Mac Emulators

Let’s cover some ways to emulate the classic Mac OS on a (how should I say this) more “modern” computer. If you don’t have any old Mac hardware lying around, you can still enjoy vintage games and software and all the fun of the classic Mac OS thanks to emulation.


Why not get started here? You can jump right in with your web browser!

Basillisk II

This would be my recommendation for emulating classic 68k Mac OS. It’s available on Windows and macOS and can run System 7 and 8 well. There are a few important points to know about to get started:

  • You’ll need a Mac ROM. If you need a ROM, a good place to start would be Google!
  • Configuring Basilisk II is done through a config file, but there is a much easier GUI, aptly named “Basilisk II Gui”
  • You’ll need a disk image set up with system software. You can download and install the system software yourself, or there are some pre-made disk images floating around online to get you started.

Mini vMac

Mini vMac is a great emulator and it’s available on many platforms. It emulates early 68k black and white Macs.

Pear PC

If 68k isn’t exactly your thing, there are Power PC Mac emulators out there, such as Pear PC. With Pear PC you can run the classic Mac OS or older versions of Mac OS X.


SheepShaver isn’t baaaaad. (Excuse the sheepish puns.) With it, you can emulate Power PC and run Mac OS 7, 8, or 9.

  • Note that again, you’ll need a ROM and a disk image with the Mac OS to get up and running.

And More…

Some other options worth noting

  • QEmu: Another Power PC emulator – I have never personally tried it out, but I believe it’s a viable option.
  • Executor: well, it’s not technically an emulator – but it was a way to run Mac programs on Windows “back in the day”.