- “Hyper-V” is a hypervisor that allows you to create virtual machines. The “Virtual Machine Platform” is usually used for WSL, while the “Windows Hypervisor Platform” is used by other virtual platforms to connect with Hyper-V.
UPDATED 11/17/2023: 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: This component 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: This component 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.
Update November 17, 2023: This content has been updated to ensure clarity.