What is Hyper-V in Windows 10 (Knowing Everything)

what is Hyper-V in Windows 10
What is Hyper-V in Windows 10

We all have that one tech geek in our group who constantly boasts about new tech features and stuff. And we are sure you must have heard about “Hyper-V” as well. So, what is Hyper-V in Windows 10?

Let’s find out!

What is Hyper-V in Windows 10?

Windows as an OS platform has successfully managed to polish itself year by year to become one of the most loved PC OS platforms around the world,

and this is very evident in the latest version of Windows, the Windows 11 series.

It is a feature-rich OS platform that is meant for a layman, so one doesn’t need to be an expert to get started.

However, there are many hidden tools that Windows machines come packed with and Hyper-V is one of them. 

To start with, Hyper-V in Windows 10 is a virtual machine built inside the Windows operating system that helps a user to play around with the versatility of the OS. Meaning you can install any OS inside the main OS, with the help of Hyper-V. 

It works on the same concept as Sandbox, which basically allows a user to use a virtual OS inside the main OS, so that they can run a program or code software in a safe and different environment, leaving their main computers risk-free. 

Although, there is a huge difference between the two virtual machines, which we have tried to explain in the next segment of the article.

What is the difference between Hyper-V and Sandbox?

As per the definition for Sandbox and Hyper-V, they both are a type of virtual machine specially designed to run a fresh new OS inside the main OS but in a virtual format. 

Now, Sandboxes have this thing that it is only limited to one OS. You only get a virtual OS that is a copy of the main OS.

Meaning, if you are running a Windows 10 PC, then a sandbox only allows you to run a virtual Windows 10 operating system. 

Whereas, on a Hyper-V machine you get the flexibility to run a whole different OS inside a Windows PC.

For instance, you can run Windows XP, inside Windows 10, or Linux inside a Windows 10 PC. You can also run multiple OS on a single machine.

Secondly, you cannot add hardware components like hard drives or network switches inside a virtual sandbox,

but with a Hyper-V environment, you can do this task easily. You can allot a specific number for your hard drive according to your will. 

Even if Microsoft says that you can run it on your existing specs of your computer, it is always better to have extra room for the hardware part,

so that the virtual OS as well as the software which you are going to run on your Hyper-V environment functions smoothly. 

The third difference between Hyper-V and Sandbox environments is that Sandbox comes pre-installed with that specific Windows machine, which eliminates your part of the hard work. 

But, Hyper-V, doesn’t come with a pre-packed virtual OS.

You need to manually install the OS of your choice by activating the Hyper-V first because it is a hidden feature that Windows doesn’t want a basic user to know,

and then flashing the ISO or a CD/DVD file of that particular OS. 

Lastly, if we speak about the virus protection part, then Sandbox is considered to be the safest compared to Hyper-V.

Why?

Because, whenever you close the Sandbox window it automatically closes all functions, which also forces the virus to doze off permanently. 

While on Hyper-V it is just like your regular machine that saves all of the settings, files, and apps for your future use, which includes viruses too.

Therefore, you are left with only one option, i.e., deleting the entire virtual OS from the Hyper-V itself to eliminate that virus. 

However, your main machine won’t get affected by the virus, as the virus is stuck inside the virtual OS and not the main OS.

What are the basic requirements to use a Hyper-V on Windows?

Windows for sure provides this epic and useful virtual machine to its users, but there are some basic requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to use it fully-fledged.

For instance, if you want to activate the Hyper-V program on your Windows PC, then the basic requirement that it calls upon is that you need to have the Professional or Enterprise version of Windows.

Next up, you also need to have a 64-bit version of the Pro or Enterprise. 

Thirdly, as mentioned earlier, it will be really good if you have  better specs on your computer, which includes better RAM storage, ample hard disk space, and better processor performance.

And lastly, you need to have Windows 8 or higher installed on your PC to use this service.

How many versions of Hyper-V are available?

Now that we have seen the basic requirements for the Hyper-V program which need to be fulfilled in order to use the service, we will now have a look at how many different versions of Hyper-V are available to date.

There are three versions available in the market for Hyper-V.

  • Hyper-V for Windows.
  • Hyper-V for Windows server.
  • Hyper V server.

Hyper-V for Windows:

Hyper-V for Windows is a free preloaded virtual machine that comes packed with your general Windows OS. Especially with the Pro and Enterprise version.

Hyper-V for Windows server:

Hyper-V for Windows servers is an add-on to the Windows server OS. It lets you create a virtualized environment on the Windows server itself, thus improving the efficiency of your computing resources and freeing up your hardware resources.

