I have a brand new MacBook Pro provided by our home & contents insurance which is replacing my wife's Mid-2013 model that was accidentally damaged.

She ran Win 10 on the old one, installed via BootCamp.

My question is, if I use a GPT formatted Windows 10 install USB that I usually use for UEFI installs on "normal" computers, can I just install straight onto the SSD without needing BootCamp?

Ideally I'd want to use this with only Windows installed (i.e. I don't need it to be a dual boot machine).

  • Welcome to Ask Different! :) Just to clarify, are you wanting this to be a dual boot machine or Windows only?
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 12, 2018 at 5:52
  • Thanks! Windows only preferably. It only has a 256GB SSD, and the old MBP had a 500GB 2.5" SSD I installed myself, so she'll need as must storage as possible.
    – Reece
    Apr 12, 2018 at 5:53
  • If that's the case, is there a reason you wouldn't just sell it? You'd be able to get more for it then you'd need to buy a Windows laptop.
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 12, 2018 at 6:18
  • @Monomeeth: Good idea - she really only needs something like a Asus ZenBook. I asked the wife about this and she has far too accurate of a moral compass to do this. We got this $2400 laptop through insurance and it replaced a 5yr old MacBook Pro. Whilst it's not insurance fraud, it'd feel shady to sell it and pocket the profit.
    – Reece
    Apr 14, 2018 at 10:56

4 Answers 4


Of course you can!

Before continuing, make sure that you have a backup!!! I am not responsible for any damage caused by this guide. You have been warned.

Skip to step 4 if you only want Windows and no macOS.

Step 1: Open Disk Utility by simply typing Disk Utility inside Spotlight.

Step 2: Select your disk from the list at the left, but NOT the containers, and press Partition located at the top. If it asks you whether you want to partition or add a new APFS volume, select Partition.

Step 3: A pie of your disk should have appeared now. From here, select your macOS partition and click + (plus) button. There is a new partition now. Arrange it's size either from the properties, or by dragging it from the borders. This is going to be your Windows 10 partition. Give it at least 40GBs of space. Name the new partition (not macOS partition) with a name that you will remember, such as BOOTCAMP, but make sure it is all in capital letters. Lastly set it's type as MS-DOS (FAT) and press Apply. You'll be warned that you are resizing your boot partition, just press OK.

You need a USB formatted as FAT32 with at least 8 GBs of free space to continue... Skip to step 5 if you already have an installation media.

Step 4: Download and install unetbootin from here. Then run it and select Disk Image option on the screen. Select ISO option from the dropdown menu next to Disk Image text if it is not already selected. Then press the button with three dots (...) and select your Windows ISO image (assuming you already have one). Lastly, select your USB from the dropdown menu next to Drive text and press OK. This will burn the ISO image to the USB.

Step 4.1: To learn what your USB is called, open up a Terminal from Spotlight and type:

diskutil list

This will show you all of the drives connected to your computer. Your USB is something like /dev/disk1s1 or /dev/disk1s2 (but definitely not /dev/disk0). You can understand which one is your USB by searching for your USB's label.

Step 5: Now open up the Bootcamp assistant for the last time. Once it's opened, select Action > Download Windows Helper Software. This will download Bootcamp helper. Select the target as your desktop and continue.

Step 6: Once your bootcamp software is downloaded and unetbootin is done, copy the contents of the WindowsSupport folder to your USB's root directory.

Step 7: It's time to begin the installation! Reboot your MacBook and when it's powering on, press and hold Alt (option) key on your keyboard. Once boot manager appears, select the EFI Boot or Windows option. This will start the installer. Give it a few minutes and once the button to begin the installation appears, press it. Wait for it to start. Once it starts, select Custom installation option. This part is important!!! A list of volumes should have appeared now.

Step 7.1, For Dualboot: Select the partition you created earlier for Windows and click Format. When it's done, re-select the Windows partition and press Install. Now just relax and wait for it to finish.

