Certain programs such as Microsoft Access and Excel Add-Ons (@Risk, StatTools, other Decision Tools) are not compatible for use on a Mac. Faculty, staff, and students who need their computer to run these types of programs for work or a class will need to install Oracle's VirtualBox onto their Mac computer. VirtualBox allows the MacOS to run a Windows system on top of their computer. This is not permanent and should only be used when the user opens the VirtualBox application to run the restricted programs. VirtualBox is a free virtual machine provided by Oracle that is available for faculty, staff, and students to use.

Attention M1 Mac Users

Currently, VirtualBox DOES NOT WORK on an Mac computers that use the M1 chip. To install a virtual machine with Windows you will need to use UTM instead. Please see our Instructions for Installing UTM on M1 Macs.

Attention Intel Mac Users

This information is DEPRECATED as of Spring 2022. For the new Intel Installations instructions please visit our Instructions for Installing on an Intel Mac.

The following instructions are for the installation of VirtualBox on a Mac:

Prior to installing, make sure you have:

  • ~30 GB of free space
  • ~45 minutes for complete installation

First, install VirtualBox application:

  1. Go to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
  2. Under "VirtualBox platform packages", click "OS hosts".
    1. This will download the base VirtualBox application
  3. Under "VirtualBox Oracle VM Extension Pack", click "All supported platforms"
    1. This will download the VB extension pack
  4. Locate the 2 downloaded files in your folder, and open the first file VirtualBox-6.1.10-138449-OSX.dmg
    1. It will open a drive window, click "VirtualBox.pkg
    2. Proceed with the installation by clicking through to Agree
    3. *** If you get an error that says Installation Failed, follow these steps:
      1. Open up System Preferences
      2. Click on the Security & Privacy icon
      3. Hopefully you’ll see a message saying System software from developer “Oracle America, Inc.” was blocked from loading.
      4. If you do see the message, click the lock icon in the bottom left of the window
      5. Enter your Mac password
      6. Then click the Allow button
      7. Try the installation again
  5. Locate the second file and open Oracle_VM_VirtualBox_Extension_Pack-6.1.10.vbox-extpack
    1. Double-clicking the file will automatically open the VirtualBox application
    2. Either click "install" or "upgrade"
    3. Allow the extension pack to install and once you're done, it should look like this

Now that you have VirtualBox installed, you need to install the OVA file that allows Windows 10 to be run with VirtualBox:

  1. Go to https://utexas.app.box.com/v/msb-student-vms
  2. Login with your EID and Password
  3. Click the 3 dots to the right of the Windows10-2004.ova file and click Download
  4. Once the file finishes downloading, locate the file and double-click to open. **Do not delete the OVA file from your computer
  5. Make sure these settings are selected and click Import
  6. Let the installer run and once it is done you can open VirtualBox

Next, we want to change some settings so we can view the window in full screen:

  1. Open VirtualBox from your Launchpad or list of applications
  2. Select Windows2004 from the left side
  3. Click the green Start arrow
  4. Windows will power up
  5. Navigate to the toolbar at the top of the screen and select Device
  6. Click Insert Guest Additions CD Image...
  7. Open file explorer from the taskbar at the bottom > This PC
  8. Double-click CD Drive (D:) VirtualBox Guest Additions
  9. Click Next> and follow through with the installation
  10. Select to Reboot Now at the end of the installer
  11. Once the Windows system reboots, navigate to the toolbar at the top of the screen
  12. Click View > Full-Screen Mode

Next, we will create shared folders. This will allow you to share the same folder such as "Downloads" between the Mac side and Windows side. This will allow you to download files into your MacOS in a folder and access it from the Windows VirtualBox and vice versa.

  1. Navigate to the toolbar at the top of the screen, click Devices > Shared Folders > Shared Folder Settings
  2. Click the Folder with a plus sign on the right
  3. Click the drop-down arrow next to Folder Path and click Other
  4. Choose the folder from your Mac that you would like to share
  5. Once the folder is chosen, check the boxes Auto-Mount and Make Permanent
  6. Click Ok
  7. To access the shared folder, go to File Explorer > This PC and the shared folder will be a Z or Y drive

The following steps are to install Microsoft Office onto the Windows interface:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge
  2. Go to office365.austin.utexas.edu
  3. Select Office 365 Portal
  4. Sign in with your EID and Password. Authenticate with DUO if asked to.
  5. Once logged on, click Install Office > Office 365 Apps

  6. Click Run when asked to download file and wait for Office to install

If you need Decision Tools to run these following Excel Add-ons (@Risk, StatTools, PrecisionTree, TopRank, etc.) follow these steps:

  1. In VirtualBox, open Microsoft Edge
  2. Go to https://utexas.box.com/v/dtsinstaller
  3. Login with your EID and password
  4. Click Download and allow the file to Run
  5. Open DTS_Installer.exe
  6. Click Install and allow the installation to run
  7. The installer will suddenly close when the progress bar is close to the end. Wait a few moments and a second installer will pop up
  8. Click OK and select Next through the installation without changing any settings to finish the installation
  9. The Decision Tools icons will now show up on your desktop or you can find them by looking in the Start Menu under Palisade Decision Tools
  10. Double-click the program you are looking for and Excel will automatically open. The add-on will be available at the top. *Make sure to not have excel open already

When you are done using VirtualBox, make sure to always shut it down completely. Navigate cursor to top left corner to hit the red close button and select Power Off Machine. Click Ok.


  • Can I use the Windows VirtualBox to install video games or other Windows-specific programs?
    • You can at your discretion, but it is highly not recommended. It will be slow and almost impossible to use.
  • Why is it so slow?
    • VirtualBox is a free program from Oracle, therefore it is not the fastest machine to use-- especially if you are on a MacBook Air or something that has a lower RAM. It is recommended that when you are using the Windows side that you don't switch back and forth between viewing the Mac system and the Windows system (even to answer iMessages). This can cause it to move slower.
  • Can I uninstall VirtualBox when I'm done using it for a class?
    • Yes, you can uninstall from your computer by following these steps:
      • Open the VirtualBox program
      • Right-click on Windows2004 on the left side
      • Click Remove > Delete all files
      • Allow VirtualBox to finish deleting the file
      • Once that's removed, go to your Applications folder (Cmd+Shift+A while on the Desktop)
      • Drag and drop VirtualBox to the trashcan
  • Are there any other options to use @Risk, PrecisionTree, or other Windows specific programs if I don't want to install this big program?
    • The computers in the MOD Lab and NRG all have these applications available for use.

If you have any other questions or need help with the installation, please contact the McCombs Service Desk at 512-232-6616 or submit a help ticket at https://www.mccombs.utexas.edu/tech

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