How to run Windows 11 on VMware Workstation

What’s up, everyone! 

In this post we will configure a VM in VMware Workstation to be able to run Windows 11. Since Windows 11 has some requirements, it will not work out-of-the-box. 

Optional; Create the virtual machine

In this demo I will create a new VM to install Windows 11  on. If you have an existing VM with Windows 10 for instance, you can choose to edit that VM to make it compatible with Windows 11. (for instance a VM that you use to test your Autopilot deployment.)

Open up your VMware Workstation app, click on the Create a New Virtual Machine button. The easiest way is to choose the Typical (Recommended) configuration and click Next.

Just follow the wizard. I chose the following options;

  • I will install the operating system later.
  • Microsoft Windows / Version Windows 10 or later x64 (Since Windows 11 is not available at the moment)
  • Give your VM a name and enter the Location where you want to store your VM.
  • Accept the default disk configuration (or change it as you wish)
  • Click on Finish to complete the wizard.

The VM is now ready to be configured for Windows 11.

Configure VM encryption

Before we can add the TPM, we need to configure VM Encryption. To do so, we need to go in to the settings of the VM. Click on Edit virtual machine settings. Click on the Options tab. Click on Access Control. Click on the Encrypt… button. 

Enter your password in the Encrypt Virtual Machine screen. Make sure you remember the password. VMware Workstation will ask you for the password before you can start the VM.

Click on the Encrypt button to finish this step. In my demo environment, this step just took a couple of seconds to complete.

Once the process completes, it returns to the Access Control screen. From this point on, VMware Workstation gives us the option to change the password or to remove encryption.

Configure the VM hardware

Now that we have encrypted the VM, we are able to add the TPM module to the virtual machine hardware. Edit the virtual machine settings and click Add… in the Hardware tab.

Click on the Trusted Platform Module and click Finish.

In the hardware overview screen, we now should see a TPM module.

If you created a new VM like me, this would be a good moment to configure your CD/DVD to connect to the Windows 11 ISO file.

If you already have an operating system on your VM and you are trying to upgrade using Intune, this step is not needed.

Configure Secure Boot

Windows 11 requires Secure Boot. To configure Secure Boot in VMware Workstation, we need to edit the virtual machine settings.

Click on the Options tab, click on Advanced and check the Enable secure boot checkbox.

Click OK to save the configuration.

Install Windows 11

We chose the Windows 10 or later device option in VMware Workstation, since Windows 11 is not available yet. 

By doing so, we need to change the amount of RAM for this VM. Windows 10 needs at least 2 GB of RAM to work and Windows 11 needs 4 GB. So edit the virtual machine settings and make sure you have at least 4 GB of RAM configured. 

To start the VM, simply click on Power on this virtual machine. It will try to boot from the ISO we mounted as a CD/DVD drive. Remember to press any key to boot from the ISO.

Just follow the installation wizard to install Windows 11. Once completed, you have succesfully installed Windows 11 on your VM running on VMware Workstation.

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