Hyper-V server:

Hyper-V server is a standalone solution that can be used to manage all the virtual and dedicated servers. 

Why use a Virtual Machine like Hyper-V?

We are sure you must be thinking of why you should use a Virtual Machine like Hyper-V on your regular Windows machine. Hence, we have tried to justify it with a few good reasons.

Increased productivity:

Hyper-V, the virtual machine by Microsoft, can prove to be one of the best alternatives if you are aiming to increase your productivity. 

With no need for additional Ram and other hardware resources, you can simply install another OS like Mac or Linux, and work with them simultaneously for a better result.

Helps in breaking the limitations:

It is no brainer that every OS comes with its own set of limitations, which directly affects the operating part of the system. For instance, you cannot run a few apps on Windows but it is very much possible with the Mac OS.

So, if you are looking to break the shackles of limitations, we suggest you use VMs like Hyper-V to install a compatible OS for your app. 

Makes work easier:

Like apps, many of us get so accustomed to one OS that we find it difficult to work on the other. For example, a hardcore Mac user will definitely find it difficult to work with a Windows operating system. 

Hence, it is better to activate Hyper-V on your Windows PC and install the virtual OS which seems easy to work on.

Avoids slowing down of the system:

Windows operating system has this small setback where it stores temporary app files even after the app is uninstalled from the PC. Now, these temporary files eat up a lot of space which results in the slowing down of your computer.

Therefore, if you are planning to use an app on a temporary basis, then, Hyper-V virtualization is the best option for you, because it won’t store any files on your main computer.

Provides an additional layer of security:

Apps are a part of the computer world but sometimes some apps can prove to be hazardous for the system itself.

In such cases, virtualization will be your wingman, because what happens inside the virtual machine, stays in the virtual machine. Your main PC won’t get affected by the virus that is inside the virtual machine.

Plus, you can safely surf the dark web too.

What are the limitations of a Hyper-V virtual machine?

There are some limitations to Hyper-V virtual machines, like;

  • The programs that require specific hardware will not work on the Hyper-V virtual machine.
  • You will face delays while using music mixing apps like DAW and FL studio.
  • The high precision, latency-sensitive games can also face operational issues while running on the VM.
  • Only works with the pro and business edition of Windows.
  • The user may need to incur the licensing cost of the different OS.
  • The administration needs to be carried out in the form of commands as it lacks a graphical user interface.
  • File format can be a problem because Hyper-V demands advanced .VHDX file format rather than .VHD.

How to use Hyper-V on your Windows 10 PC?

Till now we have covered almost every basic aspect of a Hyper-V machine in Windows. But, now we will be skipping to the most important part, i.e., learning how to activate Hyper-V on your Windows machine, so that you can start installing different OS platforms to see what works for you.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial for the same.

Part 1: Activating Hyper-V.

  • Open the “Control Panel on your PC.
  • Then, click on the “Uninstall a program” option under the Programs section.
  • Now, select “Turn Windows features on or off” from the left pane.
  • Check mark the box that has Hyper-V labeled on it.
  • Click on the “OK” button to confirm the activation.
  • Lastly, you will get a screen that will ask you to reboot your computer in order to complete the changes that are requested. 
Control Panel Windows 10
Control Panel Windows 10

This is the basic way to activate Hyper-V on your Windows device (8 and higher).

But, you can also use the command prompt to activate the Hyper-V program. All you need to do is, open the command prompt window as an administrator, and then type in the following command inside it.

DISM /Online /Enable Feature /All /FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V

Part 2: Getting Started.

  • Go to the Windows search bar, type in “Hyper-V manager”, and select the best match.
  • Now, select the name of your computer visible in the left pane.
  • Then, click on “Quick create.”
  • Next, select an operating system from the list or extract an ISO file from the local storage.
  • Open the “More options” drop-down menu.
  • Rename the virtual computer as per your liking.
  • Next, click on “Create Virtual Machine.”
  • The setup process will begin if you have downloaded the OS already. Or else you will need to download the OS manually.
  • Lastly, select “Connect” to start your Hyper VM.

You can also start the VM by clicking on the start button inside the right pane.

Conclusion

After this discussion, it is clear that Hyper-V is a full-fledged Virtual Machine developed by Microsoft that can be used to run a separate virtual OS within the main OS. This virtual machine can be used to run and test software or to experiment with different OS platforms.

Now, if anyone asks you what is Hyper-V in Windows 10, then all you need to do is throw this piece of information at them.

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