virtual machine
Parallels Desktop for Mac is software providing hardware virtualization for Macintosh computers with Intel processors, and since version 16.5 besides for Apple silicon-based Macintosh computers. It is developed by Parallels, since 2018 a subsidiary company of Corel.


Parallels, Inc. is a developer of background and server virtualization software.


Released on June 15, 2006, it was the first software intersection to bring mainstream virtualization to Macintosh computers utilizing the Apple-Intel computer architecture ( earlier software products ran personal computer software in an emulated environment ).

Its name initially was ‘ Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X ‘, which was reproducible with the company’s corresponding Linux and Windows products. This name was not well received within the Mac community, where some felt that the name, peculiarly the term “ workstation, ” evoked the aesthetics of a Windows product. Parallels agreed: “ Since we’ve got a great Mac product, we should make it look and sound like a Mac product… ”, it was therefore renamed ‘ Parallels Desktop for Mac ’. [ 2 ] On January 10, 2007, Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac was awarded “ Best in Show ” at MacWorld 2007. [ 3 ]


Parallels Desktop for Mac is a hardware emulation virtualization software, using hypervisor technology that works by mapping the host computer’s hardware resources immediately to the virtual machine’s resources. Each virtual car frankincense operates identically to a standalone calculator, with about all the resources of a physical computer. [ 4 ] Because all guest virtual machines use the same hardware drivers irrespective of the actual hardware on the master of ceremonies calculator, virtual machine instances are highly portable between computers. For case, a running virtual machine can be stopped, copied to another physical calculator, and restarted. Parallels Desktop for Mac is able to virtualize a full set of standard personal computer hardware, including [ 5 ]

Version history.

version 2.5.

The foremost official turn of version 2.5 was on February 27, 2007, as build 3186. version 2.5 brought support for USB 2.0 devices, which expanded the count of USB devices supported at native speed, including back for built-in iSight USB webcam. The sum of video RAM allocated to the guest oculus sinister was made adjustable, up to 32MB. broad featured CD/DVD drives arrived in this adaptation, which allowed the user to burn disks directly in the virtual environment, and play any copy-protected four hundred or DVD as one would in Mac OS X. In addition, a shared clipboard and drag-drop confirm between Mac OS X and the guest o was implemented. This translation brought the ability for users with a Windows XP installation to upgrade to Windows Vista from within the VM environment. [ 6 ] A new feature known as Coherence was added, which removed the Windows chrome, background, and the virtualization frames to create a more seamless desktop environment between Windows and Mac OS X applications. This version besides allowed users to boot their existing Boot Camp Windows XP partitions, which eliminated the need to have multiple Windows installations on their Mac. A tool called Parallels Transporter was included to allow users to migrate their Windows personal computer, or existing VMware or virtual personal computer VMs to Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Netsys lawsuit.

In 2007, the german company Netsys GmbH sued Parallels ‘ german distributor Avanquest for copyright rape, claiming that Parallels Desktop and Parallels Workstation are directly based on a production line of products called “ twoOtwo ” that Parallels developed on paid commission for Netsys, of which it says, Netsys has been assigned all copyrights. additionally, the lawsuit claimed that Parallels Desktop 2.5 ‘s compatibility with “ twoOtwo ” showed that the two software products are run by basically the lapp running kernel. [ 7 ] When Netsys lost its initial urgency continue, it filed a new suit, in which it requested a temp injunction from the Landgericht district court of Berlin. [ 8 ]

adaptation 3.0.

On June 7, 2007 build 4124 was released as the first base publicly available interpretation of Desktop 3.0. adaptation 3.0 retained all of the functionality from previous versions and added new features and tools. support for DirectX 8.1 and OpenGL [ 9 ] was added, allowing Mac users to play some Windows games without the necessitate to boot into Windows with Boot Camp. [ 10 ] A new feature called SmartSelect offers cross OS file and application integration by allowing the user to open Windows files with Mac OS X programs and vice versa. Parallels Explorer was introduced, which allows the user to browse their Windows system files in Mac OS X without actually launching Windows. A modern snapshot feature of speech was included, allowing one to restore their virtual machine environment to a previous state in font of issues. Further, Parallels added a security coach to limit the total interaction between the Windows and Mac OS X installations. This adaptation included a long-awaited complete “ Parallels tools ‘ ” driver suite for Linux guest operating systems. consequently, integration between Mac OS X and Linux guests os’s was greatly improved. [ 11 ] Despite the addition of numerous raw features, tools, and add functionality, the first iteration of Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0 was missing some of the features that Parallel had planned for it. A Parallels, Inc. spokesperson stated at MacWorld in January 2007 that adaptation 3.0 would bring accelerated graphics, “ multi-core virtual machines/virtual SMP, some SCSI accompaniment, a more Mac-like feel arsenic well as a more sophisticate coherence manner, dubbed Coherence 2.0 ”. [ 12 ] While accelerated graphics have materialized, Coherence, as well as the overall expression and feel of Parallels Desktop for Mac has only changed slenderly. besides, SCSI support has not been implemented. [ 13 ] It is presently stranger if these features have been abandoned wholly, or if they will show up in a late build of version 3.0. build 4560, released on July 17, 2007, [ 14 ] added an imaging instrument that allowed users to add capacity to their virtual disks.
Parallels Coherence in Exposé build up 5160, released on September 11, 2007, [ 15 ] added some new features and updated some current features. The release focused on updates to Coherence, with support for Exposé, window shadows, transparent windows, and the ability to overlap several Windows and Mac windows. Further, Parallels ‘ Image Tool was updated to allow one to change their virtual hard phonograph record format between apparent and expanding. Parallels Explorer was updated to allow for one to automatically mount an offline VM hard drive to the Mac background. Some new features added are iPhone support in Windows, allowing iTunes in Windows to sync with it. [ 16 ] Users can now mirror desktops or other folders. Further, Mac drives can now be mapped by Windows and heavy devices can now be changed ‘ on the fly ’. Up to 2 GB of RAM can be allocated to a virtual machine, with a total of 4 GB of RAM available. [ 17 ] Parallels Desktop for Mac Build 5608 added support for guest Parallels Tools for Linux in the latest Linux distributions ( including Ubuntu 8 ). It besides added support for running 3D graphics in Windows virtual machines on Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.3.

