How to Install Windows 11 on VMWare Workstation or other Emulators

Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 11 has got its iso leaked out on the internet. The brand-new operating system comes around with loads of features and especially a much newer Fluent UI (with aesthetic wallpapers) that will not only make the operating system smoother but will also be more productive. Windows 11 has an all-new Start Menu and a refreshed Taskbar alongside various elements that make the operating system finally look modern enough. With everyone eager to try the Windows 11 ISO, here is how to install Windows 11 on VMWare or other virtual workstations.

Update: The first Windows 11 Insider Preview is available for Dev Channel. Users who opted for it started getting the update directly on their Windows 10 build. It is available for supported and a few unsupported devices. You can also find Windows 11 Insider Preview ISO to run in Virtual Machine.

The Windows 11 build that has been leaked goes by build number 21996.1. The ISO file weighs in at 4.75GB. Since this isn’t a stable build of Windows 11, it would be best to sideload the beta iso by making use of emulators and virtual machine software such as VM Ware. As there can be several bugs and it will not be useful to use it as a daily driver. With that being said, you can follow this guide to install Windows 11 beta by using VMWare.

Steps to Install Windows 11 on Virtual Machine

Installing Windows 11 is quite simple, easy, and similar to that of the installation style of Windows 10 with a few new features that are brought in with Windows 11. Since it is a leaked Windows 11 file and the very first build of Windows 11, you may find bugs. So it is advisable to use VMWare like VMWare Workstation or VMWare Virtual Box. Here we are using Workstation, but the steps will be similar for other VMs as well. So let’s jump into the guide.

Download VMWare Workstation

To download the VMWare Workstation, simply head over to the official download page and select the installer for either your Windows system or Linux System. For this guide, we will be making use of the Windows installer. Make sure to always download the latest versions of VMWare Workstation as it will better improvements and even bugs if any, will be fixed in the latest versions.

Install VMWare Workstation

Installing VMWare Workstation is quite simple. Simply double-click on the installer to begin the installation. It will ask you for administrator privileges to make changes, click on Yes. It will then begin the installation process and then ask you to restart the system. Click on yes to restart your PC.

Download Windows 11 ISO

As you know the Windows 11 iso file is already leaked or it may be the strategy to create hype. Whatever the reason is, it makes it simple to grab the easy Windows 11 ISO file. The Windows 11 iso file is now available in many sources. And it’s easy to find the early build Windows 11 file. You can google it or explore Twitter to get the Windows 11 iso file. Or if it’s released already then you can visit the Windows official site.

Setup VMWare for Windows 11

VMware works perfectly fine if you’ve got around 8 GB of RAM as it’s a virtual machine and will share resources from the host system. Now let’s take a look at setting up a VMWare machine for Windows 11.

  1. Open the VMware Workstation. You will be greeted by a window that has three options. Click on ‘create a new virtual machine’.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  2. It will ask if you wish to set up a typical or custom configuration. Select Typical and click on Next.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  3. It will now ask you to either locate the iso file or install an OS later. Select the Installer disc image file iso option. Browse and select the Windows 11 iso file that you downloaded earlier.
  4. Select the type of operating system. In this case, select Microsoft Windows and select the version as Windows 10 x64.
  5. Now you will be able to give a name to your virtual machine. Simply type in any name or just type in Windows 11 and click Next.
  6. Here is the important part. You will now have to allocate a certain amount of your storage drive that will be used by the virtual machine. For Windows 11 you can leave at least 60 GB for storage. This will also include the space required for installing Windows 11.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  7. The next dialogue box lets customize the hardware for your Windows 11 virtual machine. Click on Customize Hardware and set the preferred amount of RAM, Processors, etc. For optimal performance, set the RAM to at least 8GB and click on Close > Finish.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  8. Done, now you will get a screen in VMWare that will look like the one below. You will be able to see your virtual machine’s specs towards the left and the Power On option at the top.
  9. To start your virtual machine simply click on the Power on virtual machine button. This we will cover in the next section where you will know how to set up Windows 11 or how to install Windows 11 on a Virtual Machine.

