Install Windows on a virtual machine (using the VirtualBox program) to use it as a test environment on the same PC
To avoid these dangers we can install a Windows test virtual machine, thus using Windows within a window and testing any program or app without risking dirtying the original operating system.
So it is possible install Windows using Virtualbox as a test environmentwith a rather simple procedure, and configure the virtual machine to access the Download folder of our primary operating system.
READ ALSO -> How to Install Mac OS on Virtualbox (on Windows PC)
1) Download Windows and VirtualBox
To start, we download the Windows 10 or Windows 11 ISO, based on the operating system we want to emulate on our PC. Below we find the links to quickly download the system ISOs:
- Windows 10
- Windows 11
For Windows 11, downloading the ISO is immediate, while for Windows 10 we will first have to download the Media Creation Tool and then download the ISO into the memory of the PC we are configuring for the virtual machine.
The downloaded ISO will be the basis for installation on the virtualization program VirtualBox; Since we’re starting from Windows, let’s press on Windows hosts to download the right version, in addition to also downloading theExtension Packnecessary for some virtual machine functions and to be installed immediately after VirtualBox.
To learn more we can read the guides above how to download Windows 11 or 10 Enterprise in Italian and on ways to download Windows 10 for free in Italian.
2) How to install Windows on VirtualBox
To proceed with the installation we open VirtualBox and create a new virtual machine from the button New present above.
In the settings, we write a name of our choice then select the Windows 10 or Windows 11 ISO, depending on the version downloaded; let’s make sure the right edition is highlighted then press down on Avanti.
A series of screens will now open to help us create the virtual machine: we set a username for the basic account, we choose whether to install the Guest Additions immediately, we set the amount of memory to dedicate to the virtual machine (at least 4 GB of RAM ), let’s make sure we adopt how minimum size 80 GB VDI type and we choose allocated size.
The simplified procedure is over; without pressing anything else, the automatic installation of the operating system will start, which will be accessible as a window at the end of the process. To obtain maximum performance we can also press on the Settings button (after selecting the virtual machine), press on Screento enable 3D graphics acceleration and increase the graphics card memory to the maximum of the green line (256 MB). In the settings netleave NAT and then in the advanced options choose the type of card Intel PRO /1000 MT Desktop (82540EM).
At this point, we close the settings by pressing OK and click the green arrow Start after selecting the virtual machine to install Windows by following the installation wizard visible on any Windows.
For Windows 11 the procedure is slightly different, since it is necessary to force the installation in order to bypass limits on the TPM and on secure boot; to learn more we can read our guide on how to install and try Windows 11 on Virtualbox.
3) Access the Downloads folder from virtual
If we want to get the most out of the test machine we created we need to further configure the virtual machine for read the Downloads folder as if it were a network folder and enable dragging and dropping files into the virtual machine.
To proceed, make sure you have installed Guest Additions and Extension Pack, turn off the virtual machine then select it from the list on the left, open the menu Settings and let’s take us to the section Shared folders.
Here we click on the folder-shaped button with a plus on the right side, so as to bring up the window where we can select the actual folder; we click on the folder path and use the button Other to select it personally, then we give a random name and check the entry Automatic assembly.
We click OK to confirm the changes; the next time we start the virtual machine we will have access to the shared folders of the real machine, just click This PC or open File Explorer and select, in the section Nethe PC VBOXSVR.
We will have access to the shared folders, with the ability to copy and paste all the executables or files that we intend to test. In addition to sharing folders, we can also enable dragging files and folders when the virtual machine is already started, so as to be able to act even faster.
We start the Windows virtual machine and, when operational, click on the window menu at the top Devicesso let’s get into the menu Drag and dropwhere we will activate the voice Bidirectional.
By following this guide it will be possible Safely test new programs or suspicious software without damaging the original operating system. We can drag any file or folder from the real Windows to the virtual Windows and quickly test the files, closing everything if we see a virus start or the system crashes.
For further information we can read our guides alternatives to VirtualBox to install virtual machines come on how to create a virtual machine with Hyper-V in Windows 11 or 10.