Using CrossOver to run Windows programs

No Microsoft Windows, No ProblemThere are times when the only software available for a specific task is a Windows program, and if you’re running Mac OS X, chances are that you’ll receive suggestions to install a full-blown virtualization tool such as Parallels, VMware, or BootCamp. IMHO, there are two major drawbacks to that approach: you must have an installable copy of the Windows OS, and you would need to become vigilant about identifying and removing Windows malware and viruses.

A less common approach is to use CrossOver for Mac ( to run your Windows programs. CrossOver doesn’t require a Windows license, as it simply emulates the Windows system environment using an open source translator known as Wine. However, running Windows apps under CrossOver is often a hit-or-miss proposition. While some programs like Microsoft Office have strong CrossOver support, others like Quickbooks are fraught with obstacles or technical requirements that prevent the software from loading.

I recently began testing a third-party application in CrossOver called Earthquake3D that allows users to view a real-time map of recent earthquakes that have occurred around the world.

Earthquake3D Sample Screen

The free version of Earthquake3D is downloadable as a standard Windows executable (EXE) file. While I was very pleased to notice that Earthquake3D ran fine from the list of applications that appeared in my CrossOver menu, I have found over the years that some Windows programs may require you to run them as commands. If that happens to you, here’s all you need to do:

1. If necessary, unzip the Windows installer that you downloaded from the developer’s website.

2. Place the Windows EXE file inside a convenient folder of your Mac’s hard drive such as Documents or Desktop.

3. Open CrossOver for Mac and click on the Run Command function.

4. In the Run Command dialog box, use the Browse button to navigate to the location of your EXE file.

Crossover Run Command

5. Highlight the name of the EXE file with your mouse, then click the Open button that appears at the bottom of the screen.s


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Filed under Software installation, Third Party Software, Windows on a Mac

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