Run Windows on Mac - Parallels Desktop 18 Virtual Machine for Mac (2023)

See all features (Note: Parallels Desktop Pro Edition includes all features of Standard Edition.)(Note: Parallels Desktop Business Edition includes all features of Standard and Pro Edition.)

Standard Edition


  • Use Sign in with Apple to sign up for and sign in to a Parallels account.
  • Download and install Windows automatically with a single click.*
  • Activate Windows automatically by providing a license key before installation.
  • Use Express Install to fully automate Windows installation and user account setup.
  • Install virtual machines from an ISO image, application, USB, CD or DVD.
  • Select the automatically detected operating system installers from the Downloads and Desktop folders.
  • For many operating systems, use the automatic installation of Parallels Tools.
  • Easily set up Windows for productivity or gaming.
  • Use Boot Camp Windows in a virtual machine.
  • Import Boot Camp into a separate virtual machine.
  • Migrate Windows from a PC to a virtual machine.*
  • Download Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Linux, CentOS* Linux, Debian GNU/Linux, Mint Linux* and Android* virtual machines.
  • Download a ready-to-use Windows 10 virtual machine with the Legacy Edge app.*
  • Install macOS in a virtual machine from the recovery partition.*
  • Import VMware, VirtualBox, and Hyper-V virtual machines.

(Video) Run Windows on Mac with Parallels Desktop 18


  • Download a full-featured 14-day free trial of Parallels Desktop Pro Edition
  • Buy Windows 10 directly from Parallels Desktop.
  • After the Windows installation is complete, learn the basic features of Parallels Desktop.
  • Learn more about the Coherence™ view mode in the first release.
  • Learn more about working with shared profile folders when deleting Mac files from Windows.
  • Use Parallels Desktop Help to learn more about the application's features.


  • Run Windows and other virtual machines with native macOS virtualization on macOS Big Sur and later (without additional kernel extensions).
  • Use up to 4 CPUs and 8 GB of RAM for a virtual machine and even more in the Pro and Business editions.
  • Start a virtual machine from USB, network or external hard drive.
  • Manage virtual machine boot order and devices.
  • Pause and resume virtual machines to increase productivity.
  • Create snapshots to save operating system and disk states and return to them later.
  • Save the current state of the virtual machine before going back to a snapshot.
  • Automatically suspend a virtual machine when it is idle to save Mac resources.
  • Configure the time that a virtual machine is suspended.
  • Set up a virtual machine to always run in the background.
  • Set up a virtual machine to start when Parallels Desktop starts.


  • Use a virtual machine in windowed, full screen, or picture-in-picture mode.
  • Use all Mac screens in full screen mode.
  • Show and hide Windows spaces on all screens at the same time.
  • Optimize full screen mode for games.
  • Use the Windows gamma setting in full screen mode.
  • Set opacity and always on top for picture-in-picture mode.
  • Use Windows apps in consistency view mode alongside macOS apps.
  • Use Parallels Desktop in a dark theme.
  • Configure the startup and shutdown behavior of the virtual machine.
  • Monitor CPU, network, and disk activity in the virtual machine status bar.
  • Use Resource Monitor to track CPU and RAM usage for various virtual machines.
  • Use the Disk Cleanup wizard to manage disk space.
  • See which Mac folders are shared with Windows in File Explorer.
  • View Windows apps in the Dock.
  • Show dock icons only in Coherence.
  • Make dock icons bounce on alarms.


  • Use a high DPI resolution virtual machine optimized for Retina.
  • Run DirectX 11 applications on Windows (powered by Apple Metal).
  • Run OpenGL 3 applications on Windows and Linux.
  • Run an Apple Metal-compatible macOS Big Sur (or later) virtual machine (on host macOS Big Sur or later).*
  • Use up to half of Windows RAM as video memory.
  • Toggle the use of high-performance graphics (discrete graphics card) on Macs with Intel processors.


