How do I stop Boot Camp restarting in Windows?

Apple iMac on a desk
Back to Mac: find out how to solve Boot Camp woes

Boot Camp on a Mac is a wonderful thing. It allows you to run Windows on the Mac hardware, without the performance hit you suffer when using other virtualisation software such as Parallels Desktop. However, Boot Camp can be a little temperamental.

One problem I commonly find is that when you shut down or restart the Windows installation it sometimes decides to reboot automatically in Windows, rather than go back to macOS. How do you stop this from happening and head back to macOS?

The first thing to do is fire up Windows on the Mac. Head to the notifications area near the clock in the bottom-right of the screen, and look for the little silver diamond Boot Camp icon. Right-click on that and select the Boot Camp control panel, as shown:

Boot Camp settings

When you’ve done that, you should see a screen like the one below. Make sure that Boot Camp is set to reboot back into macOS by default, as shown here:

Boot Camp control panel

However, even when Boot Camp is set to boot into Mac by default, it occasionally ignores the brief and boots back into Windows. If that happens, I normally find that right-clicking on the Boot Camp icon and picking ‘Restart in macOS’ (as seen in the first screenshot above) does the trick.

By the way, if you want to boot into Windows when everything is working as it should, you need to hold down the Option key on your keyboard when the Apple logo appears during the start-up sequence. Then select the Windows partition when the Boot Camp menu appears.

Click here to find out how to silence the Mac startup sound.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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