Updated April 2014
Apple have at long last provided not only direct download links for Windows drivers, but also tables of which link you need for each model/year. If you can work out which model of apple you have, you can now get the direct download link from the apple site.
How to find the correct BootCamp direct download link for your Mac model
- Go to this page: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5634
- About half way down the page, find the heading “Boot Camp requirements by Mac model”
- Under that, find the heading for your Mac model. There are headings for MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac mini and Mac Pro.
- Each heading hides a table by model & year vs. windows version. There are direct download links for Windows 8 and Windows 7, for 32-bit and 64-bit.
- Choose your download. Done.
How do I work out which Mac model I have?
- The same page has instructions. With pictures!
I downloaded. Now what?
- Each download link includes instructions
But I’m in Windows already, and I can’t open this .pkg file download Apple has just given me
Then you want this page: www.cafe-encounter.net/p860/opening-a-bootcamp-driver-download-on-windows-7-or-8-with-7-zip
Only 64-bit drivers are listed but I want 32-bit drivers. Or vice versa
You’re stepping into the realm of the unsupported, so you’re at your own risk here. What you can try is: get the download you think you want; open it with 7-zip; Now instead of running the installer, open the Folder that contains the individual driver installers. Run each of those. If it doesn’t work, you can uninstall from the Windows Control Panel and try again with the drivers Apple said you should use.
My model isn’t listed on that Apple page
Ah. Thats sad. You may be looking for the impossible. Your last hope is probably to try this page on older Mac models http://www.cafe-encounter.net/p682/download-bootcamp-drivers For models older than that, you’re in the era before BootCamp downloads, and you probably need an OS X Leopard or earlier install CD.
Apple has at long last published official Windows 8 support – but only for 64 bit Windows and only if you are running OS X 10.8.3. A tad irritating if, as on my machine, Windows 8 installed itself as 32 bit and not 64 bit.
The small print is at Boot Camp 5: Frequently asked questions
If you’ve downloaded bootcamp drivers for Macs to run Windows 7 or 8, but still have problems, here’s my summary of the main issues and solutions I know of:
- The download file won’t open; or it doesn’t seem to work somehow; or doesn’t contain all the drivers you expect Do the download again using a download manager because sometimes the download appears to finish but hasn’t really. There are a couple of download managers I know of for OS X:
- You get an error message saying that the drivers can’t be installed on this computer model.In this case you may have one of 3 problems:
- You clicked the wrong download link. Check the instructions on finding your ModelIdentifier again carefully, and try again.
- Some Macs only get drivers for 32-bit versions of Windows and some only get drivers for 64-bit versions of Windows so if you install the wrong one, you’ll have to start again.
- Older models don’t support 64 bit Windows.
- Late 2012 Macs appear to only get drivers for 64 bit Windows, in spite of the Apple website not saying that. In this case, you’ll have to re-install a 64-bit Windows version.
- Try the Everymac page for a summary of which computers run 32/64 bit windows
- Back to item one – your download didn’t work properly. Get a download manager and try it again
- If you no longer have OS X on your machine, or if you did the download in Windows anyway, then opening-a-bootcamp-driver-download-on-windows-7-or-8-with-7-zip is the page that explains how to open the pkg file and the dmg file in Windows
- And finally the really obscure one: All you get in your download is drivers for a Motoral modem. I’m not sure what’s going on here, so I’m grasping at straws but you could try this: in the download URL, replace the http://swcdn.apple.com/ by using nslookup to to see if you can change which server is ‘really’ serving your download, for instance:
If you’ve downloaded bootcamp drivers for Macs to run Windows 7 or 8, but have done the download in Windows, you may be stuck on how to open the downloaded BootCampESD.pkg file you’ve now got.
The answer is to get a copy of 7-zip, which is free, and which is your ‘Swiss army knife’ to open the Apple .pkg and .dmg files and the ISO file inside.
- Launch 7-zip
- In 7-zip, open the BootCampESD.pkg. Inside you’ll find a Payload file and a few other files. Double click the Payload file.
- Inside is a folder, which you double click. Inside that another folder, which you double click. Inside that … just keep clicking down the levels of nested folders.
- Eventually, several levels down, you’ll get to a file called 0.Apple_ISO or some such.
- Now, extract this o.Apple_ISO to the desktop (or somewhere) and rename it to Apple.ISO.
- Now, either: Mount it by double clicking it—should work in Windows 7—or else by getting hold of PowerISO or similar; OR use 7-zip again to open this ISO file, and extract the contents to a folder.
- These are you driver installers. Create an empty folder on your desktop, and drag them out into it.