  • Use Windows in travel mode to extend MacBook battery life.
  • Schedule Windows maintenance to install Windows updates.
  • Take control of Windows apps with dedicated Touch Bar options.
  • Open Mac files with Windows apps.
  • Set Windows apps as the default for opening macOS files.
  • Use native Windows icons on macOS for executables.
  • Open Windows apps from macOS.
  • Open macOS apps from Windows.
  • Drag and drop files and images between macOS and a virtual machine (Windows, Linux, macOS).
  • Drag and drop macOS screenshot previews into Windows apps.
  • Copy and paste text and formatted files between macOS and a virtual machine (Windows, Linux, macOS).
  • Open web links from Windows in macOS browsers.
  • Use the default Windows email client on Mac.
  • Share macOS folders and drives with Windows.
  • Share Windows folders and drives with macOS.
  • Use macOS user profile folders like Windows user profile folders (Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc.).
  • Share macOS network locations and volumes with Windows.
  • Use Windows apps on iPad with Sidecar using Apple Pencil.
  • Use synchronized time and time zones between Mac and Windows.
  • Use macOS location synced with Windows.
  • Use the Outlook dock icon notification badge to keep track of unread emails.
  • Use Outlook notifications on macOS.
  • Attach newly created Mac files to Outlook emails.
  • Open Microsoft Office files in macOS Browser in Windows desktop apps.
  • Shows the Windows notification area in the Mac menu bar.
  • Automatically switches Windows apps to full screen mode when running in consistency mode.
  • Share macOS folders from iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive with Windows.
  • Use the macOS dictionary on Windows.
  • Use macOS dictation on Windows.
  • Use macOS quick search in Windows.
  • Use special macOS characters on Windows.
  • Pin your contacts from the Windows people bar to the macOS Dock.
  • Share Windows files using the macOS Share menu built into the Windows context menu.
  • Add photos and documents from iPhone to Windows.
  • Send files from Finder to the Windows email client.
  • Use macOS Do Not Disturb mode synced with Windows 10 Focus Assist.


  • On Windows, use a game controller connected to your Mac via Bluetooth.
  • Automatically use all the keyboard layouts from your Mac in Windows.
  • Use the synchronized keyboard layout selection between macOS and Windows.
  • Customize keyboard shortcuts for virtual machines.
  • Use the high-precision mouse with seamless switching between macOS and Windows.
  • Optimize your mouse and keyboard for gaming.
  • Use smooth trackpad scrolling.
  • Use smooth zoom and rotate gestures with the TrackPad.
  • Use the trackpad with Force Touch and pressure sensitivity in Windows.
  • Use drawing tablets on Windows with full pen support (print, tilt, rotate, erase).
  • Print from Windows to Mac printers with duplex printing and up to A0 size paper.
  • Synchronize the default printer between Mac and Windows.
  • View macOS print settings before printing from Windows.
  • Connect USB devices directly to a virtual machine.
  • Manage the automatic connection of USB devices to a running virtual machine.
  • Use a Mac webcam on Windows with up to 4K resolution.
  • Use VoIP phones on Windows.
  • Use high-definition audio input/output in virtual machines.
  • Synchronize the volume between macOS and Windows.
  • Share Bluetooth devices with Windows.
  • Connect Bluetooth devices to Windows using simple pairing.
  • Use expandable virtual disks to take up as much space as the virtual machine uses.
  • Use real-time disk space optimization for Windows to optimize disk space usage on Mac.
  • Automatically reclaim disk space when shutting down a virtual machine.
  • Resize virtual disks up to 2TB.
  • Add a virtual floppy drive to a virtual machine.
  • Add a serial port device to a virtual machine.


  • Use shared network mode to share the Internet with a virtual machine.
  • Use bridged network mode to connect any network adapter to a virtual machine.
  • Use host-only network mode to connect virtual machines on isolated networks.
  • Generate MAC address for Windows.

(Video) Run Windows on M1 Mac w/Parallels (No Boot Camp needed) - Super EASY!


  • Use the Trusted Platform Module 2.0 device in Windows 10.
  • Isolate a macOS virtual machine.
  • Encrypt a virtual machine.
  • Restrict the change of virtual machine state with the macOS administrator password.
  • Restrict changing virtual machine settings with the macOS administrator password.
  • Restrict view mode switching with the macOS administrator password.
  • Restrict snapshot management with the macOS administrator password.
  • Use Touch ID instead of manual passwords.
  • Use Safari autofill for Parallels account credentials stored in Mac Keychain.


  • Use a wide variety of knowledge base articles to get help quickly.
  • Use Facebook Messenger or Twitter for quick help.
  • Use the Parallels Forums to connect with other users.
  • Get 24/7 support via chat, phone, and email.
  • Automatically authorize in the Support Center when you use the help option of the product.

bonus software

  • Includes a free three-month subscription to Parallels Access, the easiest way to access your computer from anywhere.
  • Includes a free three-month subscription to Parallels®Toolbox with over 40 one-touch tools. Clean up your drive, take screenshots, and more.

