How to enable virtualization on a PC in Windows OS

Virtualization is a technology that allows you to create a virtual environment on a computer in which you can run various work processes isolated from the main operating system. This environment is separated from the OS in such a way that the processes that take place inside the virtual environment do not affect Windows.

Thanks to this technology, other operating systems can be run inside the Windows operating system: various versions of Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, etc. The virtual environment uses PC resources simultaneously with the main system.

If you need to run a virtual machine or other emulator on your computer, then you need to use virtualization technology for this. In this regard, many users have a question about how to enable virtualization, or how to enable hardware virtualization on a device.

PC hardware virtualization technology provides high performance software emulation of virtual environments. Hardware virtualization is enabled in the BIOS or UEFI, provided that your computer’s CPU supports this technology, and there is a corresponding setting in the BIOS / UEFI interface.

It often happens that hardware virtualization is enabled in the BIOS, and for the Virtualization Technology (VT) function to work, you need to enable the corresponding component in the Windows operating system.

In most cases, virtualization technology is used to run various virtual machines or Android emulator applications such as BlueStacks. You can use a different operating system on your PC inside the Windows installed on your device, run applications that do not work on your computer, perform other tasks using the appropriate software.

Before you enable virtualization in Windows 10, you need to pay attention to the following circumstances:

  • The central processing unit (CPU) must support virtualization technology.
  • There must be an appropriate setting in the BIOS of the computer to enable virtualization on the computer.

Without processor support, hardware virtualization will not work on this PC. In UEFI or BIOS, the virtualization feature can be enabled or disabled by default.

To use virtualization technology on a computer, you need to perform the following procedure:

  • You need to check the processor’s support for virtualization.
  • View Windows 10 virtualization status.
  • If virtualization is disabled, you need to enable it in UEFI/BIOS.
  • Enable hypervisor in Windows 10 if PC is using Hyper-V or Windows Sandbox.
Please note that third-party virtual machines may not run on a computer with Windows hypervisor enabled. To use VirtualBox or VMware Workstation, you need to disable Hyper-V in the operating system settings. Starting with VMware Workstation 16 and the latest versions of VirtualBox, this problem has been resolved, Microsoft and third-party virtual machines can run simultaneously on the same PC.

Virtualization technology can be called differently: Virtualization Technology, Vanderpool Technology, VT Technology, Virtualization, Intel VT-x (Intel Virtualization Technology), Virtual Machine eXtension, AMD-V, SVM (Secure Virtual Machines).

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to enable hardware virtualization on a PC in Windows and how to get information about the support of this technology on your device.

How to find out whether the processor supports virtualization technology

The user can use two ways: to find out the hardware specification on his own, in order to find out by the brand of the processor about the support of certain technologies by the processor on the official Intel website or on the websites of computer equipment sellers.

By processor type, you need to find supported technologies, among them “Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x)”.

Another method: using software such as the freeware SecurAble:

  1. Download SecurAble from the official site.
  2. Run the application executable on the PC (no application installation required).
  3. The SecurAble program window displays the processor brand and three indicators:
  • Support for instruction set instructions for the corresponding bit depth (64-bit or 32-bit) is specified.
  • Support for DEP (Hardware Support for Malicious Code Prevention).
  • Is there support for hardware virtualization.

The Hardware Virtualization option displays one of three values: Yes, No, Locked OFF. With the first two values, everything is clear, and the “Locked OFF” parameter indicates that hardware virtualization support is available, but it is disabled.

Intel has a dedicated “Intel® Processor Identification Utility” application that can be used to learn about supported CPU technologies, which can be downloaded here.

After installing the program on your computer, in the Intel® Processor Identification Software window, open the CPU Technologies section, where you can see if the processor supports various technologies, including Intel® Virtualization Technology and Intel® VT-x Technology with Extended Page Tables.

Keep in mind that in some cases the virtualization technology checkbox may be unchecked due to the fact that this PC is running other software with the hypervisor enabled. Check the status of this feature in the Windows Task Manager.

How to view virtualization status in Windows 10

Before performing certain actions, you need to make sure that the virtualization function is enabled in the Windows 10 operating system. If so, then no further steps are required to launch this technology on a PC.

