How to set up and use Hyper-V in Windows 10

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Certain Windows 10 versions include virtualization capabilities that allow OS virtualization within a Windows 10 install. This is used widely in enterprise to share physical hardware resources across several functions. It is also useful for home users who want the ultimate in security or want to experiment with other OS without having to dual boot. If you would like to set up and use Hyper-V in Windows 10, here’s how.

The machine within your computer is referred to as a ‘virtual machine’ or VM. You will need Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education for this to work and Hyper-V must be enabled in your BIOS/UEFI to use a VM.

Set up Hyper-V in Windows 10
First we need to enable Hyper-V.

1. Navigate to Control Panel, All Control Panel Items, Programs and Features.
2. Select ‘Turn Windows features on or off’.
3. Find Hyper-V and enable all options.
4. Reboot your computer when prompted.

Once rebooted, Hyper-V Manager should appear in your apps list.

1. Navigate to Control Panel, System and Security, Administrative Tools, Hyper-V Manager.
2. Select your computer in the left pane, then Virtual Switch Manager in the right pane. Select External in the next window to create a virtual switch for the virtual machine to use. Name it something meaningful and create.
3. Select your computer in the left pane, then New and Virtual Machine in the Actions pane on the right.
4. Follow the Wizard to set up a VM. You can choose to install an OS during the wizard or later. I find it easier to install it right away but you can do what you like. Allow the process to complete.

If you choose to install it later, find your VM name in the right pane of Hyper-V Manager and select Settings underneath it. Select the drive where your install media is on the left page and then start the virtual machine to install.

Use Hyper-V in Windows 10
Once set up, you can quickly boot your virtual machine directly from Hyper-V Manager.

1. Navigate to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Hyper-V Manager.
2. Select your virtual machine in the middle pane under Virtual Machines.
3. Click Connect in the right pane under the VM name. Then select Start once the VM window appears.
4. Your virtual machine should now boot into the OS if you installed it or from the installation media if you have it set up.

More powerful Windows 10 tricks:
How to enable support for legacy file shares
How to change owner of file, folder, drive, or registry key in Windows 10
How to run the SFC Command at boot in Windows 10