How to install Mac OS Catalina on VMWare

In this post, I am going to show you how to install Mac OS Catalina on VMWare on Windows. So, Apple announced macOS Catalina in WWDC 2019. If you want to give macOS Catalina a try, then you’re in the right place. So without wasting any more time, let’s get started.

Steps to Install Mac OS Catalina on VMWare

I’ll show you how you can install Mac OS Catalina on VMWare on your Windows 10 computer in eight easy steps. The steps are as follows:

  1. Download and install the prerequisites.
  2. Enable virtualization on your Windows PC.
  3. Download and install Workstation Pro/Player on your PC.
  4. Unlock VMware to Install macOS Catalina on Windows.
  5. Create a New Virtual Machine for macOS Catalina on Windows 10.
  6. Edit the macOS Catalina VMX File.
  7. Install macOS Catalina on VMware on a Windows 10 PC
  8. Complete Installation Process
  9. Fix Network issue on macOS Catalina
  10. Install VMware Tools to Fix the Screen resolution
  11. Activate Drag and Drop

See Our Other Article, How to Install macOS Ventura on VMWare

Step 1. Download and install the prerequisites

First and foremost, there are some prerequisites applications that you need to download to install Mac OS Catalina on VMWare.

Once you’ve downloaded these files in your system, jump to the next section.

Step 2. Enable Virtualization on Your Windows PC

Modern CPUs contain hardware virtualization technologies that help in the acceleration of virtual machines generated by VMware Workstation. To use this functionality, however, you must first enable it. Please bear in mind that virtualization must be enabled on your system. Otherwise, you will receive the error message “Can’t open a session on the virtual machine.”

To check if your PC has the Virtualization chip on the motherboard, whether it is enabled or No, follow the below steps.

  1. Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + ESC.
  2. If you are opening the task manager for the first time, click on more options at the bottom.
  3. Go to the performance tab> click on the CPU.
  4. Check the status of the virtualization.

If the virtualization is not enabled, you have to visit the BIOS of your computer and enable it. A full detailed step-by-step guide on how to enable virtualization on Dell, HP, ASUS, and other brands is guided in the below post. First, configure the Virtualization tech, then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Install VMware Workstation

I presume all the above-mentioned applications are downloaded into your system. Now primarily, install the VMware Workstation Pro 16 or VMware Workstation Player 16. You don’t need to download and install both applications but install either one. Here we’ll show you VMware Workstation Pro 16 as an example.

  1. Right-click on the VMware workstation file that you’ve downloaded.
  2. Extract the zip file.
  3. Click on the setup file and follow the on-screen instruction to complete the setup.
  4. Agree to the Terms & Conditions. 
  5. Click Next, Next, and complete the steps.
  6. Install and Finish the setup.

Step 4: Unlocking VMware to Install macOS Catalina on Windows

  1. Close the VMware Workstation completely from the background. Click on File in the top menu bar and select Exit.
  2. Have you downloaded macOS Unlocker for VMware? If yes, then extract the zip file. Locate win-install.cmd and right-click and select Run as administrator.
  3. Complete the setup process following the on-screen instructions.

Step 5: Create a New Virtual Machine on VMware

The next step is to create a new virtual machine that will help to install macOS Catalina on Windows PC.

  1. Launch VMware on your PC.
  2. Select Create a New Virtual Machine.
  3. Choose Typical(Recommended). Click Next.
  4. Select I will install the operating system later and click Next.
  5. From the guest operating system, go with Apple Mac OS X and choose macOS 10.5.
  6. Give the virtual machine a name, like MacOS Catalina and set a location, and click Next.
  7. Now increase the disk size to 100GB and choose Store virtual disk as a single file. Click Next.
  8. Select Customize Hardware.
  9. Set the memory size to 8GB and Processor to 4; this will ensure better performance.
  10. Choose New CD/DVD(SATA) from the menu. Go with use iso image file and Browse.
  11. Locate and open the macOS Catalina ISO File.
  12. Lastly, Close and save all the changes and Finish the setup.

Step 6: Edit MacOS Catalina VMX File

Up next is to configure the macOS Catalina VMX File. Earlier, you’ve selected the location; remember, go to that location, MacOS Catalina VMX file will be there. And if you haven’t selected any location, then here’s a default file location.

C:\Users\Bruker\Documents\Virtual Machines\macOS Catalina

Right-click on the macOS Catalina VMX file and open it in Notepad.

