How To Download and Install GarageBand on Windows Computers


GarageBand is a popular digital audio workstation (DAW) software application developed by Apple. It allows users to create, record, edit, and mix music and podcasts. However, GarageBand is only available for macOS and iOS devices. It does not have an official Windows version.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to download and install GarageBand on Windows computers using emulation software.

Why Use GarageBand on Windows

Here are some of the main reasons why you may want to use GarageBand on a Windows computer:

  • Powerful features – GarageBand offers a full-featured DAW experience allowing you to record, edit audio, add effects, create music loops, mix tracks, and more. The functionality rivals more expensive DAW software.
  • User-friendly interface – The GarageBand interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, even for beginners. This makes music production more accessible.
  • Great selection of virtual instruments – GarageBand comes with a wide variety of software instruments like synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, guitars, and more.
  • It’s free – Unlike most full-featured DAW software, GarageBand does not require any purchase or subscription. This makes it very budget-friendly.


To install GarageBand on a Windows PC, you will need:

  • A computer running Windows 7 or later
  • At least 4GB of RAM
  • An Intel Core i5 processor or equivalent
  • At least 2GB of storage space
  • macOS virtualization software like VMware, VirtualBox, etc.

Step 1: Install macOS on a Virtual Machine

Since GarageBand is only supported on macOS, we need to first install macOS on a virtual machine that can run on Windows. Some options for virtualization software include:

  • VMware – Provides excellent performance and compatibility
  • VirtualBox – Free and open-source
  • Parallels – User-friendly with extra features

For this guide, we will use VMware as an example.


  1. Download and install VMware Workstation Player.
  2. Obtain a macOS virtual machine image (.vmdk file). This serves as the macOS hard drive.
  3. Open VMware and create a new virtual machine. Select the macOS virtual hard drive file.
  4. Configure the virtual machine settings. Allocate at least 2 CPU cores and 4GB of RAM.
  5. Start the virtual machine. Go through the macOS setup process.

Step 2: Download GarageBand

Once macOS is running in the VMware virtual machine, we can now download and install GarageBand:

  1. Click on the Launchpad icon in the dock to open the macOS app launcher.
  2. In the search bar, type “App Store” and press Enter.
  3. When the App Store opens, search for “GarageBand”.
  4. Click on the GarageBand icon and then click “Get”. This will download and install GarageBand.
  5. When the installation completes, GarageBand will appear in the Applications folder and Launchpad. You can now open it and start using it!

Using GarageBand on Windows

After following the installation process above, you can now access the full GarageBand DAW experience on your Windows computer!

Here are some tips for using GarageBand effectively within a virtual machine:

  • Allocate sufficient system resources – For smooth performance, make sure to allocate enough CPU cores, RAM, and graphics memory for the virtual machine.
  • Use a dedicated audio interface – Using an external USB audio interface can greatly reduce audio latency compared to using virtualized audio drivers.
  • Setup file sharing – Enable file sharing between Windows and the VM to easily transfer project files and loops.
  • Make safety backups – Don’t store project files only within the virtual machine. Transfer them to Windows to avoid losing work.

Alternative Options

If you don’t want to use virtualization, some good alternative GarageBand options for Windows include:

  • Cakewalk – Full professional DAW that is free to download and use
  • Audacity – Open-source audio workstation great for recording and editing
  • FL Studio – Popular Windows DAW for hip hop and electronic music production
  • Reaper – Affordable DAW with unlimited evaluation period

While they may lack some of GarageBand’s Apple-specific features, these alternatives work natively in Windows. They are great options for music production.


Installing GarageBand on Windows takes a few steps but it opens up Apple’s excellent DAW software for PC users. By installing it in a macOS virtual machine, you can produce music using GarageBand’s great selection of instruments, loops, effects, and intuitive interface.

Just be sure to properly set up the virtual machine and allocate enough system resources. And utilize an external audio interface for best performance.

While native Windows programs like Cakewalk and FL Studio are easier to set up, GarageBand offers a uniquely simple yet powerful DAW experience. This guide should help you access its musical creativity.