Pro Edition

Use:Parallels Desktop Pro Edition includes all the features of the Standard Edition.


  • Use up to 32 CPUs and 128 GB of RAM for a virtual machine (VM).
  • Enable nested virtualization to install and work on WSL 2, Docker for Windows, Android Emulator for Visual Studio, iPhone® Emulator for Visual Studio, Xamarin.Android, Android Studio, Embarcadero RAD Studio, and more.*
  • Configure a startup delay for a virtual machine.
  • Optimize virtual machine configuration and performance with software development, software testing, and design profiles.
  • Download the ready-to-use Windows 10 virtual machine with Visual Studio.*
  • Change a virtual machine to a predefined resolution.
  • Use linked clones for convenient testing and development.
  • Start Windows in rollback mode if you do not want Windows to save changes made during the work session.
  • Use NetBoot for macOS virtual machines.
  • Archive/unarchive virtual machines in Control Center to save disk space.
  • Limit VM resource usage.
  • Use 8.3 file names for shared folders.
  • Support for mmap() on Linux shared folders.
  • Use EFI Secure Boot.
  • Create and use VM templates.
  • Share smart card readers with Windows.
  • Prepare the virtual machine to transfer it to another Mac or cloud storage.


  • Run virtual machines as background processes without displaying the GUI on the Mac desktop (headless mode).
  • Color code the virtual machines from the context menu to distinguish them from each other.
  • Set a custom icon for each virtual machine.
  • Sort virtual machines in the Control Center.
  • Use the Linked Clone Viewer in the Control Center.
(Video) Parallels 18 for Apple Silicon M1 / M2 Mac Review - The Best ARM Windows experience is Still a Mac!


  • Test various connectivity issues with an advanced network editor; Simulate 3G, Edge, or unstable network connection or throttle network bandwidth on a VM.
  • Check and copy the virtual machine's IP address using the network icon on the VM's status bar.
  • Quickly start the SSH session with your virtual machine.
  • Open your VM-hosted website with one click for testing using the "Open in Browser" menu.
  • Resolve the VM's DNS requests using the information in /etc/resolver of the macOS host.
  • Use port forwarding to forward traffic from a Mac port to a VM or IP address and the desired port.
  • Use VM names as your DNS names.
  • Use tcpdump with virtual networks.
  • Create custom host-only networks.
  • Specify names for custom host-only networks.
  • Use DNS requests over TCP on a shared network.
  • Isolate your virtual machine's network from the Mac.


  • Use the Microsoft Visual Studio plugin to debug and measure performance on a standalone virtual machine.
  • Use the Parallels Vagrant plugin to work with reproducible and portable workspaces.
  • Use linked clones in the Vagrant plugin to quickly create new boxes and use disk space efficiently.
  • Use Jenkins to run a build server on a Mac.
  • Run Docker virtual machines with the Docker Machine Provider for Parallels Desktop.
  • Generate a virtual machine dump using Parallels Desktop user interface controls.
  • Start a debugging session in the terminal using Parallels Desktop user interface controls.
  • Access Pro Tools from the menu: SSH, WEB, DBG, DUMP.
  • Use the Parallels SDK with support for Python 3.0.

command line interface

  • Use command line interface tools to control Parallels Desktop and manage virtual machines, including their settings and configuration.
  • Use bash (zsh) autocompletion for Parallels CLI tools.
  • Pass arguments to virtual machine applications.

bonus software

  • Includes a free subscription to Parallels Access, the easiest way to access your computer from anywhere.
  • Includes a free subscription to Parallels®Toolbox with over 30 one-touch tools. Clean up your drive, take screenshots, and more.


  • Get premium support 24/7 via phone, email, and chat.

business edition

Use:Parallels Desktop Business Edition includes all the features of the Standard and Pro editions.

(Video) Installing and getting started with Windows 11 in Parallel Desktop 18 with Apple M Series Chip

Licensing and support

  • Use the Parallels My Account web portal for administration and support.
  • Manage business users: download CSV list of users, promote admins, block users.
  • Use a single license key on a select number of computers, or let your employees sign in and activate Parallels Desktop with a corporate account via SSO/SAML authentication.
  • Monitor license usage (seats remaining, how many are in use).
  • Find information about Macs with Parallels Desktop installed, create reports, and manage columns of information.
  • Remotely deactivate a license on select Macs to free up seats for use on other computers.
  • Blacklist selected computers to prevent a user from reactivating Parallels Desktop on them.
  • Send a custom message to users who are being disabled or blacklisted.
  • Create sublicenses from the master license to protect the master license, limit use to multiple offices or departments, easily control license deactivation for classes and alumni.
  • Assign administrators to a license or sublicense.
  • Get an extended 30-day grace period to allow more time for license renewal.
  • Rename teams and leave notes in their description.


