Hyper-V allows virtual machines to run on a Windows system. It is possible to run virtual machines without Hyper-V however, it makes things much easier. For one, it allows a VM to get direct access to the hardware on your system. As you can imagine, not everyone needs to run a VM which is why Hyper-V isn’t always on by default on most systems. If you’re about to run a VM, it a good idea to check if Hyper-V is enabled. If it isn’t, we’ll show you how to enable Hyper-V.
Hyper-V is a Microsoft service that requires certain hardware to run. In a nutshell, the following are the basic requirements for Hyper-V support
- An Intel or AMD CPU that supports virtualization and Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
- A 64-bit version of Windows 10 or Windows 8/8.1
- 4GB RAM
Check Hyper-V Support
There are two different ways to check if your system supports Hyper-V. The first, and the easiest method is to check in Task Manager.
Open Task Manager and go to the Performance tab. Select CPU from the column on the right, and look below the graph depicting CPU usage. You should see an option called ‘Virtualization’. It will either be enabled or disabled. If you do not see this option, your CPU does not support Hyper-V.
The second method which will also tell you if your CPU supports SLAT or not is to use Microsoft’s Coreinfo utility.
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Download the utility and extract it. Open Command Prompt with admin rights, and use the cd command to go to the extracted folder. Run the following command. The output will tell you if your CPU supports Hyper-V or not.
Assuming you ran the above checks and your system supports Hyper-V, you may still need to enable it. You cannot enable Hyper-V from inside Windows 10. This is a BIOS settings which means you need to access BIOS in order to enable Hyper-V.
The BIOS layout is not the same on all desktops and laptops. You will need to explore it to find the option. Some BIOS might have a dedicated Virtualization tab, while others might have placed the option under Advanced Settings, or Security.
All you need to do is find the option in BIOS, tap Enter to select it, and use the Up/Down arrow keys to change Disabled to Enabled. After that, tap the F10 key to save the change, and boot your system like normal.
Use the same checks in the previous section to make sure you’ve correctly enabled Hyper-V and you’re good to go.