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Hyper-V: How to use Windows 10´s built-in Virtual Machine feature to run any OS



With can run any operating system as a Virtual Machine. We show you how to setup Hyper-V and how to connect it to the network.

A) Adding Hyper-V to Windows 10
B) Using the Hyper-V Manager
C) Network Sharing & Internet: Creating a Virtual Switch in Hyper-V
D) Creating a Windows Virtual Machine with Hyper-V


A) Adding Hyper-V to Windows 10

In Windows 10 Hyper-V isn't available by default and comes as an optional component which needs to be installed. To install Hyper-V you need some simple steps and a few minutes.

Press Windows key + X and click on Programs and Features.

Click Turn Windows features on or off.

Check Hyper-V and click on OK. This will add Hyper-V to your Windows 10 feature set.


After installing this feature, you will have to restart your computer.


B) Using the Hyper-V Manager

To launch the Hyper-V Manager, press Windows key + S and type hyper-v and click on the result.


Another way to open the program is to open the Start menu and click on All apps. You can find the Hyper-V manager under Windows Administrative Tools.


Hyper-V Manager should automatically connect to the host-computer which should appear as a child in the left panel. The host-system is also called the Hyper-V Server.


If it doesn't show your computer as a Hyper-V Server, then you will have to click on Connect to server from the right panel under Hyper-V Manager.


Select Local computer and finish with OK.


To change where your local machines will be saved, you need to click on Hyper- Settings and address the new location on your computer.



C) Network Sharing & Internet: Creating a Virtual Switch in Hyper-V

Hyper-V uses virtual switches to connect virtual machines (VM) to the Internet or other networks. The virtual switch is basically a bridge between the virtual hardware network adapter inside the VM to the real network adaptor of the Hyper-V Server (the host-system).

As your VMs would be unable to connect to the Internet without a virtual Switch, you should create one before creating your first VM.

In the right panel, under your computer's name, click on Virtual Switch Manager.


Select New virtual network switch on the left, choose External and click on Create Virtual Switch.


Type a name for your new Virtual Switch and select External network. You also need to select a host network adapter to work with this switch, using the drop down list.

To give your Hyper-V virtual machine Internet access, choose the adapter your host system uses to connect to the Internet. Click on OK to finish.


Click on Yes to apply all the changes. you might experience a brief interruption of your internet connection.


Now if you check your Network Connections, you'll find the new switch that Hyper-V has created. This switch will be visible both on the host-system and inside virtual machines.


D) Creating a Windows Virtual Machine with Hyper-V

On the right sidebar, click on New > Virtual Machine.


Click Next.


Type a name for your virtual machine and click on Next. If you want to store your virtual machine on some other place in your computer, just check Store the virtual machine in a different location and select the alternative location on your computer.


Choose the preferred Generation 1 for your virtual machine regarding your 32 or 64 bit operating system. If you don´t want to use a 32Bit operating system, you should go for Generation 2.


Now you need to assign memory for your VM. Check Use Dynamic Memory for this virtual machine and click on Next. How much memory you should choose, depends on your system resources and the minimum requirements of the guest operating system.

More RAM will also result in better performance of the Virtual Machine. But if you go to the limit of your host system this might slow down the host together with the VM.


Here you have to configure networking by choosing a virtual switch that you have installed it previously. Select it from the drop down list and click on Next.


Your VM needs a storage so you need to specify the size and the path for those virtual hard disks. 20 GB will be enough for a fresh installation but if you want to install apps or programs, you should consider more space.

Hyper-V uses dynamically expanding virtual hard disks in VHDX format. That means you can give a virtual machine 500GB of disk space which will not be used instantly. The virtual disk will only get as big as the files stored inside the VM require. Therefor it is usually better to create large virtual disks on installation.


How do you want to install the operating system? From a CD/DVD or an Image file? Here we select Image file (.iso) but if you want to install from a CD/DVD you can choose Physical CD/DVD drive.


Check if your settings are OK and click on Finish.


That´s all. Your virtual machine has been created and you can install your OS like on a real PC.  Click on Connect and when the virtual machine windows opens, click on Start to boot the machine.


Good to go!


Here you go! Now you can install the OS with your custom settings as you have done before on a physical computer.



Last Updated on April 13, 2016 6:26 pm CEST

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.