How to Enable Virtualization in Windows 10/11

Today we are surrounded by new technologies; Virtualization is one of the most popular emerging sectors in IT. With this users can create useful cloud services by using resources that are bound to hardware traditionally. With this, you can use a physical machine’s overall full capacity by distributing its capabilities among different users and even environments.

This article will primarily focus on teaching how to enable virtualization in Windows 10/11 with BlueStacks, BIOS, CMD or PowerShell. These are all very technical methods, and I would recommend taking a backup first.

Suppose that you carry three physical servers, each with own dedicated reasons:

  • First is the mail server.
  • The second is the webserver.
  • The third one runs internal legacy apps.

Each is being used at only 30% capacity, which is only a fraction of their running capacity. As the legacy applications are quite crucial to the internal operations; thus, you need to keep them and the third server that hosts them. Correct?

It is much easier to run individual tasks on individual servers: 1 server, 1 OS and one job. It was never easy to give one different server brains. With the help of this technology, users can now split the mail server into two unique ones that can handle independent tasks so the legacy applications can be migrated. Keep in mind that this is the same hardware you are just efficiently using more of it.

Now, by keeping security in mind, the user can split the first server again so that it can handle another task; increasing the use from 30% to 60% to 90%. Once this is done, empty servers can be used again for other jobs or retired altogether to:

  • Reduce cooling.
  • Maintenance costs.


A brief history of Virtualization

History of Virtualization

The technology traces back to 60s but got widely adopted in the early 2000s. Technologies such as hypervisors that enabled virtualization got developed decades ago to provide different users with simultaneous access to systems which performed batch processing.

Batch Processing: This is quite a popular computing style there in the business sector that can run routine tasks thousands of times and that too much quickly, just like the payroll.

In the next few decades, other solutions to the many users or single machine problem got more in popularity where virtualization did not. The other solutions were time-sharing; this isolated other users within the OS, leading to other OS such as UNIX, give eventually lead to Linux. To keep it in short, it remained mostly un-adopted niche technology.

Coming to the 90s, many different enterprises now had physical servers and single-vendor IT stacks, this did not allow the legacy applications to run on a different vendor’s hardware. As IT environments were updated with less expensive commodity vendors, OS and apps from a variety of vendors by various companies they were bound to underuse the physical hardware- every server can only run one vendor-specific task.

This was the time where this technology took off and became the natural solution to 2 problems. Companies were able to partition their servers and run the legacy apps on various OS types as well as versions. Servers were now used more efficiently, reducing the cost that was associated with the purchase, set-up, cooling and maintenance.

Its widespread applicability helped:

  • Reduce vendor lock-in and made it the foundation of cloud computing.
  • Prevalent among enterprises that specialized in virtualization management software which is often required to help keep track of all of it.
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How Does Virtualization Work in Windows 10 & 11

How Virtualization Works in Windows 10

There is software by the name of Hypervisors that are used to separate physical resources from the virtual environment, things that require such support. This can sit on the top of an operating system such as a laptop or can get installed onto the hardware like a server, which is how most of the works. It takes the physical resources and later divides them up so that the virtual environment can use them.

Resources are then partitioned as required by the physical environment to many virtual ones. Users then interact and run computations within this. Virtual machines function just like a single data file, and like any other digital file, you can move it from one system to the other, and it shall work the same.

As the virtual environment runs and a user or any program provides an instruction that needs additional resources from the physical environment, the hypervisor relays the request towards the physical systems and caches all the changes. All of this happens from close to native speed.

The different types you’ll find:

Different Types of Virtualization

OS Virtualization

This one happens at the Kernel, which is the central task manager of the OS. This is quite a useful way to run side by side the Linux and Windows environments. Enterprises are also able to push virtual OS to systems which:

  • Reduces in bulk the hardware costs as the systems do not need such high out-of-the-box capabilities.
  • Increase security as all the virtual instances could be isolated and monitored.
  • Limit all the time spent on IT services, such as software updates.

Server Virtualization

Servers are a computer that is designed to process a high volume of specific tasks in such a right way that other machines like a laptop or desktops can perform a variety of different tasks. When you virtualize a server, then it can perform more functions that are specific and also involve the partitioning of them so that the components can be used to serve different purposes.

