MacOs 11 Big Sur in VMWare Workstation

VMWare Workstation natively does not support running MacOS as a virtual machine. This guide will help you setup Big Sur in VMWare Workstation.



  1. Extract the contents of “” and run “win-install.cmd” as administrator.

  2. Create a new virtual machine in VMWare Workstation 16 and select “Typical (recommended)” then click “Next”.

  3. Select “I will install the operating system later” then click “Next”.

  4. Select “Apple Mac OS X” for the operating system and “macOS 11.1” for Big Sur and then click “Next”.

  5. Input the virtual machine’s name. For our guide we will input “macos 11.1” and select the desired folder location of the virtual machine then click “Next”. Take note of the folder location because we need to edit the VMX file later.

  6. Input the disk size to “120” and select “Store virtual disk as a single file” then select “Next”.

  7. Click “Customize Hardware…” to edit hardware settings then click “Next”.

  8. Select “Memory” and adjust the memory settings to “8” for a total of 8 GB or 8182 MB memory allocation.

  9. Select “Processors” and set “Number of processors” and “Number of cores per processor” to “2” to get a “Total processor cores” of 4.

  10. Select “New CD/DVD (SATA)” and choose “Use ISO Image file” and click “Browse” to locate the MacOS Big Sur ISO and then click “Close”.

  11. Click “Finish”.
  12. Locate the VMX file, for this guide the VMX file was labelled “macOS 11.1.vmx”. Edit the VMX file using a text editor.

  13. Add the following codes at the end of the file and save it.
    smbios.reflectHost = "TRUE"
    hw.model = "MacBookPro14,3"
    board-id = "Mac-551B86E5744E2388"
    smc.version = "0"

  14. Start the MacOS Virtual Machine.
  15. After loading, select “English” as language then click the next arrow.

  16. Select “Disk Utility” and then click “Continue”.

  17. Select “VMware Virtual SATA Hard Drive Media” and then click “Erase”.

  18. Input “MacOS Big Sur” for the name and select “APFS” for the format then click “Erase”.

  19. Click “Done” after the erase process completes.

  20. Select the “Disk Utility” tab then click “Quit Disk Utility”.

  21. Select “Install macOS Big Sur” and then click “Continue”.

  22. Click “Continue”.

  23. Click “Agree” to the terms of the software license agreement.

  24. Select “MacOS Big Sur” drive then click “Continue”.

  25. Wait for the installation to finish then complete the setup wizard.

  26. After installation, the performance of the virtual machine is a bit slow so to improve the performance, we need to install the VMware Tools for macOS. Eject the MacOS Big Sur DVD then go to “VM” tab and select “Settings”.

  27. Select “CD/DVD (SATA)” and select “Use ISO image file” then click “Browse” to locate the VMware Tool ISO.

  28. Toggle “Connected” checkbox and click “Ok”.

  29. The VMWare Tool should automatically show up. Run “Install VMware Tools”.

  30. Click “Continue”.

  31. Click “Install”.

  32. To allow the installation of the VMware Tools, click “Open Security Preferences”.

  33. Click the Lock button and input your admin password then click the “Allow” button.


After following the guide, we now have a working macOS Big Sur Virtual Machine in VMware Workstation 16 Pro. Try to update your Big Sur to the latest version and run your apps. Installing the VMWare Tools greatly improved the performance. Please comment below if you encounter any issues.


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