A couple of Bootcamp Questions

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi all,

I have recently got an Intel based MacBook Air 2020 and have installed Windows 10 on it using Bootcamp. So far everything is working ok, however I would like some advice on the following.

When I was first getting everything set up, there didn't seem to be any way of adjusting the size of the Bootcamp partition in Bootcamp setup assistant (or at least not an accessible way). As my Mac has 256GB storage, I assumed it would have automatically allocated half of that to Windows and half to MacOS. However, after looking at the Bootcamp partition in Finder it looks like it only has 42GB capacity, which is of course below the 64GB recommended for Windows. Can this partition be adjusted using Disk Utility or another way without causing harm to the Windows system?

Second, MacOS is set as my default startup disk, is there a reliable way to boot into Windows when I want to? So far I've tried holding down the option key for a few seconds when I hear the startup tone, waiting for about a minute, pressing the down arrow, then pressing enter, but I still seem to end up in MacOS. I also tried just pressing enter rather than the down arrow, guessing that as the drive partitions are labelled "Bootcamp" and "Mac" respectively, the first option may automatically be Bootcamp as it is first alphabetically, but both methods still got me back to MacOS. I should also add that I tried both methods a couple of times with the same result.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance :)



Submitted by Michael Hansen on Monday, January 11, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

From everything I've read on the topic, resizing the Boot Camp partition in Disc Utility will likely cause problems when doing major Windows updates. I've done many Windows installs via Boot Camp over the years, and I can say with confidence that the issue of not being able to adjust the slider is almost certainly a bug with VoiceOver. So, as inconvenient and frustrating as this is, I think the best solution would be to reinstall Windows once the issue with the slider is resolved and you can once again adjust the size of the partition during setup.

As for booting from macOS into Windows, the way I always did it was by going to System Preferences > Startup Disc, and changing the startup disc to Boot Camp. I believe macOS will then present you with a dialog and allow you to restart the computer right at that point.

Submitted by nohansa nuh on Monday, January 11, 2021

hy, do you neet A usb sound card to install windows?


Submitted by Tyler on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

When you restart the computer while holding down the Option key, have you tried pressing the Right-Arrow key instead of the Down-Arrow key? This method has worked for me in the past.


Submitted by JC Alicea on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

from reading the comments, I've never used bootcamp to install windows before. is it easy? if yes, can I use an external drive to install windows, and leave the internal hard drive for MacOS?

Submitted by Callum on Saturday, January 16, 2021

Hi all,

Thanks for your help. I managed to reinstall Windows with a 128GB partition with the help of my sighted wife. I can confirm that the slider for adjusting the partition size is there for sighted users at the point where you select the Windows ISO file, but VO skips over it entirely. I might drop Apple accessibility an email about this.

Also, thanks @Tyler for the suggestion of using the right arrow, that works!

Submitted by Callum on Saturday, January 16, 2021

In reply to by JC Alicea


It is fairly easy to install Windows using Bootcamp. In summary, you would need to download the Windows ISO file from Microsoft and save that file to your Mac, launch Bootcamp assistant, select the file that you just downloaded, choose the Windows partition size (which you may need sighted help with), wait a few minutes, then follow the standard Windows installation process.

However, it is not possible to install Windows on an external USB drive. The only option is to create a Bootcamp partition and install Windows on there. Ideally you should split your disk in half, so if you have a 256GB drive in your Mac, you would have 128GB for MacOS and 128GB for Windows.

If you really wanted to install Windows on an external drive, you may be able to create a virtual machine using VMWare Fusion and set the Windows machine's hard disk to be your external drive, however I have never tried this. To be completely honest, even if this does work, performance while using the Windows machine wouldn't be great. Windows really won't like being run like that, so I imagine all sorts of weird and wonderful issues would pop up :)