What is Hyper V in Windows 11? What is Hyper-V? Microsoft Hyper-V, codenamed Viridian, and briefly known before its release as Windows Server Virtualization, is a native hypervisor; it can create virtual machines on x86-64 systems running Windows. Starting with Windows 8, Hyper-V superseded Windows Virtual PC as the hardware virtualization component of the client editions of Windows NT.
A server computer running Hyper-V can be configured to expose individual virtual machines to one or more networks. Hyper-V was first released with Windows Server 2008, and has been available without additional charge since Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. A standalone Windows Hyper-V Server is free, but has a command-line interface only. The last version of free Hyper-V Server is Hyper-V Server 2019, which is based on Windows Server 2019.
What is Hyper V in Windows 11?
Hyper-V is a native virtualization tool that allows you to run multiple operating systems on your system virtually without affecting your host OS.
With Hyper-V, you don’t have to rely on third-party hypervisor solutions such as VirtualBox and VMware Workstation. Hyper-V has plenty of use cases for individuals, and even more for organizations.
Some Hyper-V virtual machine use cases include:
- Run and test software for an older version of Windows or non-Windows OS
- Test software on multiple operating systems using multiple virtual machines on a single host system.
- Offers disaster recovery features including live migration and failover clustering for increased uptime.
- Create and run virtual machines in isolation for improved security.
What is Hyper-V?
Hyper-V was first implemented with Windows Server 2008, and it’s been part of Windows ever since. It’s Microsoft’s hypervisor software, which allows you to create and run virtual machines (VM) on your PC. VMs let you create isolated instances of an operating system that don’t affect your host PC. There are a few options for virtualization software out there, but Hyper-V is native to Windows, so it’s ideal if you’re managing Windows VMs.
Hyper-V can be useful for testing unstable, dangerous apps or if you need a specific feature from another operating system. For example, you can install Ubuntu if there’s something you need from Linux but you prefer Windows as your main operating system.
For regular Windows, it’s only available in Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions — officially, that is. Even in those editions, it’s usually an optional feature, so you have to go into the Settings app to install it. On Windows 11 Pro and other editions, you can install Hyper-V by going to Apps > Optional features. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click More Windows features, then find Hyper-V and install it. Of course, it’s not so simple with Windows 11 Home since it’s not supposed to be available. But it is possible to get it up and running.
Prerequisites to Enable Hyper-V on Windows 11
Hyper-V is available as an optional feature on Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education. To check your edition of Windows, go to Settings > System > About. Then, check the Windows specifications section to find your Windows edition.
If you have the Home edition, here’s how to install Hyper-V on Windows 11 Home. All you have to do is run a bat script to install Hyper-V on non-compatible systems.
Depending on how many virtual machines and types of applications you intend to run, you may need more resources to run the virtual machines smoothly.
In addition, you need to enable Hardware Virtualization in BIOS. It is an essential feature to run virtual machines on your Windows system but often disabled by default.
How to Enable Hardware Virtualization in BIOS
On compatible systems, you can enable Hardware Virtualization in BIOS. The below steps are for an HP computer. If you are using a custom-made PC or laptop from another manufacturer, refer to the user manual for detailed instruction. If not, refer to our general guide to enter the BIOS on Windows.
To enable Hardware Virtualization in BIOS:
- Shut down your PC if it is powered on.
- Press the Power button to power on the system and start pressing the Esc key to view the Startup Menu.
- In the Startup Menu, press F10 to enter the BIOS setup.
- In the BIOS Setup Utility, use the arrow key and open the Configuration tab.
- Next, use the down arrow key to highlight the Virtualization Technology option.
- Hit Enter and then select Enabled from the options.
- Press F10 to save the changes and exit BIOS.
- Your PC will restart and apply the changes. This may take a while, so wait till your system is fully restarted.
- After restart, you can enable Hyper-V on Windows 11. Here’s how to do it.
How to install Hyper-V on Windows 11 Home
You might think it’s complicated to get Hyper-V running on Home editions of Windows, but it’s surprisingly simple. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Notepad (or another plain text editor) to create a text file.
- Paste this content into the file as shown below.
- Save the file with the name hv.bat. You can save it wherever you prefer.
- Once you’ve saved it, right-click the file and choose Run as administrator.
- Let the process run; it may take a while. Once it completes, you’ll have to restart your computer.
- Hyper-V should automatically be installed, and you can find it by searching in the Start menu. It’ll be called Hyper-V Manager.
If it doesn’t show up, try the following:
- Open the Settings app and go to Apps > Optional features.
- Scroll to the bottom and click More Windows features.
- Find Hyper-V on the list and enable it. You may have to restart afterwards.
- You should now be able to use Hyper-V to create and manage virtual machines.
This guide also works for Windows 10. Unfortunately, installing Hyper-V doesn’t enable Windows Sandbox, which is another cool virtualization feature in Windows that lets you create a clean copy of your current Windows version, so you can test software on it. It has a slightly different use case since it only duplicates your current Windows version and not any OS you want. Plus, Windows Sandbox is reset every time you close it. It’s really just meant for quickly testing a specific app or setting without damaging your PC.
Using Hyper-V, you can create virtual machines using your own ISO files, or you can choose one of the options provided by Microsoft. The company actually offers the ability to create an Ubuntu virtual machine right out of the box. Virtual machines are persistent unless you choose to delete them, so there are certainly different applications for them compared to Windows Sandbox.
If you’re interested in the latest Windows 11 features, keep an eye on our Windows 11 update tracker if you want to get the latest updates.
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