Windows 10

How to Install Hyper-V on Windows 10

If you want to run virtual machines (VM) on Windows 10, you’ll need to install Hyper-V. Hyper-V is a hardware-based hypervisor that lets you run VMs in their own isolated spaces. You can run multiple VMs at the same time, provided you have enough resources like disk space, RAM, and CPU capacity. Hyper-V supports Windows, Windows Server, and Linux guest operating systems.

Check your hardware meets the requirements

Most modern Windows 10 and Windows Server devices meet the hardware requirements for Hyper-V. 4GB is the minimum RAM required but depending on the guest operating systems you plan to install in your VMs, you will probably need much more.

  • Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro, or Education
  • A 64-bit processor with second-level address translation (SLAT)
  • VM Monitor Mode extensions
  • At least 4 GB of RAM
  • Virtualization support enabled in the BIOS or UEFI:
    • Hardware-assisted virtualization – Intel VT or AMD-V
    • Hardware-enforced Data Execution Prevention (DEP) – XD bit (Intel) or NX bit (AMD)

The easiest way to check if your device supports Hyper-V is using the systeminfo command line tool. Open a command prompt and run the tool.

  • Type cmd in the search box in the bottom left of the taskbar and then click Command Prompt in the list of results.
  • In the command prompt window, type systeminfo and press ENTER.
  • Scroll down the list of results to the very end and you’ll see Hyper-V Requirements. There are four requirements for Hyper-V compatibility and to the right of each you will see ‘Yes’ if your hardware meets them.
How to Install Hyper-V on Windows 10 (Image Credit: Russell Smith)

 

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  • If you see ‘Virtualization Enabled in Firmware: No’ but all the other Hyper-V requirements are set to ‘Yes’, then you’ll need to refer to your device’s instruction manual to enter the BIOS/UEFI and enable hardware virtualization. Entering the BIOS/UEFI usually involves rebooting the device and pressing a designated key, like F2, as the device starts.
  • If you see “Hyper-V Requirements: A hypervisor has been detected. Features for Hyper-V will not be displayed.”, then Hyper-V is already installed on your device.
  • Shut the command prompt window.

Install the Hyper-V feature on Windows 10

Once you’ve checked your device’s hardware, you are ready to install Hyper-V.

Install Hyper-V using PowerShell

The easiest way is to use PowerShell.

  • Type powershell in the search box in the bottom left of the taskbar. Make sure Windows PowerShell is highlighted in the list of results on the left and then click Run as Administrator on the right. You may be required to give consent or enter an administrator username and password to continue.
How to Install Hyper-V on Windows 10 (Image Credit: Russell Smith)

 

  • In the PowerShell window, type the command below and press ENTER.

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All

  • Once the installation has completed, reboot Windows.

Install Hyper-V through the Windows 10 Settings app

Alternatively, you can install Hyper-V through the Windows 10 Settings app.

  • Right click the Windows button in the bottom left of the taskbar and select Apps and Features from the menu.
How to Install Hyper-V on Windows 10 (Image Credit: Russell Smith)

 

  • The Settings app will open. Under ‘Related settings’ on the right of the Settings app, click Programs and Features.
  • The legacy control panel will open. On the left of the control panel, click Turn Windows features on or off. You may be required to give consent or enter an administrator username and password to continue.
  • In the Windows Features dialog, scroll down the list of features until you reach Hyper-V. Check Hyper-V and then click OK.
How to Install Hyper-V on Windows 10 (Image Credit: Russell Smith)

 

  • Reboot Windows 10 when prompted.

And that is it! Once Windows has rebooted, you will be able to use Hyper-V to run virtual machines on Windows 10.

 

 

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IT consultant, Contributing Editor @PetriFeed, and trainer @Pluralsight. All about Microsoft, Office 365, Azure, and Windows Server.
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