Yes, you read that right—this is a guide on installing Hyper-V on Windows 10, not the other way around.
We get a lot of surprised gasps from our customers when we let them know they don’t need to go out and buy a server to play around with Hyper-V. There are a few caveats, but you’ll generally be okay as long as you’re using a Windows 10 Education, Enterprise, or Pro device with >4 GB of memory and a 64-bit processor with virtualization support. You can read over the exact requirements here. Also, If you’re currently on Windows 10 Home and need to upgrade, we’ve got you covered.
Tip: You can run systeminfo in PowerShell or a command prompt (cmd.exe) to verify your system’s compatibility. If all the listed requirements have a value of Yes, you’re good to continue with this guide. If any are listed as No, make sure to look at the linked requirements page above and see if you can resolve the issue(s). Lastly, if your systeminfo returns:
Hyper-V Requirements: A hypervisor has been detected. Features required for Hyper-V are not be displayed.
You’re ahead of the game and already have Hyper-V installed!
Let’s get started!
While there are a few ways to enable Hyper-V in Windows, we’ll only be covering the major three and will be listing them in ascending “difficulty” or descending general familiarity. You only need to complete one of the methods below.
Tip: If using PowerShell gives you the heebie-jeebies or you’re just putting off becoming familiar with it, here are some good resources to help you learn! For the purposes of this guide, it’s actually “easier,” or at least faster, to just run a simple PowerShell command instead of clicking through the Windows 10 interface.
Option 1: Enable Hyper-V through Windows Settings
- Right-click on the Windows button and select Apps and Features
- Select: Programs and Features on the right under related settings
- Select: Turn Windows Features on or off
- Select: Hyper-V and click OK
You’ll be prompted to restart your computer after installation.
Option 2: Enable Hyper-V using PowerShell
- Open an elevated PowerShell console (Run as Administrator)
- Run the following:
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V -All
Reboot after the installation has completed.
Option 3: Enable Hyper-V using DISM
We use DISM pretty frequently to help customers configure their Windows images, but it can also be used to add operating system features! Just do the following:
- Open an elevated PowerShell or command prompt console
- Run the following:
DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /All /FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V
Once finished, you’ll be asked if you want to restart the computer.
That’s it! No matter which method you chose, after installation and restarting the machine, you’ll have Hyper-V and all its features installed. You can now create virtual machines, play around with virtual networking and storage, or connect to a Hyper-V server. Hyper-V Manager even has a couple of built-in images (Windows 10 1709 and Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS at the time of writing) to help get you started! Stay tuned for our guides on creating and configuring virtual machines!