What’s the difference between Hyper-V, Virtual Machine Platform, Windows Hypervisor Platform

Here are the differences between the virtualization features on Windows 11 and when you should use each one.

Windows 11 virtualization features

When you have to enable virtualization on Windows 11 (or 10), you will find multiple options on the “Windows Features” page, including the “Hyper-V,” “Virtual Machine Platform,” and “Windows Hypervisor Platform,” which makes enabling the feature confusing.

Hyper-V vs. Virtual Machine Platform vs. Windows Hypervisor Platform

If you need help understanding these features, you should know that each component is completely different.

“Hyper-V” is the component that adds the management tools and platform to create and run virtual machines on Windows 11.

“Windows Hypervisor Platform” enables the user-mode API components to allow third-party virtualization stacks and applications (Docker, VirtualBox, and QEMU) to connect and interact with Hyper-V.

“Virtual Machine Platform” is the component that enables virtualization support to run virtual machines, and you must turn on this feature to use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). In addition, the component can also help to create MSIX app packages for an MSI or App-V.

In other words, if you want to create virtual machines on Windows 11, you want to enable the Hyper-V option, and if you plan to set up WSL on your computer, you want to install the Virtual Machine Platform.