Oracle VM VirtualBox is a hypervisor tool meant for creating and running virtual machines on x86 computers and operating systems. Use a Mac or PC as your default hardware, Mac OS X Lion, Mavericks, Windows, or Linux as default software. It doesn’t matter at all! VirtualBox is installed on the host machine and runs several OS emulations (virtual machines) called guest machines. To improve the performance of virtual machines, an extension pack of device drivers and system applications comes packed with VirtualBox.

How to Download VirtualBox for Mac

Software developers and programmers will appreciate having an Oracle hypervisor installed on their Mac. Using VirtualBox opens new horizons regarding cross-platform software development and testing. Follow this step-by-step guide to install a portable VirtualBox image on Mac OS X:

  1. Go to the Virtualbox wiki and download two files:
  • VirtualBox 5.2.2 platform package by clicking ‘OS X hosts.’
  • VirtualBox 5.2.2. Extension Pack by clicking ‘All supported platforms.’
  1. When finished, store both files on your Mac where you can easily access them. Next, you need to mount the VirtualBox image to begin the installation.
  2. To mount/open the VirtualBox image, double-click the .dmg file. Make sure to save the user manual .pdf file someplace you can access it.
  3. Launch the installer by double-clicking the VirtualBox.pkg file. Next, click Continue -> Install. Authenticate with your administrator password, if requested.
  4. Click Install Software, and wait until the installation is over.
  5. Once the “The installation was successful” message appears, click Close.

To install the VirtualBox extension package, do the following:

  1. Launch VirtualBox, then click on VirtualBox -> Preferences -> Extensions in the top bar.
  2. Find the blue square with the yellow symbol on the right, and click it.
  3. In the file navigator, locate the folder where the extension pack is stored and select it.
  4. Click Install. Next, read the license agreement and click OK.
  5. Authenticate using the administrator password and proceed to installation.
  6. After the installation is over, click OK and exit the preferences screen.

How to Launch Windows 7 VirtualBox Image?

create new virtual machine

It is possible to launch Windows XP, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 on Mac using VirtualBox. After you download and set up the hypervisor software, you need to create a virtual machine.

  1. Open VirtualBox, then click New in the top bar. After that, the New Virtual Machine Wizard will launch.
  2. Name your Virtual Machine. In the OS Type section, select the operating system and choose the version. Click Continue.
  3. Accept the default hard disk presets, and click Continue. By default, the Startup Disk and Create new hard disk options are enabled.
  4. Put the ticks next to VDI and Dynamically allocated Confirm by clicking Continue.
  5. Specify the file location and hard disk size. Or you can keep the default 25GB and click Continue.
  6. When finished, you will see the Remember the location of the VirtualBox VMs folder containing the VDI file. Important: Do not move or delete the VirtualBox VMs folder!
  7. If everything is fine, click Create and proceed to the Virtual Machine Manager. You will see the “Powered Off” VM you have just created.

Running VirtualBox on Mac: Installing Windows

install windows

So you have created the Virtual Machine, but how to run it? The Virtual Machine operates as a “computer within a computer” in a separate window or full-screen mode. Install the operating system is necessary to make it work properly. To install and run Windows on your newly-created OS X Virtual Machine, follow these steps:

  1. In the VirtualBox toolbar, click Start (the green arrow pointing to the right). Note: In the VM mode, the “Auto capture keyboard” is on by default with the Left Command key is the host key. It allows switching the mouse and keyboard from the VM mode back to Mac.
  2. Next, the First Run Wizard screen will appear. Click Continue to proceed to the Windows installation.
  3. Choose the installation media in the drop-down list and click Continue. Locate the installation image file, then select Open.
  4. After that, the Summary screen will show up to verify the installation information. If everything is correct, click Start.
  5. When you start the Virtual Machine for the first time, it boots like a regular computer in a separate Mac window.
  6. If you see the host key alert, disable it by selecting Do not show this message again -> Capture.
  7. Once you see the Windows installer, follow the instructions on the screen. Choose the default settings and the Custom installation mode.

How to Run IE11 in VirtualBox on Mac?

Is it possible to run Internet Explorer on Mac using VirtualBox? One can run later and earlier browser versions: IE6, IE7, IE8, IE9, IE10, and IE11. To start testing, you need to download the modern IE virtual box image.

  1. Choose the needed IE version and VirtualBox as the platform.
  2. Select Download .zip. Once the download is over, unzip the archive.
  3. Launch Virtual Box, go to File -> Import… choose .ovf file from the unzipped folder.
  4. When the import is over, save an OS snapshot (in 30 days the Windows copy will expire).
  5. Next, choose the new machine and click Snapshots.
  6. On the left, find the camera icon, name the snapshot, then click OK to confirm.
  7. To test if IE11 works properly, launch the VM and enter a web address.

How to Uninstall VirtualBox from Mac?

uninstall virtualbox

Is it difficult to remove the Oracle VM VirtualBox from Mac OS X? Well, it isn’t hard, but it can be time-consuming. Follow these steps to uninstall VirtualBox from Mac properly:

  1. Move the VirtualBox into to Trash. Alternatively, go to FinderApplications→ select Move to Trash from the menu.
  2. After you remove the virtual machine itself, the images still stay on the disc and occupy the disk space. For instance, running Windows on a virtual machine may take up to 20GB. Look through the virtual machine images and delete the unused ones.
  3. To remove the leftover data, go to the Library folder to clean up the data related to the virtual machine. Check the following locations for files containing the word “VirtualBox” in their name:
  • ~/Library/VirtualBox;
  • ~/Library/Preferences/;
  • ~/Library/Saved Application State/;
  • ~/Library/LaunchAgents/;
  • ~/Library/Saved Application State/.
  1. Alternatively, you can turn to specialized third-party applications to remove all files and folders in one click. Many of suchlike apps have a special uninstallation module to remove applications with minimum user involvement. Also, the app allows finding and removing the residual data left after the application is uninstalled.

Bottom Line

VirtualBox is a powerful hypervisor software which allows emulating different OS in Mac OS X environment. With its help, running earlier and later Windows versions, as well as Internet Explorer on a Mac, is no big deal. VirtualBox has a pretty standard uninstallation procedure. One can remove the application and its leftover files manually or use third-party software. VirtualBox is a great tool for programmers and software developers offering extensive possibilities regarding cross-platform testing and development.

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