Do the following:

  1. Right click on the Taskbar.
  2. In the context menu, click on the “Task Manager” item.
  3. In the Task Manager window, open the Performance tab.
  4. Highlight the “CPU” (central processing unit) section.
  5. Among other data, you will see information about the status of virtualization: “Enabled” or “Disabled”.

How to enable virtualization in Windows

The Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 operating systems include the Hyper-V virtualization component , which must be installed on the computer. Enabling the hypervisor is also required to use another sandbox environment – Sandboxes in Windows 10.

Now we will look at how to enable virtualization on Windows 10 in order to use the Microsoft hypervisor on the computer.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Press the keyboard keys “Win” + “R”.
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter the “optionalfeatures” command.
  3. Click on the “OK” button.
  4. In the “Turn Windows features on or off” window, find the “Hyper-V” component.
  5. Check the box next to this item, and then click on the “OK” button.
  6. There is a process of searching and installing the necessary components into the system.
  7. Finally, you will need to restart your PC.

How to enable hardware virtualization in BIOS

Many users have questions about how to enable hardware virtualization in the BIOS. Computers use different versions of BIOS software. In addition, the BIOS itself may be of an old version – BIOS Legacy, or a new one – UEFI.

Therefore, on a PC, different methods are used to enter the BIOS, depending on the BIOS / UEFI version or on the equipment manufacturer. There are various key combinations on the keyboard to enter the BIOS, check them out in a special article on this site.

Use the arrow keys to move between the BIOS settings: ←, →, ↑, ↓. To select the desired setting, press the “Enter” key. When configuring an option, you must select one of two options: “Enabled” (Enable) or “Disabled” (Disable).

The UEFI interface supports the use of a mouse.

The parameters for enabling virtualization can be located in different BIOS sections, with different names, depending on the BIOS version used on a laptop or desktop PC: “BIOS Features”, “Advanced BIOS Features”, “Advanced”, “Advanced – CPU Configuration ”, “Configuration”, “Virtualization support”, “Security”.

Virtualization itself in the parameters can be called: “Virtualization”, “Intel Virtualization”, “Intel Virtualization Technology”, “Virtual Technology (VTx / VTd)”, “SVM Mode”, “AMD-V”. If there are two “Intel Virtualization Technology” options in the BIOS settings: “VT-x” and “VT-d”, enable both options.

Familiarize yourself with the actions performed in some BIOS versions: in the old and modern versions.

On computers with Award BIOS:

  1. You need to enter the “Advanced BIOS Features” section.
  2. Set the “Virtualization” option to “Enabled”.
  3. Save the settings using the “F10” key, to exit use the “Escape” key.

On PC with AMI BIOS:

  1. Enter the “Advanced” tab.
  2. In the “Processor Configuration” section, select the virtualization technology with the “Enabled” value.
  3. Press the “F10” key to save the settings and exit.

On laptops with BIOS InsydeH2O:

  1. Enter the “System Configuration” section.
  2. Select the “Virtualization Technology” option.
  3. Set the value of the parameter “Enabled”.
  4. To confirm the changes and restart the system, you need to press the “F10” key.

On ASUS devices with UEFI:

  1. Open the “Advanced” tab.
  2. Set “Intel (VMX) Virtualization Technology” to “Enabled”.
  3. Click the “Exit” tab to save your settings and exit.

On a computer with a UEFI BIOS used on Gigabyte motherboards, the Russian interface language is supported:

  1. Open the BIOS Features tab.
  2. Set “Intel Virtualization Technology” to “Enabled”.
  3. Save the changes and exit the BIOS settings using the “F10” button.

Why there is no virtualization technology on PC

In some cases, the user may see in the BIOS that there is no item to enable virtualization technology, or this option is not active. This means that the CPU on this computer does not support this technology.

In other cases, the technology is included in the BIOS, but the virtual machine reports that this feature is not available on this PC. The reason is that the Hyper-V hypervisor is enabled at this time in the Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 operating system, which prevents third-party emulators and virtual machines from working.

You need to disable Hyper-V in the Windows Components settings. To do this, you need to uncheck the box next to the corresponding item, and after disabling the component, restart the computer.

Article Conclusions

Some users are looking for an answer to the question of how to enable virtualization on a PC running on the Windows operating system. Virtualization technology is used to run virtual machines or other emulators on a computer. The user needs to find out if the computer’s processor supports virtualization, enable this component in the settings of the Windows operating system, or activate hardware virtualization in the BIOS / UEFI.

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