Sometimes, it’s unfortunate that software we like or need to use has not been developed to run on macOS. One such software is Revit, BIM software made by Autodesk. If you need to use Revit, you will find that it has only been designed to run in a Windows 64-bit environment.
If you want to run Revit on your Mac, you will need to use either BootCamp or virtual machine software such as Parallels. You could also run it on a remote server or a VM hosted in the cloud if one of those options is available to you.
My name is Eric and as a software engineer, I often need to run applications that are not available on Mac. As I mentioned above, there are a few options for doing this, and I can explain each of them to you.
Keep reading below if you want to learn more about the available options for running Revit on your Mac. I will give you a quick overview of each and then help you to decide which one might work best for you.
- 3 Ways to Run Revit on Mac
3 Ways to Run Revit on Mac
Unfortunately, Autodesk, the maker of Revit, has not developed a macOS version. It has been designed, created, and optimized for Windows. This means there is no way to install the software in your macOS operating system directly.
So the only way that you can run Revit on your Mac is to either install Windows on your Mac hardware or run it on a virtual machine that is running a Windows OS. You could also run it on an external Windows server or machine and remotely connect to that server through your Mac.
As you can see, there are a limited number of options since the software must run on a Windows operating system. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.
Option 1: Bootcamp (for Intel Macs Only)
In the past, Bootcamp was always a great option for running Windows software on your Mac. Bootcamp would allow you to partition your Mac’s hard drive into two separate operating systems—one for macOS and one for Windows. You could then select which one to boot into.
Once you have booted into the Windows operating system, you would then be able to install and run any Windows software just as you would on a PC.
This is still a viable option for those who have an older Mac with an Intel-based processor and if you have that, take a look at how to use Bootcamp to set up a Windows environment and then run Windows applications.
If you have a newer Mac with the M series chip, you are out of luck as far as Bootcamp goes because it is no longer available on these systems, but there’s no need to worry as one of the next options may work for you.
Option 2: Virtual Machine
A VM, also known as a Virtual Machine or virtualization software, can be a good way to run a different operating system such as Windows on your Mac. There are a few options when it comes to VM software such as Parallels and VMware.
Both of these will let you run a Windows environment on your Mac desktop but Revit needs to be run on an x86/x64 Windows environment so you will need to make sure the VM you are running supports x86/x64.
Before you run out and purchase Revit and VM software, you will want to first do some research and testing. One of the issues that you might run into is performance. VMs can often run very slow depending on the hardware you are running it on and in turn, Revit may not perform well enough to use it on your VM.
If you decide to go with VM software you will need to make sure you have a high-end Mac with a large amount of memory, disk space, and the highest processor speed possible. A VM will need to share its resources with your macOS so it needs as much as it can get to run smoothly.
Option 3: Remote Access
In my opinion, this is the best solution. It won’t matter what type of processor you have in your Mac, and it won’t require VM software or a high-end system. Although it will require that you have remote access to a Windows machine or a hosted virtual machine in the cloud.
If you have a Windows server or other machine that you can gain remote access to, you can install the software on that Windows system and then use Remote Desktop, Citrix, or some other remote software to log in to that machine and run Revit.
You don’t necessarily need a physical machine either. You could set up a remote VM in the cloud using Microsoft Azure, AWS, or some other cloud hosting service. I believe VMware also has cloud hosting services. Once you have a VM set up on one of these hosting services, you can install Revit and run it by logging on to the hosted VM.
The drawback to a hosted VM is that it will cost you money but it can be as affordable or even more affordable than buying and supporting a physical Windows system or server. Hosted VMs also have the advantage of having the ability and resources to configure them to whatever you need for running software such as Revit.
Some of the cloud-hosted VMs even offer a free version or free trials if you want to try them out.
Below are a few questions that are often asked when discussing how to run Revit on your Mac.
Why Can’t I just install Revit on my Mac and run it?
It sounds like an easy thing to do, but it won’t work. Windows applications have a different type of installer than macOS applications so it would be challenging to install it in the first place. Even if you could get it installed or get the files copied to your Mac, it would not run because it is designed only for a Windows operating system. If you tried to run it it would only get an error and your system may crash.
Will Autodesk ever have a macOS version of Revit?
There’s no way to know for sure. At this point, there does not seem to be any plan to do so. While there is quite a bit of interest in it from users, Autodesk has never indicated any intentions to develop Revit for macOS but you never know. It’s always a possibility.
Can VMs and remote-hosted VMs be used to run other Windows applications?
Yes, they definitely can. The same applies to other Windows applications that you might want to try and run. VMs run on your local machine may not perform as well depending on your system, but you could also try running them on VMs hosted in a cloud environment where you can configure the VM to have the needed resources for the application.
Autodesk’s Revit application cannot run natively on macOS systems, but there are ways to run it on your Mac if you need to do so. You can use Bootcamp if you have an older Intel-based Mac or you can use VM software such as Parallels or VMware.
As indicated above, a remote server or cloud-hosted VM that you can remote into is probably the best way to run Revit from your Mac. I hope the information provided above can help you with running Revit on your Mac.
As usual, let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.