I just bought Windows 10 to run on my Mac. Now what?

Start Windows10 upgradeMac users typically run Windows using virtualization software like VMware Fusion or Parallels and may be thinking of upgrading to Windows 10. Software developers are notorious for changing the look and feel of their company’s operating systems with each successive version, and Windows 10 is no exception. As a form of insurance in case you encounter a major glitch or want to revert to your previous setup, it is vitally important to make a complete backup of your Windows virtual machine BEFORE you upgrade.

Both Parallels and VMware store their virtual machine files in Macintosh HD/Users/User_name/Documents/. Parallels puts its files inside the Documents’ Parallels folder, while VMware stores its files in Virtual Machines. Depending on your version of Fusion and your Mac OS Settings, the last folder name may be called Virtual Machines.localized. Parallels identifies its virtual machine files with a .pvm extension, while VMware list theirs with a .vmwarevm extension. Depending on what virtual machine you’re running, back up their entire contents to a storage device large enough to hold the files.

By default, Windows 10 installs a new program called Edge instead of Microsoft’s now-discontinued web browser, Internet Explorer. It also installs a new tracking system called Telemetry that monitors what you do on your computer and sends that information to Microsoft. Needless to say, that feature is a source of concern among personal privacy advocates:

Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do – here’s how to opt out
Zach Epstein | BGR | July 31, 2015

When dealing with a brand new operating system, it’s a common practice to wait awhile and let others serve as guinea pigs and resolve the bugs. If you feel you are ready to take the plunge and install Window 10, here are a few tips to get you started.

STEP ONE: For security reasons, do not configure Windows 10 using the Express Install settings.

Before proceeding with the OS installation, modify the defaults that are located in the Connectivity and error reporting section of Customize settings.

Some networks are insecure. Consequently, turn off “Automatically connect to suggested open hotspots” so you can decide which open networks are safe to connect to. Along those same lines, turn off “Automatically connect to networks shared by your contacts.” Do you really want to automatically connect to networks you don’t know anything about?

STEP TWO: If you’re installing Windows 10 using a laptop, temporarily rely on your laptop’s keyboard and trackpad and unplug all external devices that are connected to the USB ports to prevent the operating system and driver installs from freezing up. Once Windows 10 has finished installing and you have a working network connection, then plug in your USB devices to initiate the driver installations.

STEP THREE: If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Windows and use WiFi, you may notice that all your old WiFi settings do not appear immediately after installation. Fortunately, they haven’t been erased. You just need to reboot your virtual machine to get them back.

STEP FOUR: If your old bookmarks don’t automatically appear in Windows 10, use the tool provided in the Browser settings area that allows you to import them from your previous version of Windows. If you used the “star” icon as a way to save your Favorites under earlier versions of Windows, it now functions as an “Add Favorites” button, while a lot of your web searches can be found in the circular button called the “Hub.”

STEP FIVE: Congratulate yourself on completing the upgrade, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, and take some time to read an article or two about the peculiarities of Windows 10 (sample links below)

Why this Windows 10 feature is freaking everyone out
CNN Money | July 30, 2015

Follow this guide to fix Windows 10 and restore your privacy
Fix Windows 10

Mozilla sends Microsoft a no thank you letter for Windows 10: Your update policy is bad
Dave Neal | The Inquirer | July 31, 2015

Coping: With Another Novel Weekend
George Ure’s Urban Survival Blog | Aug 10, 2015


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Filed under Apple Hardware, security, telemetry, Third Party Software, Windows on a Mac

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