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Muhammed Cetin
Muhammed Cetin

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How to Install VMware on Windows for Free?

Introduction

In this guide, I'll show you how to install VMware (actually its full name is VMware Workstation 16 Player) on Windows for free legally. Although VMware is a paid software, it has a free version for non-commercial use. If you use virtual machines for everyday purposes, VMware Workstation Player will be the most suitable solution for you.

After this introduction, let's start the guide with the download step.


Prerequisites

  • 1 GHz or faster 64-Bit CPU (2 GHz recommended),
  • 2 GB RAM minimum (4 GB RAM recommended)

Good to Know

When using a virtual machine, you need to left-click on its screen to activate and make accessible it. When working on a VM, you'll need to return to your main OS often, and in these times, you can hit CTRL + ALT combination on your keyboard. After doing that, your cursor will focus on your main OS, and you'll be able to use it.


1. Downloading and Installing VMware

  1. Firstly, we need the installation file of VMware Workstation Player 16. To download the installation file, click here first, and then click the Download Now link on the bottom of the VMware page as shown in the image below. It might take a few minutes depending on your internet speed.
    The Official Way to Download VMware Workstation Pro

  2. After downloading the installation file, double-click on it and start the installation. If Windows would want permission to start the installation, say Yes to continue. Then, click on Next.
    Alt Text

  3. Accept the license agreement by checking the box, and click on Next.
    End-user License Agreement

  4. You can uncheck the first option. If you want to check or uncheck both of them, they're both OK. It doesn't matter. Click on Next.
    Custom Setup

  5. You don't have to change anything. Click on Next and continue.
    User Experience Settings

  6. I don't like unnecessary shortcuts on my desktop, so I've unchecked the Desktop box, it depends on your preferences. You also can continue by clicking on Next without changing anything.
    Shortcuts

  7. Finally, click on Install and start the installation process.
    Ready to Install VMware Workstation 16 Player

  8. It will be installed in a few minutes depending on your computer's configuration.
    Installing VMware Workstation 16 Player

  9. Click on Finish. Done! Now, find VMware Workstation by opening the Start Menu and typing "VMware", then click on it.
    Completed the VMware Workstation 16 Player Wizard

  10. You'll see a startup window saying "Use VMware Workstation 16 Player for free for non-commercial use". Select that option and click on Continue. Then, click on Finish.
    Welcome to VMware Workstation 16 Player


2. Creating a new Virtual Machine (VM)

In this step, I'll use a Windows 10 ISO file as an example. However, you can install other operating systems like Windows 7, 8, 11, or Ubuntu.

  1. After opening VMware Workstation Player, we need to create the virtual machine that we will install the OS on. To do that, click on the Create a New Virtual Machine text or hit the ALT + N combination on your keyboard.
    Create a New Virtual Machine

  2. You'll see the window below. In this window, we'll specify the ISO file of the OS that we want to install. To do that, click on the "Installer disc image file (iso):" option, then click on Browse and choose your ISO file. Then, click on Next.
    Welcome to the New Virtual Machine Wizard

  3. Name your VM as what you want, and click on Next. I've specified it as "Windows 10 x64" to be able to identify it easily.
    Name the Virtual Machine

  4. Specify the disk capacity of your VM depending on your usage purposes, and click on Next. I've not changed anything here.
    Specify Disk Capacity

  5. Here, I want to customize my VM's hardware because the default values might be inefficient. If you'll use it frequently and have sufficient hardware, I recommend specifying 8 GB of memory and 4 processor cores.
    Ready to Create a Virtual Machine

  6. To specify memory, you can drag the blue-colored icon vertically, or enter the exact number of MB to the text box directly.
    Customize Memory

  7. To specify the number of processor cores, click on the Processors option on the left panel, then change the value of the Number of processor cores.
    Customize number of processor cores

  8. You don't have to change anything else here. Click on Ok and start the creation of your virtual machine.
    Creating the VM

  9. After it has been done, it will probably start automatically. If it doesn't, right-click on the name of your VM on the left panel and click on Power on.
    Power on the VM

  10. After it powers on, you'll have a few seconds to press any key on your keyboard to be able to start Windows installation (if you're installing Windows, if not, you need to continue with the OS that you're installing). Left-click on the black screen first, then press any key on your keyboard.
    Press any key to boot from CD or DVD

  11. That's all. Now, you can install your virtual OS on VMware Workstation Player.
    Windows 10 is starting to install on the VM


Conclusion

Now, we have an easy-to-use tool allowing us to install and use operating systems like Windows 11, 10, or kinds of Linux distributions. By following the steps under the "Creating a new Virtual Machine" title, you can install new operating systems on it virtually. Lastly, you can run only one virtual machine at the same time. To be able to run another one, you need to shut down the running one.

If you would face any errors related to VMware, you can ask them by using the comment form below.

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