Install Windows 11 on Emulator

  1. Open your VM and click on Power On. It may open a black screen (Time out), wait for some time. Click any key if it asks to enter the key for booting the iso.
  2. Now you will see the new Windows 11 logo followed by language, date, and keyboard layout selection screen.
  3. Clicking Next will take you to another window, in which you can click on the Install button.
  4. The next window will ask you for an activation key. You can skip it by clicking on “I don’t have a product key”. This now takes you to a window to choose the operating system you want to install.
  5. Next, you will have to accept the license agreement. The license agreement date in the staller points to June 2021. Accept the agreement by selecting the new checkbox and click Next and choose the OS you want to install.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  6. Now select Custom Installation which then asks you to select the partition to which you wish to install Windows 11 and click Next.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  7. Now select the storage where you want to install the new Windows.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator
  8. Now it will take some time to install the OS.
    how to install windows 11 on emulator

You will now be taken to the Windows installation screen. This can take some time depending on your system’s disk speeds. It begins with copying Windows files, then preparing files ready for installation. It then goes on to install features and any updates it has found if you are connected to the internet.

Setup Windows 11 on Emulator

After it has completed the installation, Windows 11 will reboot and now take you to the finalizing screen. The screens here are new and have a white background with colorful icons as compared to Windows 10’s blue background with white icons. In these screens, you will be able to select the region and Keyboard layout.

Now, With Windows 11, it requires that you sign in or create a Microsoft account which will give access to many of Microsoft’s features. Also, it now requires that you set a PIN to log in and access the system. Once that’s done, you then have privacy settings where you can choose to share or not share data with Microsoft.

Windows 11 brings in a new customize experience setting. You can choose whether you will be using the system for gaming, creativity, family, or schoolwork. And finally, it asks if you would like to backup your file onto Microsoft’s OneDrive Cloud Storage or just safe files locally on the device. Select your preference and you are ready to jump into Windows 11. Once all, the final touch will take some time.

how to install windows 11 on emulator

You will now begin with the Installation setup for Windows 11. Do note that at this time the resolution will not be perfect and will look more squared than the rectangle. However, once you’ve logged into Windows 11, you change the resolution by going to Settings > Display and then Change resolution. You can also change how the VMWare window looks, click on the Enter Fullscreen button to let the virtual machine run in full screen or you can have it in windowed mode as well. You can also install VMWare tools for other drivers.

how to install windows 11 on emulator

Bonus Tip

Make sure to install VM tools in the Windows 11 that you are using in the VM. It will let you easily map the size according to your PC. Also it helps for smooth cursor and keyboard typing. It is generally downloaded inside DVD Drive (D:) as a setup file. Install it and enjoy smooth Windows 11 on your VM.

And this is how you can install Windows 11 on an emulator like VMWare Workstation & Virtual Box. You have to note that you get a free thirty-day trial to use it and after that expired, you will need to have to enter a license key. If you are looking for free and open-source software, then you can always use Virtual Box as it’s completely free and has no strings attached.


Since this is a leaked build and is a developer build, you will certainly find some bugs, branding issues, and maybe other things that might not function like how they have to. And it’s best to try Windows 11 early build on a virtual machine rather than installing it as a fresh OS on your system. Also, now that there is a leaked build, there might be many links that will point you to various Windows 11 iso files, proceed with them with caution and verify that these links are Windows 11 iso builds and not some malware or virus might damage your system.

So that’s all on how to install Windows 11 on Virtual Box and VMWare Workstation. You can follow this guide for any virtual machines. Only a few steps will be different, but overall the process is the same. Do let us know in the comment section for any queries.

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Joshua D'souza

Enjoy games, 90's hip-hop, and tech. Loves exploring the infinite world of laptops and food. Every ready to provide assistance in anything that rocks his boat. Will gladly enjoy capturing memories through various lenses. Worked previously at PiunikaWeb as an author and researcher.

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