Install Windows 10 on VirtualBox and It’s Guest Additions

Everyone wish to play around and know what is new in the upcoming Operating Systems of their existing OS. It is always preferred to install separately without disturbing existing setup. Especially when the tech giant announced their next big OS, Windows 10, Yes, all like to install and see what is new in it. This guide shows you how to install Windows 10 on VirtualBox, the free desktop virtualization software on your existing same Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and 8. Oracle is not supporting Windows 10 as guest OS currently (since it is the first technical preview version at the moment), therefore VirtualBox guest additions installation is not straight forward. But I will show you a trick to install VirtualBox guest additions on Windows 10 virtual machine.

Microsoft has changed the way of releasing technical preview this time. They have introduced Windows insider program and your inputs about the new OS can be shared in the forum with Microsoft engineers and programmers. So, we can hope some major changes in the final version than the current technical preview of Windows 10. Final release is expected somewhere in year 2015.

As ‘Technical Preview’ indicates, still there will be lot of bugs and issues in Windows 10. Especially you may face more when you run it on Virtualization environment.  This is completely for testing and exploring purpose only.

Windows 10 Installation Requirements for VirtualBox

Even though we will be installing Windows 10 on virtualization environment, still your physical computer hardware should meet few requirements. Here are Windows 10 hardware requirements, find our more about system requirements from Microsoft site here.

  • Processor : 1GHz or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
  • RAM : 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space : 16GB

Above are very similar to Windows 8.1 requirements and as Microsoft say if you are able to run Windows 8.1 on your computer without any issues, Windows 10 also will work fine. That applies to VirtualBox too. If you were able to run Windows 8.1 on VirtualBox with your physical computer, the same computer and BIOS settings are good enough to run Windows 10 on VirtualBox.

Steps to Install Windows 10 on VirtualBox

It is recommended to have latest Oracle VirtualBox for this installation. You may get few errors if you have older versions especially if Windows 8.1 is not supported as guest OS version.

1) Make sure your physical computer is meeting the requirements. Hardware virtualization should be enabled and NX/XD too.

Enable VT for Windows 10

2) Download Windows 10 technical preview from Microsoft site here. You must have Windows live (Microsoft account) to access the download page. If your physical computer processor is 64-bit supported, better to download the 64-bit version.

Windows 10 download page

3) Once you have completed downloading ISO file. Create a new virtual machine on Oracle VirtualBox.  Select Windows 8.1 64 bit ( if you have downloaded 64-bit version of Windows 10 ISO) as guest OS version as shown below.

Guest OS type

You can allocate more memory if the physical computer has lots. Create a new virtual hard disk on the next screen.

There are few complaints about not seeing 64-bit  Windows 8.1 option even though the physical processor supports 64bit architecture. You should check two things here to solve this issue. 1) Make sure virtualization technology VTx/AMD-v is enabled, 2) Disable Hyper-V platform on your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 (from control panel), if you are using Hyper-V role on your Window PC, then you have think twice before disabling Hyper-V feature.

4) Make sure that motherboard settings of virtual machine remains as below.

Motherboard settings for Windows 10 on VirtualBox

Go to ‘Processor’ settings and increase processor numbers if you have more cores (virtual processors) on the physical processor.

processor settings

Check ‘Enable PAE/NX’ settings as shown above.

5) In storage settings, browse the downloaded Windows 10 ISO file.

mount windows 10 iso file

6) Power on the virtual machine. Installation steps are very similar to Windows 8.1. Microsoft has not changed anything (I feel they should have) during the installation process.

Windows 10 installation on VirtualBox

7) Since we need to use Microsoft account ( I’m already using Windows 8.1) to login to Windows 10, it asked how to setup my new Windows 10 computer as below.

Configure windows 10

I did not want to transfer or replicate the same settings of  my Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 technical preview on VirtualBox, therefor I have selected the option of ‘Set this up as a new PC instead’. You can skip SkyDrive settings in the next screen.

After initial configuration, setting up apps and personalized settings, you should be able to see Windows 10 desktop which has changed from Windows 8 and 8.1.

VirtualBox Guest Additions Installation on Windows 10 Guest Virtual Machine

As of now Windows 10 is not officially supported by Oracle VirtualBox, guest additions do not work properly. Even the installation is not straight forward. If you run the guest additions exe file directly, it will show below error message.

guest additions on Windows 10 error

It is due to compatibility issue with the latest Windows 10 OS. There is a workaround to install it successfully. Change the compatibility mode to Windows 8 then execute the file.

Right click on corresponding exe file ( 32bit or 64bit), go to Properties and under Compatibility tab, select Windows 8 then press Apply.

change compatibility mode

After changing compatibility mode, execute the exe file. VirtualBox guest additions will install this time successfully. Even though it has installed properly and asked to restart the guest computer, I have not seen any improvements in the display performance. Still there is no full screen mode or any changes in display performance, we can’t blame anyone here because new Windows 10 is still a technical preview version and VirtualBox is not supporting Windows 10 as guest OS.

I will be happy to hear your findings and tweaks you have made to improve Windows 10 performance inside Oracle VirtualBox.

Here is the working Windows 10 on VirtualBox which is fair enough to play around and find what’s new in the latest Operating System from Microsoft.