Desktop Virtualization

Desktop Virtualization

This is confused quite easily with OS virtualization, which allows the user to deploy different operating systems on a single machine. This one allows a central administrator to deploy simulated desktop environments to many physical computers in no more extended time. Now, unlike the traditional desktop environments which are physically installed, updated on every machine, configured, this allows admins to perform:

  • Mass configuration.
  • Security checks.

Data Virtualization

Data that spreads over can be consolidated in the form of a single source. It allows an organization to treat data as an electric supply providing processing capabilities that can bring together:

  • Data from various sources.
  • Then accommodate new data sources and
  • Transform it according to the need of the user.

This sits in front of multiple data sources allowing them to be treated as a single source, delivering the required data in the desired form to the app or user at an accurate time.

SEE ALSO: How to Create and Enable Useful Keyboard Macros in Windows 10/11.

4 Ways on How to Enable Virtualization in Windows 10 & 11 with BlueStacks/CMD/BIOS

Before you continue to follow the steps below to turn on virtualization, please make sure your PC or Laptop has the following specifications:

  • A 64-bit processor that has secondary level address translations or SLAT.
  • Windows 10/11 pro, enterprise or education.
  • 4BG memory.
  • BIOS setup with enabled virtualization.
  • Hard drive space for the OS you are going to add.
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Windows home users can update to the pro-version. Just:

  • Go to settings> update and security > activation.

Enabling Virtualization with/without BIOS

Enable Virtualization without BIOS

  • Restart your system.
  • As the system boots, you need to press the corresponding key with which lets you enter BIOS.
  • The button is different in every system but mostly is F10, Delete or the F2 key.
  • As the BIOS is entered, you can begin enabling virtualization settings. Its interface depends upon the brand.
  • Make an exit when you’re done making all the changes to BIOS settings.
  • Restart your system.

SEE ALSO: How to Bypass and Unlock UEFI BIOS Password.

Windows 10/11 Hyper-V

This is required to manage the virtual machines. It is done by accessing the PowerShell or Control Panel.

To enable virtualization from the control panel:

  • Open Windows Control Panel.
  • Go to “Programs and features”.
  • Turn the windows feature on or off.
  • Search for Hyper-V.
  • Then tick all the sub-folders under it and hit OK.

Enable Virtualization with Hyper-V

  • Windows tries and configures it.
  • This may prompt you to restart after changes are confirmed.
  • Go to Control panel> administrative tools > double click to launch the app.
  • On the left-hand pane, you need to select the name of your system so that you can work.
  • Users can add virtual machines by going to action > new > virtual machines.
  • A new window opens known as the new virtual machine wizard. Just get done with the steps and hit finish.
  • New machines shall be shown there inside Hyper-V. This is also used to control machine-like with this; you can turn it on and off.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Free Virtualization Software to Download for your PC.

Enabling Virtualization using PowerShell or CMD

  • In here, you need to enter the following command:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V –All

Enable Virtualization with PowerShell

  • If it responds and says that the command cannot be found then be sure that you’re running it as an administrator.
  • Restart system once you’re done.

SEE ALSO: Learn how to make Portable Apps with these 5 Portable App Creator Software.

Enabling Virtualization using BlueStacks App Player

Enable Virtualization with BlueStacks

BlueStacks is virtualization software that allows you to run various apps and operating systems on your PC at the same time. It is free to use and is also famous for allowing people to play popular mobile games on PC including PUBG and Fortnite.

Download BlueStacks Free

SEE ALSO: How to Turn On Dark Mode for iTunes in Windows 10/11.

ISO Images for VirtualBox, VMware and BlueStacks

Conclusion: Have you Enabled Virtualization in Windows 10/11?

We all want to run and experience various operating systems. We have shared this guide on how you can enable virtualization in Windows 10/11 using BlueStacks, PowerShell and CMD. We have also shared a method that allows you to enable this feature without BIOS on your PC/Laptop.

Shaheer is the founder of SecuredYou. He is a cybersecurity freak and loves anything related to Computers and Technology. Apart from being a tech geek, he loves listening to music and going to the gym.


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