Step 7.1, Remove OS X and install Windows: This will destroy any data on your other volumes! Delete all of your partitions one by one. Once there is only free space left, create a new partition and install Windows on there.

Step 7.2: Wait for the installation to finish.

Step 7.3: Once the computer restarts, hold the alt key and select Windows or EFI Boot option with a hard drive icon.

Step 8: Once you fully setup Windows, select your USB from Windows Explorer and go to WindowsSupport folder. In that folder, run the setup program. Install it like a normal program and you are done!

  • spot on mate! I had tried most of this before except using the BootCamp Assistant to download the WindowsSupport files first. Not having those on the USB drive meant that the SSD was not detected by the installer. Added them and voila! The SSD appeared and I could clean out the entire drive and install using full capacity. I had one hiccup though, after I did a round of updates to Windows 10 1709, I got a BSOD on startup with an ACPI error. I couldn't get passed it and had to redo the install.
    – Reece
    Apr 14, 2018 at 10:49
  • 1
    @Reece Dodds: Could you clarify what you meant by "had to redo the install"? Does this mean you started out installing a Windows 10 version older than 1709 and could not successfully update to 1709? Did you then do a complete reinstall using a download of 1709? Apr 14, 2018 at 16:29
  • I do a lot of Windows support, and I try to keep my MBR and GPT formatted Windows 10 USB installers pretty up-to-date. They're both 1709, but after the initial install there was some more big patches (expected, given that 1803 - Spring Creators Update is almost upon us). Anyway, it turned out that the ACPI_BIOS error BSOD on boot may not have been caused by the updates as I have my Win 10 MacBook Pro fully updated and configured without issue now. It looks like the BSOD may have been caused by having USB peripherals attached during bootup and it caused a driver issue.
    – Reece
    Apr 15, 2018 at 22:45

I think you'd want to use the bootcamp media creation tool unless you have the windows drivers for that exact model already.

I've done a regular windows install on a mac before and they don't make it too easy to get the drivers. Windows doesn't come with most of them either.

  • If I use the BootCamp wizard up to a certain point, it should download the drivers for this model to somewhere on the Mac ready for the post-windows-install setup... Maybe I can grab them from that location?
    – Reece
    Apr 12, 2018 at 6:07
  • You could try :) I tried this some time ago, some of the drivers refused to install without being run from the bootcamp installer. Maybe you won't have that problem. If you can find the drivers from a source other than apple you might get lucky, or they may have changed the installation policy. In my experience it didn't work though and I had to use bootcamp. Is there a reason you don't want to use bootcamp?
    – Scottmeup
    Apr 12, 2018 at 6:11
  • Yes - see my reply comment to Monomeeth on the question itself. Why have a 48GB Mac partition on the laptop that is never going to be booted into?
    – Reece
    Apr 12, 2018 at 6:14
  • So delete the partition? Is there a problem creating the bootcamp installation media then deleting the mac partition? You should be able to delete the macOS partition by booting into the mac recovery partition if all else fails.
    – Scottmeup
    Apr 12, 2018 at 6:14
  • Hey mate, I tried this and couldn't expand the drive because the unallocated space was to the left of the Windows system partition. Tried using a 3rd party utility (Paragon) and it broke Windows and had to start from scratch.
    – Reece
    Apr 14, 2018 at 10:51

Yes, it's possible. You can find my tutorial for help here : Installer Windows sur Mac sans Boot Camp


There is probably a way, but regardless, this isn't how Apple wants you to do it. They put restrictions onto Mac such as drivers etc. You are better off, to just follow Apple's guidelines on using Boot Camp and installing it to be on the safe side. Even Microsoft themselves made an article for Windows 7, recommending to go with Boot Camp.


If you really are worried about drivers (as all the necessary ones for Windows to start should be there), you could try virtualization products like VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop or VirtualBox. Hope this helped!

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