  • Use the Deployment Pack to set up and deploy Parallels Desktop and virtual machines on Mac using Jamf, Intune, Kandji, Mosyle, Munki, and other Mac management tools.
  • Send users invitation emails with a build, license key, and other instructions from the My Parallels Account portal.
  • Prepare the VM, upload it, and let business users download the VM to their Mac computers with a single click.
  • Select the Windows apps to be automatically added to the Mac Dock after deployment using the Parallels mass deployment package.
  • Enable single app mode to hide the Parallels Desktop user interface and notifications and show only specific Windows apps.
  • Deploy archived virtual machines.


  • Use theBusiness Edition-Administratorhandbuchwith instructions on how to use the features of the product.
  • Use advanced options in command line tools to manage Parallels Desktop installations after deployment.
  • Customize the appearance of Control Center to include your company logo and help desk references.
  • Customize the "Request Support" option in the product to direct users to technical support.
  • Use a local update server to manage updates and updates for Parallels Desktop.
  • Change the password of the Windows user account using the command line tools (when a user loses the password).
  • Set a custom Asset ID for Windows virtual machines to tag virtual machines in management tools or transfer some information from Mac to Windows.
  • Check Parallels Desktop updates from the My Parallels Account web portal.
  • Manage participation in the Parallels Customer Experience program through the Parallels My Account web portal.


  • Set a custom (non-Mac administrator) password to protect the virtual machine settings.
  • Prevent Parallels Desktop users from changing VM settings and display modes.
  • Restrict Parallels Desktop users to create, delete, clone, and other virtual machine operations.
  • Create virtual machines that expire with a specified lifetime.
  • Apply USB device policies to prevent users from connecting certain types of devices to Windows or another virtual machine.
  • Lock down Windows before stopping a virtual machine to protect your information.


  • Get premium support 24/7 via phone, email, and chat.
  • Share support tickets with other Business account members.
  • Escalate tickets to Parallels support management team.

Hide all features


Can I run Windows 10 on Parallels 18? ›

Works with Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and 7, Linux, macOS*, and more. No more having to choose between PC or Mac.

Can you run Windows on a Mac using virtual machine? ›

To add Windows, Linux, or another operating system to your Mac, Parallels Desktop creates a virtual machine (VM)—a virtual PC inside your Mac. You can then install Windows on the virtual machine, just as you would install any operating system on a regular computer. Run multiple OSs at the same time, all on your Mac.

Can I run Windows 10 on M1 Mac with Parallels? ›

Although nothing prevents you from installing Windows 10 ARM and running it on Parallels Desktop, we will be unable to assist you if you run into any installation or other issues since, as previously stated, Parallels Desktop does not support Windows 10 ARM on Mac machines with the Apple M1 processor.

Is Windows 10 free for Mac Parallels? ›

Parallels Desktop can download Windows 10 for free from Microsoft and install it (you can later purchase a product key from Microsoft). You can move Windows, its applications, and your files from a physical PC into Parallels Desktop on your Mac. You can import a Windows 10 virtual machine to Parallels Desktop.

How to install Windows 11 on Parallels 18? ›

Starting with Parallels Desktop 18, you can create a Windows 11 virtual machine automatically just with a few clicks. To install Windows 11, run Parallels Desktop, then click on the Parallels icon in the Mac menu bar > Control Center > + > Get Windows 11 from Microsoft > Continue > Install Windows.

What is the best way to run a Windows VM on Mac? ›

To run Windows in a virtual machine within macOS, use Parallels Desktop , VMware Fusion , or VirtualBox . This method will allow you to run Mac and Windows applications concurrently, though the virtual machine does not support as much Windows functionality as a dual-boot configuration.

How to install Windows on Mac virtual machine? ›

To install Windows on a Parallels virtual machine:
  1. Prepare a copy of the Windows installer as an ISO file.
  2. Install Parallels Desktop for Mac.
  3. Create a new virtual machine (Command + N).
  4. Choose the option Install Windows from a Flash drive or an ISO file.

