(UI / UX Design) Sketch for Windows - How to run Sketch app on Windows

If you are into web and digital designing, you are either already using Sketch app or have heard a lot about Sketch app. For the beginner, sketch app is a vector graphics editor for digital design. As of 2017, Sketch is probably the most popular digital design editor in the market and is loved for being lightweight and easy to use interface. It is paid software available for $99, but the biggest problem is that it is only available for macOS and hence can't be installed on windows.

For the UI and UX designers, Sketch provides a very credible alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Adobe photoshop started as an image editor and hence supports large number of features that are not really needed for digital design. Sketch with its clean and lean interface focused only on UI & UX design is much faster and easier to use and hence more productive.

Many of us using Adobe Photoshop on Windows have been trying to switch over to Sketch, but were held back due to lack of sketch release for windows. It seems that Sketch uses lot of MacOS specific apis and Bohemian (the company that develops sketch) has no intention to develop a windows variant for sketch.

But then we figured out how to install sketch on windows using a virtual installation of Mac and since then, we have been using it successfully. Here are our notes to help others like us.

Sketch app for Windows

As mentioned above, Sketch app is not directly available for windows and as of 2017, there does not seem any plans to port it over to Windows. So the only feasible alternative is to first install MacOS on windows in a Virtual machine (using either Virtualbox or VMware player).

Here are steps for getting it ready:

  1. Hardware requirements: At least 8GB of RAM (we recommend 12 GB or more though) and a decent processor with virtualization support in processor BIOS (VT-X)
  2. Install macOS using virtualbox by following the instructions found on multiple internet blogs. We used https://techsviewer.com/how-to-install-mac-os-x-el-capitan-on-pc-on-virtualbox/
  3. Once you have macOS running successfully in VM, you can go ahead and download 'Free Trial' version of Sketch from Sketch App site. Install it and you are ready to go.

Please note that running sketch inside a virtualized macOS is going to be slower in comparison to running on a Mac. Hence we recommend to first download the trial version of sketch and use it for few days to see if you find it comfortable before buying the $99 license.