How to Create the Perfect Windows 11 Virtual Machine


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How to test Windows 11 for compatibility with essential applications without putting your work at risk? Simple: use the built-in Hyper-V platform on your Windows 10 PC to create a virtual machine and install Windows 11. You can run your existing applications and services on this virtual machine without risking the integrity or stability of your “real one.” »PC.

Creating a new virtual PC is easy, provided your PC meets the requirements. You must be running a professional 64-bit edition of Windows Pro or Enterprise; the Home edition does not include Hyper-V support. In addition, your CPU and associated hardware must meet specific requirements. Most modern processors easily pass this test. (For details, see “Windows 10 Tip: Find out if your PC can run Hyper-V.”)

You also need enough physical hardware resources to devote to your virtual machine. I recommend at least 8GB of memory, plus some unused local storage space for a full installation of Windows, apps, and checkpoints (32GB should be enough).

Finally, you need a copy of the Windows 11 installation files in ISO format. You can get this file from Microsoft Download Windows 11 page; choose the option Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO).

With those foreplay out of the way, you’re good to go. Note that all of the steps below work exactly the same on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

1. Click Start and type Hyper-V in the search box. If Hyper-V is already enabled, open the Hyper-V Manager utility and go to the next step. If you see the Turn Windows Features on or off option, click to open the Windows Features dialog box, choose the Hyper-V option, and restart your PC to continue.

2. In Hyper-V Manager, make sure your PC name is selected in the middle pane, then, in the Actions pane on the right, click New> Virtual Machine.

3. In the New Virtual Machine wizard, use the following settings:

  • Specify name and location – Enter a descriptive name here. This name will appear in the Hyper-V Manager window.
  • Specify generation – Choose generation 2 here. (You will not be able to install Windows 11 on a Generation 1 virtual machine, which is strictly for legacy operating systems.)
  • Assign memory – You can use the default settings here. If you have at least 16 GB of RAM on the host PC, I recommend that you enter 4096 MB in the Boot memory box.
windows11-vm-memory.jpg

Default dynamic memory option keeps RAM usage to a minimum, expanding as needed

  • Configure networking – Choose Default switch from the drop-down menu.
  • Connect the virtual hard drive – Use the default option, Create virtual hard disk. You can safely keep its size at 127 GB. Hyper-V creates a dynamically expanding virtual hard disk that uses only a fraction of this space.
windows11-vm-disk.jpg

These default settings create a dynamically expanding 127 GB virtual hard disk that uses only a small amount of actual disk space.

  • Installation options – Choose the second option, as shown here; then click on Browse and choose the Windows 11 ISO in your Downloads folder.
windows11-vm-iso.jpg

Specify the location of the Windows 11 installation file to automatically mount your ISO as a virtual DVD drive

4. Click Finish to create the virtual machine, but do not connect to the virtual machine yet. Instead, from Hyper-V Manager, right-click the virtual machine you just created, click Settings, and make the following adjustments to prevent Windows 11 from later complaining about your virtual machine. does not meet its material requirements:

  • In the Hardware pane on the left, select Security. Then, in the right pane, click Activate TPM.
windows11-vm-virtual-tpm.jpg

Check this box to enable the virtual TPM required for a Windows 11 virtual machine.

  • Select Processor in the Hardware pane and change the Number of virtual processors setting to 2.
  • Click OK to save your changes.

5. Double-click on the virtual machine and click Start to connect to the virtual machine. Be ready to click on Connect to Virtual Machine and press any key to boot from the virtual DVD you created using your Windows 11 ISO. This should open the Windows installation screen shown here.

windows11-vm-setup-from-virtual-dvd.jpg

If everything is configured correctly, you can start here to perform a clean install of Windows 11 on your new VM

6. Follow the prompts to complete the configuration.

If you’ve configured Windows to use a Microsoft account, you’ll need to make a final adjustment before you can sign in to an enhanced session and use your virtual machine in full screen mode: go to Settings> Accounts> Sign-in options and turn on the Require switch. the Windows Hello sign-in for Microsoft accounts to the Disabled position.

windows11-vm-enhanced-session-tweak.jpg

You will need to disable this setting to connect to a Windows 11 virtual machine using a Microsoft account in an enhanced session

If you forget to make this setting and try to log in using an enhanced session, you will end up stuck on the Windows logon screen with only the background image visible. The solution is simple: in the Connect to Virtual Machine window, choose View, then click Enhanced Session to uncheck the box and switch to a basic session.

Log in and change your account settings, then use the View menu to return to an enhanced session.

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