Does Windows VM work on M1 Mac? ›

Running Windows on an M1 Mac

Apple has decided not to support running Windows with Boot Camp on Apple silicon Macs. While Parallels Desktop can run Windows on an M1 Mac, VMware Fusion cannot.

How well does Windows run in Parallels? ›

The company also says 99.99% of existing Intel-based PC applications will run happily on Apple Silicon macs using Parallels.

Is Windows free with Parallels? ›

Parallels Desktop for Mac does not include Microsoft® Windows. A license for Parallels Desktop for Mac is the license key that allows you to activate only Parallels Desktop, the license key isn't supposed to activate Windows.

How to install Windows from Parallels Desktop? ›

Click on the Parallel icon located on the menu bar on the top of the screen. Using the dropdown menu, select “Control Center.” Next, locate your virtual machine from the window and right-click or double-tap your touchpad and choose “Remove.” Click “Move to Trash.”

Can parallels run x64 Windows on M1? ›

No, you can't use Intel (x86 or x64) Windows. You need the ARM version.

What version of Windows does Parallels M1 use? ›

Parallels Desktop 18, hands on: Now you can run Windows 11 on M1 as well as Intel Macs. Version 18 of Parallels' virtualisation software makes it easier to deploy Windows 11 on the latest Macs.

Can I Boot Camp on M1 Mac? ›

M1 mac doesn't support boot camp and it will never support bootcamp. Apple silicon Mac have a new Start Up options feature. You can install any OS you want on it and do multi boot.

How much does Parallels Windows 10 cost? ›

Parallels Desktop has 5 pricing edition(s), from $49.99 to $99.99. Look at different pricing editions below and read more information about the product here to see which one is right for you.

How do I install parallel Windows on my Mac for free? ›

How to install Parallels Desktop
  1. Download the Parallels Desktop installer to your Mac.
  2. Double-click the . dmg installation file to mount it in Finder, then double-click Install.
  3. Read through the Software License Agreement and click Accept.
  4. Once prompted, enter your local Mac user password to finalize the installation.
Jan 29, 2020

Can I activate Windows with Parallels? ›

Activating Windows 11 in Parallels Desktop works the same way as on a PC. You can use any applicable existing Windows license to activate Windows 11 in Parallels Desktop or purchase a new Windows license. For more information, please visit Microsoft FAQ.

Is Windows 11 free on Parallels? ›

Windows 11 retails around the same price as its predecessor and is available for free to Windows 10 users. However, the upgrade process may not be as smooth since Windows 11 is designed for newer PCs.

How do I activate Windows 11 on Parallels? ›

Activating Windows 11 in Parallels Desktop works the same way as on a PC.
Purchase a new license
  1. Open Windows Settings > System > Activation.
  2. Click “Get a new license in the Microsoft Store app".
  3. Click "Buy" and proceed with the purchase process. Windows will be automatically activated after a successful purchase.

How do I run Windows 11 on M1 Mac parallels? ›

To run Windows 11 on your M1 Mac, you will have to download and install Parallels Desktop 17 app from its official website. The app comes with a 14-day free trial, after which you will have to get its paid version to use it. The app costs $79.99 for the Standard Edition and $99 for the Pro Edition.

What is the easiest way to run Windows on a Mac? ›

With Boot Camp, you can install and use Windows on your Intel-based Mac. Boot Camp Assistant helps you set up a Windows partition on your Mac computer's hard disk and then start the installation of your Windows software.

Is it a good idea to run Windows on a Mac? ›

You'll have better graphics performance at the expense of battery life and trackpad usability, so it's still not an ideal experience. If all goes well, you should be up and running in no time, but expect to have some broken functionality based on your Mac's hardware.

Does Mac have built in VM? ›

Virtualization programs such as Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion run on the macOS, but allow you to create a Virtual Machine – or VM – that mimics the hardware of a Windows PC. So you can create a VM on your Mac and then install Windows – or another operating systems, such as Linux – on the VM.

Is there a free Windows VM? ›

#1) VirtualBox

Virtual Box is a free VM app that supports high-performance virtualization. It is a free virtual machine app that app developers can use for testing apps on multiple operating systems. Features: Support Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac host OS.

