Install VirtualBox on Windows

by | Last Updated: Mar 24, 2023 | VIRTUALIZATION

Introduction to VirtualBox


VirtualBox is a free, Type 2 hypervisor. It is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for the business as well as home/personal use. Virtual Box can be used to install and run Virtual Machines for learning, testing, and other purposes. It is one of the most embraced desktop virtualization solutions that are freely available as open-source software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) v2. It can be run on common operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Macintosh and supports a list of guest OS or Virtual Machines (VMs). Similar to the Linux operating system, VirtualBox is also a community effort backed by a well-known company, ORACLE.

In this article, I am going to show how you can download and Install VirtualBox and its Extension packs on Windows OS in easy steps. After installing VirtualBox, you can run VirtualBox as an application on Windows OS to create Virtual Machines (VMs).

Install VirtualBox on Windows OS

VirtualBox Installation involves two components:

  1. Base Package: This is the main installation file that will be used run to install the VirtualBox application on Windows.
  2. Extension packs: Additional extension packs are important to install. They enhance the functionality of the Base installation. Support for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices, VirtualBox RDP, disk encryption with AES algorithm, NVMe, and PXE boot for Intel cards is achieved only after installing the extension pack.

 

Download VirtualBox with Extension Packs


It is always suggested to visit the official website to download VirtualBox and its Extension packs. Click Here to visit the Downloads page.

  1. Click on Windows Hosts to download VirtualBox for the Windows operating system.
  2. Then Click on All supported platforms to download VirtualBox Extension Pack.
Download VirtualBox

It is very important to note that virtualization applications such as VirtualBox or VMware workstations don’t work with Hyper-V. Hyper-V is the default type-2 hypervisor for Windows 10. You must Disable Hyper-V before you install VirtualBox or VMware.

Install VirtualBox (Base Package)


Step 1: Click on the downloaded executable file and select the way you want features to be installed. Also, if you want to change the location of the installation files, you may change it by clicking on the Browse button. We will leave it as is and click Next.

VirtualBox Application

Step 2: Let it install and create shortcuts for VirtualBox in multiple locations. Click Next.

Oracle VirtualBox Application Setup

Step 3: VirtualBox will temporarily disconnect Network interfaces during installation. It is just required once during installation. Click YES to proceed with the installation.

Warning VirtualBox Network Interfaces

Step 4: Click Install to begin the installation.

VirtualBox Installation

Step 5: Windows security may ask if the software you are installing is trusted. Click Install to proceed with the installation.

VirtualBox Device Software

Step 6: Once Installation is completed. Click Finish and you are good to use VirtualBox.

VirtualBox Installation Finished

This window is known as VirtualBox Manager where you create and manage all Virtual Machines and associated settings.

VirtualBox Manager

Does VirtualBox support 64-bit guest operating systems?

It is always recommended to use 64-bit VMs, if possible. VirtualBox support running 64-bit guest operating systems. Just make sure that your hardware has the support for virtualization (Intel VT-x or AMD-v).

Install VirtualBox (Extension Pack)


Firstly, make sure that you have downloaded the same version Extension Pack as your install version of VirtualBox.

To install the Extension Pack for VirtualBox, simply run the .vbox-extpack and a Network Operations Manager window will start the installation wizard.

Install VirtualBox Extension Pack

You will be prompted a question of whether to install the VirtualBox extension pack. Click on “Install”.

VirtualBox Extension Pack Wizard

VirtualBox License will be shown to read. You may want to scroll down and click on “I Agree”.

VirtualBox License

The Extension pack has been installed for VirtualBox. Go ahead and enjoy the free features available in VirtualBox.

VirtualBox Extension Pack Installed

You can view currently installed Extension packs. From the File menu, select Preferences. In the window that displays, go to the Extensions category. This shows you the extensions which are currently installed and enables you to remove a package or add a new package.

The Upshot


  • VirtualBox is a free Virtualization software that runs as an application on multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris.
  • It is recommended to use 64-bit guest operating systems. Using a 32-bit operating system may limit guest OS to use 3-4 GB RAM.
  • To run a 64-bit guest OS, make sure that the hardware has the support for virtualization (Intel VT-x or AMD-v).
  • VirtualBox installation consists of two phases. Install VirtualBox Base Package and Install VirtualBox Extension Pack.
  • While downloading/installing VirtualBox, make sure the versions of the VirtualBox Base Package/Software and the VirtualBox Extension Pack are the same.

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