- Finally, open the folder you just created, and run the setup.exe
Do you find that BootCamp assistant download is stuck or or fails or could not continue?
The brute force solution: it’s a darned large download, so physically take your machine to somewhere with a very fast internet connection that can download 600MB – 1GB in a couple of minutes. There, you’re done.
For the rest of us, there are 2 options:
The simple solution – recommended – is to use this list of Windows driver download links for Macs with OS X Mountain Lion (which includes all retina display macs) or Lion, Snow Leopard or Leopard. That’s about everything back to 2007.
There are also older links here, but they appear to be redundant — the Mountain Lion file covers Mac models going back to Leopard.
Finally, the DIY solution: Work out for yourself which download link you need.
The DIY way to find your BootCampESD.pkg download link from the sucatalog
Not for the faint-hearted.
Apple software update uses an sucatalog file, which contains a link to a BootCampESD.pkg file which contains the drivers. The sucatalog file in question contains several different links to bootcampesd.pkg, fordifferent Mac models. How to find the right one for your machine?
Tim Valenta did instructions in Nov 2011 that nearly worked for me in June 2012 at http://blog.timvalenta.com/2011/11/19/boot-camp-driver-downloads/ except that again, 6 months on, the catalog file seems to be laid out everso slightly differently; and the file downloaded is now in an easier to use format.
My steps to download the Lion or Mountain Lion drivers were as follows:
How to Manually Download Windows Drivers for Macs Running BootCamp 4 or BootCamp 5
- Download from apple the http://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog file. Don’t double-click it, that won’t help.
- Instead, open it in a text editor or word processor.
- Search for each occurrence — as at August 2012 there were 6 — of BootCampESD.pkg. For instance, the one I needed is http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/33/54/041-2011/pRtCDYcWShMLxFggy3TzFzmfnnWQNFQBfJ/BootCampESD.pkg
- Notice in each such URL, the /041-2011/ or similar /041-XXXXX/ bit of it.
- Below each such occurrence, notice a URL for a file with the same 041-XXXXX in it and ending in English.dist, e.g. 041-2011.English.dist
- Paste the URL for each such English.dist file into your browser and open the Url. Here’s a list of them:
- Search for the Model Identifier for your Mac. For instance MacBookPro5,2 or Macmini4,1 or whatever
- For instance the 041-2011 file contains these models: MacBook2,1 MacBook3,1 MacBook4,1 MacBook5,1 MacBook5,2 MacBook5,3 MacBook6,1 MacBook7,1 MacBookAir1,1 MacBookAir2,1 MacBookAir3,1 MacBookAir3,2 MacBookPro2,1 MacBookPro2,2 MacBookPro3,1 MacBookPro4,1 MacBookPro5,1 MacBookPro5,2 MacBookPro5,3 MacBookPro5,4 MacBookPro5,5 MacBookPro6,1 MacBookPro6,2 MacBookPro7,1 MacBookPro8,1 MacBookPro8,2 MacBookPro8,3 MacPro1,1 MacPro2,1 MacPro3,1 MacPro4,1 MacPro5,1 Macmini2,1 Macmini3,1 Macmini4,1 iMac5,1 iMac6,1 iMac7,1 iMac8,1 iMac9,1 iMac10,1 iMac11,1 iMac11,2 iMac11,3 iMac12,1 iMac12,2
- How do you know your Model Identifier? Open System Information, and look in the Hardware Overview section. i.e. click Apple menu -> About this Mac -> More Info… -> Report -> Hardware -> and now read down the Hardware Overview looking for “Model Identifier:”
- Having found your 041-XXXXX number, download the BootCampESD.pkg url that has your number in it. I try to keep the page at bootcamp-driver-download up to date with all the pkg download URLs.
- Be patient as it’s probably 600MB.
- Once your pkg is downloaded, double click it and install to a folder on your hard drive so you know where to find it.
- The folder contains a nest of folders, the last of which contains a dmg disk image file. Double click to open. Voila. Here are your Windows installer files. Again, the page at bootcamp-driver-download has pictures to help.
- Copy them to a thumb drive or a burnable CD or something. The point here is that you need the somewhere that a new install of windows with only minimal drivers can read them. NB, it’s still 660MB or more, so it’s a full CDs worth of burning time.
- You can now proceed with Boot Camp assistant Windows installation, which will eventually reboot your machine for startup in Windows.
- Once you’re in Windows, run the installer that you saved to CD or thumb drive.
- Done. Marvel as all your Apple hardware now works nearly as well as it does in Mac OS X.