CrossOver Mac: Windows programs on my Apple Silicon Mac

My experience with the Mac tool CrossOver

After I recently migrated all of my work stuff from a 2017 MacBook Pro with an Intel chip to the new 13-inch Apple Silicon MacBook Pro, there was only one thing left that didn't work: my accounting program Orgamax.

The program worked for me on the old Intel Mac under Parallels Desktop with a virtual Windows 7. On the M1 MacBook Pro, however, Parallels Desktop refuses to open this environment - which was already clear. The virtualization of Windows seems to be an open item on the to-do list of companies such as VMWare or Parallels for Apple Silicon Macs.

With CrossOver, Windows apps can be translated into Maccian - in the best case, they then run on the Mac without an emulator.

With CrossOver, Windows apps can be translated into Maccian - in the best case, they then run on the Mac without an emulator.

CrossOver Mac as a potential solution

I already had one a few days ago Items via the software "CrossOver Mac“By CodeWeavers on the blog. This software enables Windows programs to run on the Mac without extra virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop. You don't even need a Windows license as there is no Windows running in the background.

CrossOver works differently. It's not an emulator. It does the work of translating Windows commands into Mac commands so that you can run Windows software as if it were designed native to Mac.

Important to know: CrossOver Mac is not an emulator like Parallels Desktop or VMWare. Instead, CrossOver “translates” the Windows commands into Mac commands so that the converted software ultimately runs like a Mac app.

Parallels Desktop can be opened on the Mac, but when you try to open your Windows virtual machine, you get this error message.

Parallels Desktop can be opened on the Mac, but when you try to open your Windows virtual machine, you get this error message.

The practical test

The CrossOver product page sounds very promising at first:

CrossOver works with all kinds of software - productivity software, utility programs, and games - all with one application. Faster. Better experience. No license. Simple as that.

In short: You don't need a Windows license and CrossOver works with any kind of software. So I thought I would try Orgamax right away ...

Setup of the software with CrossOver

You can download a demo version of CrossOver on the manufacturer's website, which I find very accommodating. Once this is done, you install CrossOver yourself on the Mac.

If you now open CrossOver, an extensive database appears in which you can filter for the software you are looking for. If you find your desired application, you have the advantage that CrossOver can download the current version from the Internet and you already have a "profile" to install the app.

Software that CrossOver is not yet familiar with can also be set up using the installer.

Software that CrossOver is not yet familiar with can also be set up using the installer.

In my case I couldn't find Orgamax and had to load the installer myself and then make it available as a program for CrossOver.

Installation starts, but throws errors

The first few moments looked pretty good. The progress bar of the installation gradually filled up, but suddenly CrossOver threw the first error message. After clicking “Ignore”, others came up that looked the same.

At some point I tried to “cancel”, but that didn't show any improvement either, instead there were more errors.

In the end, the only thing left for me to do was to gradually end the CrossOver processes using CTRL + ALT + ESC so that I could close the software.

Now I had a CrossOver window that contained all of the Orgamax icons, but unfortunately clicking on "Start Orgamax" didn't show any reaction.

This error message attacked me several times during the installation. Unfortunately, at some point I only had to cancel and close CrossOver completely.

This error message attacked me several times during the installation. Unfortunately, at some point I only had to cancel and close CrossOver completely.

My conclusion on CrossOver

To me, CrossOver sounded like a very interesting solution. In the meantime I have also used the tool with the authoring software "Page 1“Tried and the installation failed here too. I have the feeling that either you have to be a programmer to get a hit here or the CrossOver developers have to do it again.

At some point I had the Orgamax icons in the dock, but also three suspended CrossOver processes that could only be ended via the task manager.

At some point I had the Orgamax icons in the dock, but also three suspended CrossOver processes that could only be ended via the task manager.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a positive result, but I haven't completely written off CrossOver internally. Maybe something will happen in the next few months when more Mac users with Apple Silicon Macs turn to CodeWeavers and annoy support with error messages. ;-)

Do you have experience with CrossOver? If so, I would be very happy if you share them with me in the comments.

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9 comments

  1. Froyo52 says:

    With Crossover, I run Starmoney on my new Macbook Pro 13 ″ M1.
    However, the realization brought some hurdles that had to be overcome.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Froyo52! What hurdles did you overcome? Maybe there is something else I could try? I wouldn't mind if I got my accounting software back on my Mac. : D

    • Egbert Tienken says:

      Hello Froyo52,
      StarMoney is not running for me yet, what and how can I also install StarMoney to run? Error cannot open oreans.vxd driver. I would be very grateful for a tip

  2. Roberto says:

    Crossover is not that bad, the Codeweavers Community (!) Can also help. Otherwise also Google. Often certain additional Microsoft utilities are missing that should be installed in advance. Eg ".net" components / MONO.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Roberto! For me it has now been done because I switched to an online invoicing program. or am still in the process of doing it. But if you really have a need, maybe you shouldn't give up as quickly as I do. : D

    • I took a look at the program and it is indeed the case that for "Page1" .net in (at least) version 4.5.2 is required. For the installation under CrossOver you would have to add the program to the experience database and from there create an installation script that downloads the program and also installs .net. In Codeweavers jargon, this is called a "CrossTie".

      If you use "wine", on which CrossOver is based, you can upgrade the corresponding libraries with "winetricks" if necessary.

      • Jens Kleinholz says:

        Hi Maik! Thanks to you, it sounds pretty complicated to someone who has no idea about all of these things. : D

  3. Renato says:

    I think I read somewhere that Crossover needs at least the BigSur 11.1 Beta, because of a Rosetta 2 bug that was fixed in it?!?

    (Unfortunately I cannot contribute my own experiences yet ????)

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Renato! Thanks for the information. That would be an explanation. : D Then I'll wait for 11.1 ... I won't install the beta ... unfortunately I have to work productively on the Mac. : D

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