Use of code from the Wine project.

According to Parallels ‘ Licensing page, Desktop for Mac version 3.0 contains Direct3D code that was in the first place developed by the Wine open-source project. [ 18 ] Wine software is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which required Parallels to release the reference code. Parallels released the modified source code on July 2, 2007, about 2 weeks after the predicted release date. [ 19 ] A Parallels spokesman explained the reasons for the delay in a message on the official company blog. [ 20 ]

version 4.0.

version 4.0, released November 11, 2008, [ 21 ] updates its GUI, adds some new features, enhances its performance by up to 50 % [ 22 ], and consumes 15–30 % less ability than former versions. [ 23 ] Version 4.0 is the first translation that supports both 32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems. Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac ‘s 3D defend includes DirectX 9.0, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2.0 [ 24 ] deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as 256 MB video memory. It besides adds support for 8 GB RAM in a virtual machine and 8-way SMP. Parallels Desktop 4.0 introduces an adaptive hypervisor, which allows users to focus the host computer’s resources on either host or the guest operating system. [ 25 ] Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac adds some newfangled features such as :

  • A fourth viewing mode called Modality,[21] allows users to scale the size of an active guest operating system on the Mac’s desktop
  • A new screenshot utility called Clips, which lets users take and share screenshots between the host and the guest operating systems.
  • Start Menu integration and Automatic Windows Notifications on the Apple Menu Bar.
  • The ability to use select voice commands[26] to remotely control the virtual machine.
  • The ability to start and stop a virtual machine via the iPhone. (Requires installing an iPhone application from Apple’s AppStore.)

Starting with the Version 4.0 release, Parallels Desktop for Mac has a new logo, which resembles an aluminum iMac, with what appears to be Windows XP on the screen and 2 parallel red lines overlaid on the right side.
physique 3810, released January 9, 2009, [ 27 ] includes performance enhancements and features, such as DirectX 9.0 Shaders Model 2 and Vertex Shader support for extra 3D support Intel Streaming SIMD Extensions ( SSE4 ) for better media applications performance. Build 3810 adds support for running Windows 7 in a VM and for running Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server as either a host or as a guest OS. [ 28 ] besides included are serviceability features such as the ability to share Windows files by dragging them directly to a Mac application in the Mac Dock. Windows can now besides mechanically start in the background when an exploiter opens a Windows lotion on the Mac desktop. Version 4.0 drew criticism for problems upgrading from Version 3.0 concisely after its initial release. [ 29 ] Build 3810 addresses installation and upgrade issues previously experienced with Version 4.0 and introduces the option to enroll in the company’s new Customer Experience Program, which lets customers provide information about their preferences and exploiter priorities.

version 5.

formally released on November 4, 2009, Parallels Desktop 5 adds respective new features, chiefly to improve integration with the host OS. New features include :

  • 3D graphics and speed improvements
  • Optimized for Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • Support for Windows 7
  • Theming of Windows applications to make them look like native applications
  • Support for Multi-Touch gestures (from a trackpad or Magic Mouse) and the Apple Remote
  • The ability to drag and drop formatted text and images between Windows, Linux, and Mac applications,
  • The ability of a system administrator to lock down a virtual machine so that users can’t change the state of the virtual machine,
  • Support for OpenGL 2.1 for Linux guest virtual machines.
  • Support for DirectX 9c with Shader Model 3.

build up 9308, released on December 21, 2009, added some new features. [ 30 ]

Linux guest operating systems.
  • Parallels Tools support Xorg 1.7 in Fedora 12 virtual machines (experimental)
  • Parallels Tools support Mandriva 2010 (experimental)
  • OpenSUSE 11.1 installation media auto-detection