How do I install Windows on a Mac using VMware? ›

From the VMware Fusion top menu bar click on File > New > Click on Create Custom Virtual Machine. Select Windows 10 or Windows 10 64-bit as the Operating System, depending on whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit that you are trying to install. Click Continue. Click Create a new Virtual Disk and Click Continue.

How do I run Windows on a Mac with VMware? ›

How to Run Windows with VMware Fusion
  1. Download and install VMware Fusion. ...
  2. Start the VMware Fusion application by double-clicking its icon in the Applications folder. ...
  3. Click New to start the New Virtual Machine Assistant.
  4. The New Virtual Machine Assistant will appear.
Jan 22, 2008

Why can't M1 run Windows? ›

Apple's ‌‌M1‌‌ chip is a custom Arm SoC, so it's not possible to install the x86 version of Windows or x86 Windows apps using Boot Camp, as was the case with previous Intel-based Macs.

What VM can you run on M1 Mac? ›

Mac VirtualBox users will be happy to know that VirtualBox now runs natively on Apple Silicon ARM processors, including the M1 and M2.

Can you run x86 Windows on M1 Mac? ›

You definitely can not virtualize and run an x86 operating system on either the Tech Preview or Parallels running on an Apple Silicon (M1) Mac.

Will Parallels mess up my Mac? ›

No. Running Parallels (or VMWare) is no more taxing than using any other piece of software and won't damage your computer. If you run Windows in Parallels, you should treat that VM as if it were a physical computer with regard to anti-virus software.

How much RAM does Parallels Mac have? ›

Supported Mac Configurations
Minimum Run most applications such as Microsoft Office, accounting software, trading software, SAP, Matlab, and more.
Memory4 GB of RAM
Storage600 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation Additional disk space for the guest operating system (at least 16 GB is required for Windows OS)
4 more rows

Is Parallels Desktop for Mac worth it? ›

The Bottom Line

Parallels Desktop is the best and fastest emulation software for running Windows, Linux, and even older versions of macOS on Intel-based Macs. If you need to run Windows on an Apple Silicon machine, it's the only practical option.

Can Parallels run all Windows apps? ›

Parallels lets you run more than 200,000 Windows apps on your Mac without any performance issues. You don't even have to reboot. All you do is open up Parallels, and you can seamlessly start running Windows programs, even sharing content between Mac and Windows.

How do I convert my Mac to Windows? ›

Mac to Windows
  1. System Preferences. Click the System Preferences icon to open settings.
  2. Startup Disk. Click Startup Disk from the System Preferences panel.
  3. Restart in Windows. Click Windows. Click Restart...
  4. Success! You have successfully switched from Mac to Windows.

Can Parallels run 64 bit Windows? ›

Windows 64 ARM runs on Parallels. You can run apps for x86 on that version under emulation.

Can I install Windows 10 on Parallels Desktop? ›

Windows 10 is the most popular version of Windows. Installing it on Parallels Desktop® Virtual Machine for Mac is easy to do—and does not require you to purchase Windows 10 beforehand.

Can Parallels run x86 Windows? ›

Parallels was able to add support for x86 windows but was shortly denied after by an update from Apple. Long answer short, if you need x86 support, get a windows computer or x86 compatible mac.

Can I install Windows 11 on Mac M1? ›

You can now run Windows 11 on your M1 Mac for free.

Can we install Windows in M1 chip? ›

Windows 11 was released by Microsoft on October 5th 2021 and you can now install Windows 11 on a Mac including M1 and M2 Macs. Windows 11 requires a physical TPM chip to run and although Macs don't have one, Parallels can now emulate a virtual TPM chip so that Windows 11 will run on both Intel and M1 or M2 Macs.

How to use Windows on Mac M1 for free? ›

Best Way To Run Windows 10 on Mac For Free

By far the best virtual environment on Mac is Parallels which makes it extremely easy to install Windows on macOS. With Parallels, you can switch between Windows games or apps and macOS instantly in just a click. Parallels is also the best way to run Windows on M1 & M2 Macs.

How do I change Windows version in Parallels? ›

To set the guest OS type and version:
  1. Shut down the virtual machine.
  2. Open the Actions menu and choose Configure.
  3. Click General and select an OS from the menu just above the Name field.

What is new in Parallels 18? ›

Top new features in Parallels Desktop 18 for Mac

Improved compatibility of Intel (x86) applications when running Windows 11 on ARM, specifically when saving and reading files from the Mac disk. Improved USB 3.0 to support live data streaming devices, including Elgato HD60, Startech USB 3.0 Video Capture, and more.

