BibleWorks on a Mac

BibleWorks on a Mac

Can I run BibleWorks on a Mac?

Yes! BibleWorks can run on a Mac. There are three options for running on a Mac:

  • Native (a Mac port running on custom WINE libraries)
  • Virtualized (using VirtualBox, Parallels, or VMware Fusion)
  • Dual-boot (using Boot Camp)

If cost is your chief concern, the native version of BibleWorks incurs almost no additional cost. The second cheapest option is to run Virtualized using VirtualBox. VirtualBox is free, but you still have to purchase a Windows license for this option.

If full compatibility is your chief concern, we recommend the Virtualized option. Parallels, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox are all excellent products. Virtual Box is free. All three of these options require you to purchase a Windows license.

If performance is your chief concern, the Virtualized option for newer Macs (Parallels, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox) run slightly faster than the native version in our tests.

Read below for details about the three options. Full system requirements are here.





  • Included in BW10 & BW9
  • Copy and paste to Mac applications
  • Slightly slower on newer Macs than VM/dual-boot
  • 98% functionality


  • Very fast on newer Macs
  • Full functionality
  • Copy and paste to Mac applications
  • Extra cost (VM + Windows license)
  • Initial setup is more involved


  • Very fast
  • Full functionality
  • No copy and paste to Mac applications
  • Extra cost (Windows license)

Running the native version of BibleWorks


BibleWorks performance and compatibility are only slightly lower with this option. Searching and display are fast (onlyslightly slower than the other options discussed here). Apart from buying BibleWorks, there is no additional cost for this option--no VM software, no Windows license. Installation is simpler.

Registered current BibleWorks users can install and try the BibleWorks Mac Installer at no additional cost!


The native Mac version of BibleWorks 10 runs on OS X using customized compatibility libraries (WINE) by CodeWeavers. The BibleWorks 10 Mac Installer is much improved over the BibleWorks 9 Mac Installer. It runs directly on OS X without a virtual machine or machine instruction emulation. The underlying technology uses WINE libraries. The interface is the same as the Windows version of BibleWorks so in a classroom setting with Windows and Mac users students and instructors will all have the same program interface.

On a modern Mac with an Intel processor, it is slightly slower than the virtualized options (e.g. a word search might take a 1/5 of a second instead of a 1/20 of a second) but does not require you to purchase anything extra.

The native Mac version implements the features that most of our users need (we estimate 98%), but it is a continuing work in progress. All basic functionality is present (searching, viewing Bible text and resources, copying and pasting text from BibleWorks into your word processor, etc.). There are some known limitations of the native Mac version of BibleWorks. The following lists some of the features which do not yet work in the native Mac version of BibleWorks (full list here):

  • Searching (display works) in Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Korean, Japanese, Lithuanian, Slavonic, Thai, and Turkish Bibles. Searching and display issues with Czech, Polish, and Romanian Bibles.
  • Text-to-speech (Bible text read aloud)
  • Running BibleWorks from a Windows Server in a site license setup


BibleWorks 10 comes with the BibleWorks Mac Installer. There is no additional fee. No VM software is needed, and no Windows license is required. Click here to order it.


If your work will require full BibleWorks functionality, we recommend that you use the virtualized or dual-boot options. The support for the BibleWorks Mac Installer is limited as development is ongoing.

To install BibleWorks with the BibleWorks Mac Installer, follow these steps: [updated 2017-04-03]

To update an existing version of the BibleWorks Mac Installer, follow these steps: [updated 2017-04-03]

Once your installation is complete, we recommend the following:

  1. Update your BibleWorks Executable from the program's main menu:
       Help | BibleWorks on the Internet | Check for updates
  2. Keep up with Mac user discussion in our forums at
  3. Subscribe to our email list for official updates.

BW10 Screenshots

[click for larger view]

Running a virtualized version of BibleWorks

BibleWorks performance and compatibility are very high with this option. There are no known compatibility issues with this option. Initial setup is a little more involved.


When you run a virtualized version of BibleWorks, you install a virtual machine (VM) program on your Mac and install a full version of Windows onto the VM on your Mac.  This VM can then run BibleWorks and any other Windows program on your Mac.

We have tested three VM packages on the same MacBook: Parallels, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox. Surprisingly, the virtualized solution is very fast and with Parallels and Fusion BibleWorks appears as an application in the Mac environment. Parallels and Fusion give full compatibility with BibleWorks. VirtualBox also works very well, but is not as seamlessly integrated with the OS X desktop. Virtualization is the solution we recommend if the additional cost is not a problem.

Copying and pasting text from all three VMs works well. Copying and pasting images from VirtualBox does not work as well as it does with Parallels and Fusion.


To run BibleWorks in a virtual environment you need two things:

  1. A virtual machine package. At the time of writing, Parallels and VMware Fusion cost between $40-$80. VirtualBox is free.
  2. A Windows 7 or higher license. In addition to installing a VM package, you will need to purchase and install Windows 7 or higher on your VM. Installation and purchase of Windows is slightly easier with Parallels and Fusion. At the time of writing, Windows 7 Home Premium (recommended) is about $100-175.

Users running BW on a VM

For years BibleWorks has run well on a VM for many of our Mac customers.

I have wanted to switch to Mac for a long time.  BibleWorks was the only thing that kept me from doing it.  Finally I had to switch because I heard good things about Parallels allowing BibleWorks to run.  While I don't think Parallels is the answer for everything, it most definitely works for BibleWorks.  It takes a moment to load Parallels and then BibleWorks, but once you are in there is no difference in my experience.   I looked at Mac based programs and nobody matches the value and functionality of BibleWorks.

Dr. Doug H.
August 2010

One of the great things about the new Intel Macs is that I can run Windows programs with ease and actually share data between Mac and Windows programs. I am running BW8 using Parallels 5 and WinXP. Once the Parallels is setup and WinXP installed, BW8 installation is just like you would using a PC. I have zero issues with this set up and BW8.

John F.
August 2010


For Parallels: To enable the Shift key to work properly, please read this.

Parallels Screenshots

[click for larger view]

VMWare Fusion BW9 Screenshots
(BW10 screenshots coming)

[click for larger view]

VirtualBox BW9 Screenshots

[click for larger view]

Running a dual-boot version of BibleWorks

BibleWorks performance and compatibility are very high with this option. You cannot cut and paste to other Mac applications with this option. You must purchase a Windows license.


Apple released a free program called Boot Camp in OS X Lion and Mountain Lion. When Boot Camp is installed you restart your Mac and select between running Windows or OS X. If you select Windows, your Mac becomes a PC running Windows natively. You can run any Windows program (including BibleWorks), but you will not be able to simultaneously run Mac programs while running Windows. To run Mac programs, you will need to restart your Mac and select OS X.


Boot Camp is free (included with OS X 10.5 and higher), but you will need to purchase and install Windows (we recommend Windows 7 or higher).



Try it out

BibleWorks comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.  If you purchase BibleWorks directly from us but cannot get it to work with your virtualization software, you may return BibleWorks for a refund (shipping not included).

Our forums are a good source of information for people who want to hear from others who are running BibleWorks on Macs.