Easily Run Windows Applications on Mac OS X

If you are using Mac OS X and want to run Windows applications, the most popular option is to install Windows OS using Bootcamp, or run Windows in a virtual machine. Linux users will know that you can use Wine to install and run Windows applications natively. The good news is that Mac users can run Wine to install Windows applications as well. Wineskin is a Wine-tool ported over to the Mac platform. Check out how you can run Windows applications on Mac OS X.

Wineskin is simply an implementation of Wine at its core. For those who are not sure what Wine (an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is, it is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X.

The installation is pretty straight-forward.

1. Download Wineskin from its website. The latest version as of this post is 2.5.12.

2. Extract the file and move the Wineskin app to your Applications folder. Open it.

wineskin-main-interface

On the first run, there won’t be any engine showing up in the list. Click the “+” button to download and install the latest engine. The engine is required to make the Windows applications work.

wineskin-download-engine

Once the engine is installed, you are ready to install Windows applications.

Before you start, make sure you have the executable file of the desired Windows application with you. Note that Wineskin doesn’t support all the Windows applications out there. Check out Wine’s AppDB to see if the application you want is supported.

1. Click the “Create New Blank Wrapper” button and enter a name for this wrapper. In this example, we will be installing Peazip on Mac.

wineskin-create-wrapper

While creating the wrapper, it will prompt you to install mono package for running .Net applications and Gecko package for running HTML-based apps.

wineskin-mono-installer

wineskin-gecko-installer

2. Once the wrapper is created, open it in Finder; right click and select “Show Package Content.”

wineskin-wrapper-in-finder

You should see two folders: “Contents” and “drive_c” and a Wineskin app. Run the Wineskin app.

wineskin-install-software

3. Select “Choose Setup executable” and select the executable file of the Windows application.

wineskin-choose-setup-executable

The installation will proceed just like it does in Windows.

wineskin-peazip-installation

Run the Wineskin app (from the Wrapper folder) again. This time, click “Advanced.” Browse and select the installed application and click “Test Run.” This will run the Windows application.

wineskin-test-run

This is what the application will look like:

wineskin-running-peazip

Once you are happy with the test run, the next time you can just double click the Wrapper app to open this application.

That’s it.

If you need a Windows environment in Mac, your best bet would be either using Bootcamp or to run a virtual machine. However, if all you need is a particular Windows application, using Wineskin is a better option (provided that the application is supported). If you have a lot Windows game in your collection, you will be happy to know that plenty of those older games are supported by Wine, and you can now play them on your Mac machine. Enjoy!