How to Enable Hyper-V - dummies

By Doug Lowe

Hyper-V is a virtualization platform that comes as a standard part of all versions of Windows Server since version 2008 and all versions of desktop Windows since Windows 8. Hyper-V is not automatically enabled when you install Windows; you must first enable this feature before you can use Hyper-V.

To enable Hyper-V on a server version of Windows, call up the Server Manager and open the Add Roles and Features Wizard. Then enable the Hyper-V role. When you complete the wizard, Hyper-V will install the Type-1 hypervisor and move the existing Windows Server operating system into the parent partition. You can then start building virtual machines.

To enable Hyper-V on a desktop version of Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. Choose Programs and Features.

    The Programs and Features window comes to life.

  3. Click Turn Windows Features On or Off.

    The Windows Features dialog box appears, as shown here.

    Enabling Hyper-V on a desktop version of Windows.
    Enabling Hyper-V on a desktop version of Windows.
  4. Select the Hyper-V feature and click OK.

    The Client Hyper-V hypervisor is installed as an application on the existing desktop Windows operating system, and you can begin using Hyper-V.

  5. When prompted, restart the computer.

    The reboot is required to start the Hyper-V hypervisor. When your computer restarts, it’s actually the Hyper-V hypervisor that starts, not Windows. The hypervisor then loads your desktop Windows into the parent partition.