Best Virtual Machine For Windows 11 (Free & Paid)

A curated list of the best VM software for your device

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Key notes

  • Many people want to try out Windows 11's new feature and the beta version but don't or can't sign up for it.
  • Virtual machines offer a safe and secure opportunity to try out the beta version.
  • There are many different kinds out there, but these virtual machines are among the best in the market for Windows 11.

A virtual machine or VM is a piece of software that emulates a computer and acts as a substitute for the real thing. VMs mimic a computer’s hardware and architecture to offer the same functionality.

You can run existing apps and services on a virtual machine without having to risk the stability of your regular PC. Windows 11, for example, has a lot of bugs right now that may make the experience frustrating.

A virtual machine would allow people to try it out without having to sign up for anything. Read on to find out which is the best virtual machine for Windows 11 that fits your needs and wants.

What is the best virtual machine for Windows 11?

VMware Workstation

VMware Workstation is one of the best virtual machines on the market, as it is highly versatile. This software is capable of installing multiple virtual machines and operating systems on the same host computer.

You can deploy the different iterations of Windows that have been released over the years and MacOS too with VMWare Fusion. It can do all this at a high speed.

Downloading VMware Workstation is pretty easy with straightforward instructions. It’s very user-friendly and casual users can run it to try out Windows 11 and its upcoming features. 

There are currently two versions of it. The free edition will satisfy the needs of casual users and it’s more for personal/educational purposes. If you want to use it for a business environment, it’s recommended that you buy a license for VMware Workstation Player.

VMware Workstation

Take your VM experience to the next level by trying out this powerful software on your Windows 11 PC today!
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Microsoft has its own virtual machine with Hyper-V that comes with an accessible interface and is packed with intuitive features. In addition to creating a virtual operating system, Hyper-V can create a virtual version of hard drives, switches, external drives, and other devices, but you can’t use it for graphics card virtualization.

Hyper-V is free to use and comes pre-installed in Windows 10 Pro, Windows Server, and in some builds of Windows 11, so you can try out the operating system’s beta version that way if you haven’t upgraded your computer yet. It’s ideal for managing other Windows VMs and is useful as a testing ground for unstable apps. It is a great choice and a top pick in our list of the best virtual machine for Windows 11.

However, your machine must meet certain hardware requirements if you plan on activating and using Hyper-V.

For starters, your PC must have:

  • A 64-bit processor with second level address translation
  • CUP support for the VM Monitor Mode Extension
  • A RAM of 4GB memory at minimum
  • Virtualization enabled on the system’s BIOS
  • Hardware Enforced Data Execution Prevention also enabled on BIOs.

Citrix Hypervisor

Citrix Hypervisor is a virtual machine that is specifically optimized for an app, desktop, and server virtualization. It’s easy to use and has a high level of security that allows work teams to store large files on there and collaborate on them.

Citrix Hypervisor has more of a business-centered focus rather than catering to the casual user. It’s intended to be used in a business environment with many different people working on a singular project and this is seen through its features.

It has an enhanced graphics workload and supports Nvidia’s GRID graphics cards. The basic version is pretty bare-bones in what it can do outside of creating a VM. For paying customers, they get sophisticated management tools and control over the business’s virtual environments.

The VM even supports cloud-hosted environments include Microsoft Azure’s Virtual Desktop.

If you do decide to use Hypervisor, check if your computer meets the hardware requirements needed to run Windows 11. Microsoft has a helpful post on their website detailing everything with an important one being TPM 2.0 support.

Get Citrix Hypervisor


Azure is also owned by Microsoft, and it is actually a collection of online services that organizations and businesses can use to build, host, and deliver apps.

And now Azure offers Windows 11 on its virtual desktop service, a feature that was just recently added. The virtual desktop allows users to create their own digital computer on a Microsoft data center so you don’t have to use your own machine in case your machine doesn’t meet hardware requirements.

Business owners will enjoy the opportunity to try out Windows 11 Enterprise and the Microsoft 365 apps on Azure, giving an opportunity to learn the OS and get comfortable with its features.

The only issue is that Azure isn’t free, but you do have the option to try out the service for free for an entire year and get a $200 credit. After the year, that $200 will go to paying off what you owe from using the service. All you have to do is pay off the rest and then sign up for a plan.

Get Azure

How can I get the most out of my virtual machine?

With virtual machines, it’s possible to export and clone multiple operating systems. There may come a time where you will need to do some changes to your VM so it’s a good idea to create backups just in case things go wrong. If you’re using VMWare, it’s recommended that you export a VM into an OVF format.

Learning how to clone a virtual machine is also a good idea because it can allow you to test computer architecture in a controlled environment. If you end up bricking the VM, it’s totally fine because the original system will be safe.

It’s important to mention there are many virtual machines that are currently incompatible with Windows 11 because of a recent change by Microsoft.

What are the advantages of using a VM?

Many people and businesses use virtual machines to try out features on operating systems and to run different systems as well.

A huge advantage of using a VM is the ability to run apps that would otherwise be unavailable due to a different operating system.

You can run a Windows 11 virtual machine on a Mac computer, Linux on a PC, and vice versa.

A virtual machine can be used to join the Windows Insider Program and try out the beta version of Windows 11 and the new features before they officially come out. With this, you can try out the Windows 11 Android app feature currently out on beta.

But there are a wide variety of virtual machines out there that it can be difficult to decide which ones are the best. This list will break down the best virtual machines for Windows 11.

Are VMs safe to use on a PC?

Yes, virtual machines are safe to use on a PC. There is no added risk to downloading one from a verified source and using it to try out a new operating system.

However, virtual machines don’t come with any sort of extra protection as a default and have the same security risks as the host computer.

A VM can be infected with a virus the same way a PC can, so don’t go around opening up suspicious e-mails or going to malware-infested websites thinking you’re safe.

Some vendors, like VMware, do provide security solutions as a bonus layer or protection.

Prior to its launch, Microsoft made TPM (Trust Platform Module) 2.0 support a requirement for computers and virtual machines to run Windows 11. It’s a technology that protects the data used to authenticate the PC you’re using.

Many virtual machines don’t have this capability, but some like Hypervisor and VMware have a virtual version of this chip.

Because of this, many virtual machines are unusable with Windows 11 and will have to create some kind of workaround in their product in order to be used with Windows 11.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions about our choice of the best virtual machines for Windows 11. Leave a suggestion about guides that you’d like to see or information on other Windows 11 aspects.

More about the topics: virtual machine, VMware Workstation, Windows 11