What programs dont work on M1 Mac? ›

For the time being, some crucial tools either won't run on new Macs or won't run properly. These include Docker, Android Studio, and Haskell. The list of tools that will run on Rosetta 2 but aren't optimized for the M1 is much more extensive and includes Atom, RStudio, PHPStorm, R, Flutter, VSCode, Golang, .

Can I run Windows on a Mac without Boot Camp? ›

If you prefer not to use Boot Camp, then the easiest method is to create a portable Windows USB so that you can use it on the Mac computer.

Is Parallels free for Mac M1? ›

Is Parallels free for M1 Mac? Parallels Desktop 17 does offer a free 14-day, fully-featured trial. If you're using a newer Mac with M1, you won't need to pay for the Insider Preview of Windows 10 or 11 on ARM during the 14 days.

What version of Parallels works with Windows 10? ›

The option Upgrade to Windows 10 is available for Windows 7 virtual machines running in Parallels Desktop 15 and above. Please note that only the following versions of Windows are supported for the upgrade to Windows 10: Windows 7 SP1. Windows 8.1 Update.

What version of Windows does Parallels support? ›

Supported Windows: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 *

Can Parallels 17 run Windows 10? ›

Parallels 17 can only run Windows 10 and 11 from Microsoft, only macOS Monterey and only four flavors of Linux.

How do I activate Windows 10 in Parallels? ›

Parallels Desktop for Mac Standard Edition.
Purchase a new license
  1. Open Windows Settings > System > Activation.
  2. Click “Get a new license in the Microsoft Store app".
  3. Click "Buy" and proceed with the purchase process. Windows will be automatically activated after a successful purchase.

Is Windows 11 free in Parallels? ›

Windows 11 retails around the same price as its predecessor and is available for free to Windows 10 users. However, the upgrade process may not be as smooth since Windows 11 is designed for newer PCs.

Can you boot into Windows with Parallels? ›

Launch Parallels Desktop and select File > New on Mac menu bar to create Windows virtual machine. In the appeared Parallels Desktop Installation Assistant window choose Use Windows from Boot Camp, then follow the onscreen instructions to set up your existing Windows in Parallels Desktop.

Can you run x86 Windows on M1 Mac Parallels? ›

Parallels is an emulator and should have no problem emulation x86 instructions on M1 Mac . Apple can do it with Rosetta no problem and intel apps work even faster.

How do I activate Windows on a virtual machine? ›

  1. Activate Windows in Virtual Machine and restart Windows. Make sure Windows is activated in Virtual Machine.
  2. Restart your Mac and boot to Boot Camp directly. Go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Activation -> click on Activate button.

Can Parallels run x64 Windows on M1? ›

No, you can't use Intel (x86 or x64) Windows. You need the ARM version.

Can M1 Macs run x86 Windows? ›

Apple's ‌‌M1‌‌ chip is a custom Arm SoC, so it's not possible to install the x86 version of Windows or x86 Windows apps using Boot Camp, as was the case with previous Intel-based Macs.

How much space does Windows 10 take Parallels? ›

(Varies on desired operating system and applications installed, e.g. at least 16 GB of disk space is required for Windows 10.) SSD drive is recommended for better performance.

How do I switch to Windows in Parallels? ›

When operating Parallels in Full-screen Mode, both Windows and Mac operating systems will fill the screen. The easiest way to switch between them is by simply swiping with three fingers on your trackpad.

Can you install Windows 10 on Parallels? ›

Windows 10 is the most popular version of Windows. Installing it on Parallels Desktop® Virtual Machine for Mac is easy to do—and does not require you to purchase Windows 10 beforehand.


1. How to Install Windows 11 on Apple M2 Macs: Parallels 18
(Max Tech)
2. Bootcamp vs Parallels: The Best Way to Run Windows on a MacBook?
3. HOW FAST you can run Windows 11 on Apple MacBook M1 | Parallels 18 Performance Testing
(Tommy Doan)
4. How to install Windows on your Mac with Parallels Desktop - at no cost to you
5. Is Parallels 18 the BEST way to run Windows 11 ARM on a M1/M2 Mac? macOS Ventura tutorial
(Andrew Tsai)
6. How to Install Windows 11 on an M1 or M2 Mac with Parallels 18 - Full Walkthrough!
(Mr. Macintosh)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dong Thiel

Last Updated: 04/09/2023

Views: 6213

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.