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How to Switch Between Windows and Mac without Restarting

Updated on Wednesday, July 3, 2024

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Written by

Connie Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Usually, after installing Windows on your Intel-based Mac with Boot Camp Assistant, your Mac will automatically start up into Windows. The question "How do I switch from Windows back to Mac again?" comes into your mind and puzzles you.

Take it easy. This post will tell you how to switch from Windows to Mac or how to switch from Mac to Windows in different ways. Then, you can switch between Windows and Mac on your Mac device seamlessly.

switch between Windows and Mac

How to switch from Windows to Mac on your Mac/MacBook?

There are different ways available for switching from Windows back to Mac, including using the shortcut or Boot Camp. Compare the two ways and choose your preferred one.

Switch from Windows to Mac with Boot Camp

In Windows, there's a notification area on the right side of the Windows taskbar. From here, you can find the Boot Camp icon by clicking the up arrow on the taskbar. Then, you can use the Boot Camp icon to switch from Windows to Mac.

  1. Click the Boot Camp icon.
  2. Select "Restart in macOS" from the menu. 
    use Boot Camp icon to switch to Mac

Switch from Windows to Mac using the keyboard

If you get the error message "Could not locate the OS X boot volume." when using Boot Camp to shift to macOS or can't find the Boot Camp icon from the taskbar, you can use the shortcut to switch from Windows to Mac without Boot Camp.

  1. Restart your Mac and simultaneously press the Option or Alt key on your keyboard.
  2. Release the key when you see the startup options show up on your screen.
  3. Select the Mac startup disk (Macintosh HD or macOS) and then press Return. 
    choose Mac startup disk

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How to switch from Mac to Windows on your Mac/MacBook?

After you are back to macOS, how to switch from Mac to Windows again on your Mac? Similarly, there are also two ways. One is to use the shortcut while the other is to change to Windows in the startup manager.

Switch from Mac to Windows with the shortcut

Like switching from Windows to Mac, you can also use the Option or Alt key to switch from Mac to Windows again.

  1. Restart your Mac and immediately hold down the Option or Alt key until you see the startup disks.
  2. Choose the Boot Camp volume and press Return to enter Windows. 
    switch to Windows Boot Camp

Switch from Mac to Windows Boot Camp without restarting

If you don't want to restart your Mac and press down the shortcut, how to switch from Mac to Windows Boot Camp without restarting?

Well, you can go to the startup manager in System Settings on your Mac and then shift to Windows. Notably, this way will also restart your Mac. Switching from Mac to Windows Boot Camp without restarting is impossible.

Here's how:

For macOS Monterey 12 and earlier:

  1. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences.
  2. Select Startup Disk. 
    select startup disk
  3. Click the lock and enter your admin password for changes.
  4. Choose the Boot Camp volume and then click Restart. 
    choose Boot Camp from startup manager

For macOS Ventura 13 and later:

  1. Click on the Apple menu > System Settings > General.
  2. Select Startup Disk on the right panel. 
    open Startup Disk on Mac
  3. Choose the Boot Camp volume and click Restart.

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