MacBooks with Apple M1 can run Windows 10 apps today — here's how

CrossOver running on an M1 MacBook Air
(Image credit: CodeWeavers)

While things are looking bright for the new Apple M1-based MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, one of the casualties of the transition to Apple Silicon is the ability to run Windows 10 on your MacBook with Boot Camp, and now the race to offer a solution is on.

We've already seen that Parallels will bring Windows 10 apps to M1 MacBooks, but that is still in beta while CodeWeavers has now shown off the current build of its CrossOver 20 emulation software running a number of Windows 10 apps on a MacBook Air (via Engadget).

One caveat is that CodeWeavers installed the Big Sur 11.1 beta, but anyone is free to join the beta program so that's not stopping you from trying this too.

The team was able to run a variety of Windows 10 software including Quicken, Among Us, The Witcher 3 and Team Fortress 2. For a fast-twitch game like TF2, things aren't exactly smooth sailing throughout, with frame rates jumping around here and there as you can see in the video below. But that it works at all without optimizing anything is pretty amazing.

Jeremy White from CodeWeavers walks through the layers of emulation that are happening in the blog post, "a 32-bit Windows Intel binary, running in a 32-to-64 bridge in Wine / CrossOver on top of macOS, on an ARM CPU that is emulating x86 - and it works!" 

Naturally, just like the Parallels team, CodeWeavers is already at work on an optimized version that will deliver a much smoother experience, but if you have one of the new M1 Macs and absolutely have to run a Windows 10 app, this is a workable solution for you to try today.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.