Working windows 10 on VirtualBox

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

26 thoughts on “Install Windows 10 on VirtualBox and It’s Guest Additions”

  1. Hello,
    Guest additions cannot be installed ( also with compatibility to Windows 8 )
    Cannot find VBoxVideoW8.inf_…
    Best regards,

  2. Virtualbox Guest additions may install properly, but on windows 10, the Drivers in the Guest will not actually start, as they are currently not working with windows 10. This can be seen if you go into device manager, and look at the Guest Additions driver. I hope that Virtual Box release a new version of Guest Additions that supports windows 10.

    • No, mine are working fine. Both the “VirtualBox Device” Driver in System Devices and “VirtualBox Graphics Adapter for Windows 8” in Display Adapters are both working properly according to Device Manager in my Windows 10 install in VirtualBox 4.3.18.

        • It will switch but there are graphic anomalies. Okay, it is not working to perfection, but it is working much better than before I had the guest additions working at all. I’m not saying everything is perfect since even Windows 10 itself has some bugs but the guest additions are *basically* working, albeit with a few gotchas here and there.

  3. Thanks, it’s running, but my system is running very slow after the installation of Windows 10. I’ve 4GB ram and 2 GB is allocated to the virtual machine, any suggestions to make it faster?

    • The short answer is more physical memory. If you are giving 2Gb to the VM that only leaves 2Gb for your host. My VM has 4Gb (out of 16) and both host and guest perform just fine.

      • With Windows10 tech preview build 100130 and above with VirtualBox 4.3.28 r100309, enabling 2D/3D acceleration for the VM can cause this issue.

        I was getting very noticeable delays in simple stuff like Notepad.
        Visual Studio (development tools) just crashed at startup.

        In the event log I noticed the VirtualBox additions 3D driver was causing multiple exceptions. Turned off 2D/3D acceleration and everything is back to normal (even on a small VM with only 1 CPU and 2Gb RAM)

  4. Guest additions only worked under Windows 7 compatibility mode for me because it then deselected the Direct 3D checkbox (which caused a fatal crash under Windows 10 and Windows 8 compatibility mode).

    Like you, though, I see no great difference (eg no auto resizing of guest screen, option is disabled) although the Host-A resize mode works just fine.

  5. I installed the x64 version with 2d and 3d display settings disabled. After it was done installing I shut it down then re-enabled 2d and 3d for display settings with 256 MB display memory. Started Windows 10 back up and installed Guest Additions without needing to set it in compatibility mode. I notice that you could not choose the 2d or 3d check mark boxes during the Guest Additions installation. But they were already checked and dimmed to were I couldn’t change them. Thats okay, at least they were checked. After installing the Guest Additions, I rebooted. When 10 started back up, the display driver worked. Device manager said the display driver for Windows 8 was working fine!


  6. {FULL SCREEN PROBLEM SOLVED} Connect to your VM using Microsoft Remote Connection MSTSC. Connects in full screen looks amazing. Best fix since guest additions don’t seem to do anything here.

    • Thank you for that fantastic solution now can you provide a link to the special sauce that you have used?
      and while it might be helpfull for those that have servers setup its not helpfull for those users that dont, (ie) the newbies out there that just want to test win10 who mostlikely do not have hyperV setup in there bedrooms etc….

      • VirtualBox has an option in [Display][RemoteDisplay] to enable RDP on the VM so you can view the screen remotely.

        Just start an RDP client (eg. mstsc.exe on Windows) and connect to localhost.

        If your host machine is Windows (mine is Mac) and you have remote desktop sharing enabled on the host (off by default) then you may need to choose a different port to 3389 so they don’t fight (remember to tell your RDP client what port you chose)

  7. Just a headsup, if you go with that 16GB diskspace recommendation, you’re not going to be able to install later builds via the update process. I went with a 25GB chunk and when a new build was available, I was told I needed an additional 8GB of space to allow the upgrade.. So I created a larger drive (50GB), imaged the smaller drive to the larger, then swapped drive files. After this the new build installed ok…

  8. The technical preview and virtual iso are NOT the same.
    This is what is most misleading. Everytime i search how to install Windows10 virtual in Virtual Box every site refers to it as the “Techical Preview” which takes AGES to install on your main OS and not in VirtualBox.

  9. I just tried this on OS X and after playing around with it for ages, I found that ticking enable 3D acceleration and then installing guest additions worked for me. I can switch to full screen mode now.

    • I have the totally opposite experience… I have VirtualBox 4.3.28 and versions of Win10 are build 100130 and above.

      Mine works fine with 2D/3D turned off.

      When I enable them it causes all kinds of performance issues and it prevents some stuff (like Visual Studio) from even starting.

  10. Windows 10 Technical Preview was installed properly native in Virtualbox 4.20.

    Now the release does NOT install, neither native nor as upgrade from Windows 7 in Virtualbox 5.0 GA. It sses Virtualbox an says incompatible.

  11. Installed Windows 10 (called it 8.1 so GuestAdditions could be added) on my Linux-hosted VB. Terrific success thanks to this posting! Running full-screen – have a shared directory for easy file-transferring – am activated so I can download from the “store”. Yes, it does run a bit slowly, but so does any OS I run on VB. I’ve tried Android, MacOS-X, and an earlier Win all with nice results… I’ve learned to live with the slower speed.

  12. after running Virtual Box in about 1 hour the screen goes smaller “shrink” from the sides and cannot set it back to full. using win 10. ! any suggestions?

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