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Apple updates Boot Camp 5 to support Windows 8.1

Apple has updated its Boot Camp 5 drivers to support booting Macs with Windows 8.1. Before this update, only Windows 7 and 8.0 were supported. The new Boot Camp 5.1.56xx update comes in two versions for two different sets of Macs.

It is not likely that the update improves the use of Thunderbolt in Windows, such as the Thunderbolt incompatibility with Windows 8 Fast Boot feature, given that Thunderbolt isn't mentioned in the Apple tech support articles.

Some news outlets have erroneously reported that this update adds support of 64-bit versions of Windows. This is incorrect, as Boot Camp 5.0 has always required 64-bit versions of Windows. Apple dropped support of 32-bit versions of Windows with the Boot Camp 5.0 release almost a year ago. The one new stated feature of this update is adding support of Windows 8.1.


One version of the update is called Boot Camp 5.1.5640, and is for Macs released in 2013 in the second half of 2013:

  • MacBook Air, 11-inch and 13-inch, Mid 2013
  • MacBook Pro, Retina, 13-inch and 15-inch, Late 2013
  • iMac, 21.5-inch and 27-inch, Late 2013

The other version is called Boot Camp 5.1.5621, and works on the following Mac models:

  • MacBook Air, Mid 2011 and Mid 2012
  • MacBook Pro, Mid 2010, except for the 13" inch model
  • MacBook Pro, Early 2011 and Late 2011
  • MacBook Pro, 13-inch and 15-inch, Mid 2012
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, Early 2013)
  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013)
  • Mac Pro, Early 2009 or newer
  • Mac Mini, Mid 2011 and Late 2012
  • iMac (27-inch, Quad Core, Late 2009)
  • iMac (21.5-inch & 27-inch, Mid 2010 and Mid 2011)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2011)
  • iMac (21.5-inch & 27-inch, Late 2012)

Other (older) Mac models can only use Boot Camp 4, and can't run Windows 8 or 8.1. They can run Windows XP, however, which Boot Camp 5 does not support.

Each version of the update is free download. It comes as a zip file that you decompress and then run in Windows to install the new drivers.

If you've tried new Boot Camp 5.1.56xx update, if it fixes any problems for you.