In this article, we will learn how to Enable Virtualization in Windows 11. The most current machines can enable virtualization in Windows 11 in BIOS to share resources more efficiently between several physical and virtual machines. Thanks to virtualization, we can abstract the hardware from our computer to allocate it to a workload that can share these resources between the physical and virtual operating systems.

Processor manufacturing companies like Intel and AMD have this technology that visually boils down to an option available in our BIOS to optimize the virtualization process. In this article, we will talk about these virtualization technologies that these companies have available. We will also see that we can activate Virtualization in Windows 11 on our computer so that our virtual machines have a better performance.

How to Enable Virtualization in Windows 11

What is Virtualization in Windows 11 for?

Two large companies supply processors for the desktop market, laptops, and enterprise servers and workstations. Due to the great use of virtualization techniques by IT companies and the objective of pursuing optimal performance of their virtual machines for work, hardware manufacturers have been practically forced to create solutions for their platforms that allow better use of the hardware resources of physical machines by virtual machines.

This is how the VT-X virtualization technologies for Intel and AMD-Vwere born by the company AMD. Let’s see what these technologies do and how they facilitate the performance of virtual machines.

Enable Virtualization in Windows 11
Enabled Virtualization in Windows 11

Intel VT-X Technology

Intel virtualization technology has features that allow you to fully abstract the technical characteristics of Intel processors for virtual machines. That way, a virtual machine’s software can run natively on the dedicated CPU. To do this, VT-X physically allocates part of its CPU to the virtual machine to work with it directly. In addition, this reduces problems in migrating virtual machines from one hardware to another.

It is also possible to abstract the RAM of a machine so that the virtual software also uses it physically. From this part of the hardware, resources will belong to the virtual system to make access operations (DMA) more efficient.

VT-X is also capable of abstracting graphics resources into processors that feature Intel GPUs to accelerate hardware as if we were on a real computer. In addition, it will allow you to play multimedia resources remotely on computers connected to a virtual desktop.

This also applies to input/output (I/O) devices such as network cards, hard drives, and devices connected to PCI slots. This virtualization technology for input/output devices is called TV-d. Intel processors that implement this technology are:

  • Intel Xeon
  • Intel Core2
  • Intel Core
  • Intel Celeron E3200 and E3300
  • Intel Pentium 4, Pentium D

AMD-V Technology

On the part of AMD chipsets, we also have the technology for the optimization of virtual resources.

AMD-V also allows hardware resources to be abstracted into PRO-series processors so that machines can use these resources directly and more efficiently.

This technology is designed for maximum compatibility with Microsoft Hyper-Virtualization software. It also has optimized support for desktop virtualization techniques. The processors supported by this virtualization technology are:

  • CPU with Socket AM3
  • CPU with Socket AM2
  • Socket S1
  • Socket F
  • AMD Athlon 64 and Turion 64

In short, they are the technology of similar characteristics and are only aimed at optimizing virtual processes.

Virtualization software that supports these technologies:

These are the hypervisors that support CPU virtualization technologies

  • VMware: supports Intel VT-x but are disabled by default
  • VirtualBox: supports both technology
  • Microsoft Virtual PC and Hyper-V– Supports both AMD-V and VT-X
  • KVM: in kernel versions higher than 2.6 also supports both technologies
  • Xen: supports Intel VT-x since version 3.0 and later also with AMD-V
  • Parallels: supports Intel VT-X

How to know if a computer supports virtualization in Windows 11?

Manufacturers Intel and AMD have free software that allows us to check if our computer supports enabling virtualization in BIOS or not.

Intel

If we go to the official download page, we can choose the download language we want for this software. When we download it, we will open it by double-clicking to begin a quick installation process.

When we have opened it, we will go to the tab of “CPU technologies.” At the bottom, we will look for the line “Intel VT-x with page table.” If in the result it says “Yes,” it is that our pc supports virtualization.

AMD

To download your software, click on this link. In this case, all we will have to do is unzip the file and run the application “As an administrator.”

Enable Virtualization in Windows 11: BIOS or UEFI

To activate the virtualization technology that supports our computer, it is necessary to access our BIOS or UEFI to verify that it is active. We can differentiate between the types of BIOS that we currently find on computers.

Enable Virtualization in Windows 11 in Phoenix-type BIOS (traditional)

BIOS of this type are typically found on computers from a few years ago. So if your computer is about 3 or 4 years old, we will surely have a UEFI-type BIOS. To activate virtualization in a traditional BIOS of type Phoenix (blue screen), what we will have to do is the following:

  • We must turn off the computer and restart it

As soon as the screen is turned on, we will try to locate a message that puts “Press <ONE KEY> to enter setup” or a similar message if you can’t see this message using one of these keys to access your BIOS.

  • DELETE
  • F2
  • F12
  • ESC

It should be one of these. We will notice that we have entered when we see a blue screen in which at the top it puts “Phoenix” or “American Megatrends.

  • To navigate your options we will use the arrow keys.

From here, the location of this option in each BIOS may vary. We should not go to the “System configuration” or “Advanced ” tab or any similar section.

  • We must be aware of finding an option that puts “Intel VR” or “VR-x” or “Virtualization Technology
  • When we locate this option we will check that it is in “Enabled
  • If it is not, press enter and with the arrow keys we will choose this option.
  • Then, press the“F10” key to save the changes and restart.

We will already have active virtualization technology on our team.

Enable Virtualization in Windows 11 in BIOS type UEFI (graphical interface)

The new computers almost all have a BIOS with a graphical interface or also called UEFI. In this case, the procedure can be as we have seen in the previous section. Since being a BIOS, the access is the same. Or we can also do it from the operating system itself if we have Windows 11. Let’s see how:

The new computers almost all have a BIOS with a graphical interface or also called UEFI. In this case, the procedure can be as we have seen in the previous section. Since being a BIOS, the access is the same. Or we can also do it from the operating system itself if we have Windows 11. Let’s see how:

  • We will click Start and at the same time that we press the key “Shift” and click “Restart
  • Now we see a blue window with windows 11 recovery options.
  • We chose the option “Troubleshoot”.
  • Then we choose advanced options.
  • It is possible that the previous menu does not exit and we leave the advanced options directly.
  • In this case we choose “UEFI firmware configuration“.
  • It will then ask us to restart the computer, so we accept.
  • Once you start this one again, we will enter directly into the BIOS of our computer.

As we said in the previous method, the options may vary depending on the type of UEFI our team has. In any case, we will access the menu of advanced options or “Advanced Options,” and we will have to locate somewhere the word “Intel VT-x” or “Intel Virtualization Technology” and activate it.

  • In our case, the option was available in “Advanced -> CPU Configuration

This way, we will identify which technology is compatible with our equipment and the Hypervisor that we use.

Conclusion: Enable Virtualization in Windows 11

I hope this article on how to Enable Virtualization in Windows 11 was helpful. Try it and tell us what your experience has been like. We will continue to publish more articles on virtualization to gradually show you all the details of how to do it. Leave us in the comments you think about virtualization.

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