For Intel CPU:

If your laptop or computer uses Intel CPU then at the end of the file, add the following code:

SMC.version = “0”


If your laptop or computer uses AMD CPU then at the end of the file, add the following code:

  • smc.version = “0”
  • cpuid.0.eax = “0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:1011”
  • cpuid.0.ebx = “0111:0101:0110:1110:0110:0101:0100:0111”
  • cpuid.0.ecx = “0110:1100:0110:0101:0111:0100:0110:1110”
  • cpuid.0.edx = “0100:1001:0110:0101:0110:1110:0110:1001”
  • cpuid.1.eax = “0000:0000:0000:0001:0000:0110:0111:0001”
  • cpuid.1.ebx = “0000:0010:0000:0001:0000:1000:0000:0000”
  • cpuid.1.ecx = “1000:0010:1001:1000:0010:0010:0000:0011”
  • cpuid.1.edx = “0000:0111:1000:1011:1111:1011:1111:1111”
  • smbios.reflectHost = “TRUE”
  • hw.model = “MacBookPro14,3”
  • board-id = “Mac-551B86E5744E2388”

Save the notepad file.

Step 7: Starting macOS Catalina Virtual Machine

It’s time to start the MacOS Catalina Virtual Machine.

  1. Launch VMware and select Power on this virtual machine.
  2. Choose preferred Language and move forward.
  3. Select Disk Utility > Continue.
  4. Select VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media and click Erase.
  5. Enter a name like HDD > select Mac OS Extended(Journaled) format and click Erase.
  6. To close the dialogue box, click Done.
  7. In the top menu, select Disk Utility and Quit Disk Utility.
  8. Select Install macOS Catalina Beta and Continue.
  9. Agree with Terms and Conditions.
  10. Follow on-screen dialogue boxes and choose the available disk.  
  11. Your system will restart several times while installing macOS Catalina . Wait for a while until the installation process completes. If you face any error, comment us.

Step 8: Complete Installation Process

Now let’s complete the basic macOS account settings before using the macOS Catalina .

  1. Select your Country and click Continue.
  2. Choose a Keyboard Layout and click Continue.
  3. On the Data & Privacy page, click Continue.
  4. Select Don’t transfer any information now and click Continue.
  5. Click on Set Up Later then Skip.
  6. Click Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  7. Fill out the Full name, Account name, Password, and Hint then click Continue.
  8. Click on Continue on the Express Set Up page.
  9. On the Analytics, click Continue.
  10. Click Continue on Screen Time.
  11. Skip set up Siri
  12. Select any appearance theme and click Continue. You can choose between dark mode or light and Auto mode.
  13. Finally, wait a little while for macOS to finish setting up then it should boot into the macOS Catalina Desktop.

Step 9. Fix Network issue on macOS Catalina

The moment you installed macOS Catalina on VMWare virtual machine, you will notice that you are not connected to the Internet. If you try to change the ports of the Internet it is not going to work either. So we have to configure the MacOS Catalina settings from the VMX file. So you have to power off your virtual machine> and go to the place where the macOS Catalina is saved. Open the vmx file with Notepad.

  1. Press Ctrl + F to enable Search on the Notepad.
  2. Search for Ethernet0.VirtualDev = “e1000e”
  3. Replace the e1000e with vmxnet3 and save the changes.

Step 10. Install VMware Tools to Fix the Screen resolution

You can say that VMWare tools are the driver of the guest operating system. When you install the VMWare tools, it’s going to fix the graphics, it will fix the screen resolution, and you can enable the drag and drop between the host and the virtual machine. And besides, its sound and other hardware parts are not working through installing the VMWare tools they are going to fix mostly those issues.

Step 11. Activate Drag and Drop

The other step which is required for the users who want to share the file between their virtual machine of MacOS Catalina and the windows host is the drag and drop. This is required whenever you are trying to copy the files between the virtual machine and the host. If you use an external hard drive you can also use it but it’s going to take a lot of time and besides the resources will be used quite a lot compared to the drag and drop.

The first step to enable the drag and drop between the two operating systems is to install the VMWare tools which we already did to fix the screen resolution. Now for the next step, there is a small setting that is located within the system preferences in the accessibility category. It must be enabled from there.

  1. At the top-level menu click on the apple icon and choose system settings.
  2. Access privacy and security.
  3. Within privacy and security, you have to find accessibility.
  4. Once you are inside the accessibility, you will see a tool listed there, it is called VMWare tools daemon. Toggle it to turn it on and then insert your password to confirm the changes.

Go ahead and now enjoy drag and drop between the host and the virtual machine.


That’s how you can Install macOS Catalina on VMware on Windows 10 PC and laptop with ease and with a step-by-step guide. If you have any kind of questions or encounter any kind of problem, please let me know in the comment section. Good Luck!

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