for one of the two operating systems.

Once Windows is installed on the the computer using Boot Camp, it is important to learn how to switch between the two operating systems.

Basic Method to Switch Between macOS and Windows:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Once the computer screen goes black, press and hold the option key until a chime is heard.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select the operating system you would like to boot to.
  4. Press enter to boot up the selected operating system.

This method can be tedious, however. Especially when you’re using a bluetooth keyboard. At times, there can be a delay with the keyboard button input causing the computer to boot to the default operating system.

There are two separate methods to switch operating systems using Boot Camp without using the option key depending on which operating system you’re currently running.

Switching From Windows to Mac:

  1. Locate the Boot Camp icon in the Windows system tray in the bottom right corner.
  2. Right click and select Restart in macOS…
  3. After confirming any popups, the computer should reboot to macOS.
Boot Camp icon in Windows 10
Switching from Windows to Mac using Boot Camp

Switching From Mac to Windows:

  1. Use Spotlight to search for and open the Startup Disk preference pane.
  2. Unlock System Preferences with an admin username and password.
  3. Select Windows (Boot Camp) as the default startup disk.
  4. Click Restart…
Switching from Mac to Windows with Startup Disk
Switching from Mac to Windows with Startup Disk

With these methods in mind, switching from Windows to Mac is easy and but vice versa is trivial. It would be helpful if the process was consistent for both operating systems. Apple could simply add a menu item in macOS for Boot Camp allowing users to restart to the Windows partition.

That being said, I find these methods of switching between Windows and Mac using Boot Camp easier than holding down the option key so I hope you find them helpful as well!

Anson Alexander

I am an author, digital educator and content marketer. I record, edit, and publish content for AnsonAlex.com, provide technical and business services to clients and am an avid self-learner. I have also authored several digital marketing and business courses for LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com).

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