Hyper-V is the native hypervisor that Microsoft offers for free to run virtual machines on Windows. It can be easily enabled in professional, business, and education versions of Windows 11, but not in Windows 11 Home since by default it is not supported. There are tricks to activate it also in the consumer version as we will see in this article.
Virtualization is a valuable technological resource used for decades to virtualize software, hardware, or networks. Widely used in business environments, it also shows its value in consumer environments to virtualize software, run operating systems other than the internal one of the machine with which we work, for software testing or to run incompatible applications or games without having to touch the main system. .
Basically, the main operating system acts as a host and gives a part of the hardware resources to the virtual machines. To perform this task we need a dedicated application which is known as a hypervisor. There are several types and they work differently, but the goal is the same: virtualize resources as a fast, comfortable and secure method of running software. Because each virtual machine runs in an isolated environment, this technology offers tremendous flexibility to run different operating systems and applications on the same physical machine.
Hyper-V in Windows 11 Home
Hyper-V is the native Windows hypervisor and although there are higher capacity alternatives (VirtualBox, VMware Workstation Player…) stands out for its integration with the systemease of use, and its ability to run directly on the host machine’s hardware without the need to install additional software.
The problem is that Microsoft only officially supports it in the Windows 11 Pro, Education and Enterprise client versions, leaving out Windows 11 Home, which we must not forget is the majority since it is the version that OEMs generally use in pre-installations of new equipment. . There are tricks to enable it also in this version as you will see in this tutorial. Let’s go with it.
Enable virtualization in BIOS
Modern CPUs include hardware virtualization features that help speed up virtual machine applications. On AMD processors, the feature is called AMD-V and is enabled by default on supported models. With Intel processors it is different and it is usual that the function called Intel VT-x is disabled by default. Hyper-V needs this feature to be enabled. If you have not done it before, it is done as follows:
- Reboot PC and enter BIOS/UEFI. If you don’t know the access key watch this tutorial.
- Each firmware is different, but in general you should look for something like “Intel VT”, “Intel VT-x” or “Intel VT I/O” which are older motherboard designations.
- On newer boards you’ll find it called “Intel Virtualization,” “Virtualization Extensions,” or “Intel Virtualization Technology.”
- In any of the cases it is only a matter of activating it, saving the configuration and restarting the PC.
Create and run this Script
Once in the operating system we will create a batch file that will be in charge of installing Hyper-V. As follows:
- Open the Notepad notepad app found in Start > Apps. Or right-click on the desktop to create a text file.
- Copy and paste the following text to create the script:
dir /b %SystemRoot%
for /f %%i in (‘findstr /i . hv.txt 2^>nul’) do dism /online /norestart /add-package:”%SystemRoot%
Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Hyper-V -All /LimitAccess /ALL
- Save the file with the name hyperv.bat.
- Right-click on the file and run it in administrator mode.
- The script will open a command prompt session and install Hyper-V on Windows 11 Home.
- When it has finished you will see a warning and the authorization to restart the PC.
- Once restarted you should already have the hypervisor installed. Type Hyper-V in Windows search and create a new virtual machine.
How Hyper-V is used in Windows 11 Home
If you are familiar with virtualization programs it will not cost you any effort to handle Hyper-V because it is very similar to other commercial software such as VirtualBox or VMware. We leave you a step by step of the basics because the tool goes a long way. The first thing is to create a virtual machine as follows:
- Select your local “Desktop” computer and you will see the available options.
- You can use the “Quick Create” wizard or click on New > Virtual Machine.
- You’ll see several pre-installs available, including Linux.
- For the example we select the quick wizard and choose an image that we have previously downloaded.
- We choose the local installation source and indicate the ISO of the system that we are going to install. For this example we have chosen Ubuntu 22.04, but you can choose other distributions or other Windows.
- Name the machine, uncheck secure boot for compatibility, and click create machine. In a few seconds you will have it created.
- Before connecting we must “edit the configuration”, selecting the parameters of disk space, memory and processor that we are going to assign to the machine. Remember that the more hardware you can assign to it, depending on the level of your team, the better experience.
- Once the resources have been assigned, click on connect to start the Ubuntu installation in the same way that we would do with a local installation.
- Or try the distro in live mode, which is the way we have chosen for the example.
There we have it. Ubuntu 22-04 using virtualization, a technological resource that we repeat is very valuable, fast, comfortable, safe for software execution. Also in Windows 11 Home although Microsoft does not support it by default.
And in Windows 11 Pro?
Easier still because in this version the Microsoft hypervisor is supported by default:
- Make sure you have the CPU virtualization capability enabled in BIOS/UEFI as seen above.
- Access the PowerShell console as an administrator and run the command Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V -All.
- If you don’t use the Windows consoles you can also do it in graphical mode. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features. Click on “Turn Windows features on or off”. Find and check Hyper-V to install it.
The wizard will search for the necessary files and install the program. You will have to reboot your machine to complete the installation and update the system. From there you open up a whole world of possibilities. If you have a good level host PC, you will be able to give up the amount of resources necessary to run the virtual machines with good experience.