Exploring Windows XP on macOS ARM64

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Windows XP

I have a lot of fond memories of Windows XP and after feeling nostalgic, I was happy to find out that it’s relatively easy to take it for a spin on an ARM64 Mac using QEMU.

I decided to install XP and an assortment of classic software one final time, taking screenshots of the whole process. This included Firefox, Winamp, WinZip, mIRC, Borland Delphi and Visual C++ 6.0.

Sidenote: SerenityOS

If you’re feeling similarly nostalgic, definitely check out SerenityOS:

SerenityOS is a love letter to ’90s user interfaces with a custom Unix-like core. It flatters with sincerity by stealing beautiful ideas from various other systems.

The same people also started the Ladybird browser:

Ladybird is an ongoing project to build an independent web browser from scratch.

Andreas posts regular updates on YouTube which are a great way to marvel at the project’s impressive progress (e.g., SerenityOS update (July 2023)).


The instructions are based on Emulating Windows XP x86 under M1 Mac via UTM & QEMU.

  1. Download, install and launch UTM
  2. Download the Windows XP UTM template
    1. Extract windows-xp-x64-utm.zip
    2. Open the Windows XP.utm file
    3. Click on the “CD/DVD” dropdown button and mount your installation CD .iso
  3. Start the VM

Installing Additional Software

I couldn’t get directory sharing to work using SPICE tools, so instead I ended up creating an .iso with Firefox and all additional software I needed.

  1. Download Firefox 52.9.0 ESR which is the latest version to run on Windows XP.
  2. Create a folder named Software containing all the files you want to share.
  3. Open Disk Utility.
  4. From the menu bar, go to File → New Image → Image from Folder....
  5. Select the Software folder.
  6. For the Image Format: dropdown, selected DVD/CD master.
  7. Press Save. You will now have a Software.cdr file.
  8. Create Software.iso from Software.cdr in the Terminal.
    1. hdiutil makehybrid -iso -joliet -o Software.iso Software.cdr.
  9. Mount Software.iso in UTM.

Enjoy the screenshots below and check out the extensive gallery for more.

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