Native BootÂ allows you to create a virtual hard disk (VHDX), install Windows to it, and then boot it up, either on your PC side-by-side with your existing installation, or on a new device.
A native-boot VHDX can be used as the running operating system on designated hardware without any other parent operating system. This differs from a scenario where a VHDX is connected to a virtual machine on a computer that has a parent operating system.
Native boot for Windows 11 requires the .vhdx format, not the .vhd format.
VHDXs can be applied to PCs or devices that have no other installations of Windows, without a virtual machine or hypervisor. (A hypervisor is a layer of software under the operating system that runs virtual computers.) This enables greater flexibility in workload distribution because a single set of tools can be used to manage images for virtual machines and designated hardware.
This tutorial will show you how to boot a Windows 11 VHDX file natively to dual boot with Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro, Education, or Enterprise editions.