  • Improved performance for USB mass storage.
Windows guest operating systems.
  • Improved resume from suspension in virtual machines with multiple monitors assigned.
  • Improved performance for file access via Shared Folders.
3D and video.
  • Improved performance for video playback in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • Windows Aero is not available by default for machines with Intel GMA X3100 and GMA 950 graphic adapters (some MacBook and Mac Mini models). It is available on MacBooks with NVIDIA 9400M graphics cards.[31]
  • Vertical synchronization is now configurable. You can configure these settings using the corresponding option on the virtual machine video configuration page.
  • Improved 3D performance for the video game Mirror’s Edge.
macOS Server guest operate system.
  • The ability to pass kernel options to the macOS Server guest OS has been added. To do so, enable the “Select boot device on startup” option in the virtual machine configuration, which will enable you to specify the necessary kernel options in the 5-second timeout before booting the kernel.

translation 6.

formally announced on September 9, 2010, and launched on September 14, 2010, Parallel 6 has full 64-bit support for the first time. Parallels claim that Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac “ [ has ] over 80 modern and better features, including speed 40 % above the previous interpretation. ” specific new features include :

  • An all-new 64-bit engine
  • 5.1 Surround Sound support
  • Better import implementation of VMware, Virtual PC virtual machines, and Boot Camp partitions
  • Improved network, hard drive, and Transporter performance
  • Windows program Spotlight integration
  • Faster Windows launch time
  • Enhanced 3D graphics that are 40% better than previous versions
  • Ability to extend Mac OS X Parental Controls to Windows applications
  • Ability to use Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts in Windows applications
  • Enhanced Spaces and Exposé support

translation 7.

officially announced on September 1, 2011, and released on September 6, 2011, Parallels Desktop 7 adds many new features. These include :

  • Integration with OS X 10.7.4 “Lion”:
    • Full-screen support
    • Use of Launchpad for Windows apps
    • Mission Control support
    • Lion as a guest OS
    • Lion animations support
  • Improved user interface
  • New standard help and documentation
  • Shared devices with Mac OS X
  • Longer battery life
  • Mac OS X parental controls support
  • Support for Intel AES-NI encryption
  • Enhanced performance and 3D graphics
  • Support for up to 1GB video memory in a virtual machine
  • Enhanced audio support – up to 192 kHz
  • Surround sound 7.1
  • Added support for Windows 7

translation 8.

officially announced August 22, 2012, and released September 4, 2012, Parallels Desktop 8 adds many newfangled features :

  • OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” as a guest OS
  • Retina resolution can be passed to virtual machines
  • Windows 7 and Windows 8 automatically optimized for the best experience on Retina
  • Parallels Desktop notifications
  • Notification Center support for Windows 8 toast notifications
  • Mountain Lion Dictation in Windows apps
  • Fullscreen on demand for Windows applications in Coherence
  • Presentation Wizard
  • Open in Internet Explorer button for Safari
  • Drag & drop file to Outlook in the Dock opens a new email with an attachment
  • Multi-language Keyboard Sync in Mac and Windows
  • Full support for new Modern UI Windows 8 applications (Dock, Mission Control, Launchpad)
  • Reworked Keyboard shortcuts preferences
  • Use the standard OS X system preferences to set Parallels Desktop application shortcuts.
  • Resources (CPU/RAM) monitoring
  • Indication for VM hard drive space usage
  • Shared Bluetooth
  • Improved Virtual Machine boot time/Windows boots time are up to 25% faster than the previous version
  • Pause & resume Windows up to 25% faster than the previous version
  • Input/output (I/O) operations are up to 35% faster than the previous version
  • Games run up to 30% faster than the previous version
  • DirectX 10 support
  • Full USB 3.0 support for faster connections to peripheral devices for Virtual Machines starting from Parallels Desktop 8.0.18305[32]

translation 9.

formally announced on August 29, 2013, and released on September 5, 2013, Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac includes these newfangled features and enhancements :

  • Brings back the “real” Start menu for Windows 8 and enables Modern apps in separate windows instead of fullscreen
  • Power Nap support, so applications stay up-to-date on Retina Display Mac and MacBook Air computers
  • Thunderbolt and Firewire storage devices are designated to connect to Windows virtual machine
  • Sticky Multi-monitor setup remembers settings and puts Windows virtual machines back into Full-Screen mode on the remote monitor
  • Sync iCloud, SkyDrive, Dropbox, and more without unnecessary duplication of files
  • Windows apps can launch the OS X Mountain Lion Dictionary with Dictionary gesture
  • Enhanced integration with macOS for Linux users
  • Enhanced New Virtual Machine Wizard makes it easier to set up a new virtual machine, especially on computers without hard drives
  • PDF printer for Windows to print from any Windows application to a PDF on the Mac desktop, even if the application doesn’t have that functionality
  • Compatibility with OS X 10.9 “Mavericks”
  • Easily install and access complimentary security software subscriptions from one location
  • Up to 40% better disk performance than previous versions
  • Virtual machines shut down up to 25% faster and suspend up to 20% faster than with Parallels Desktop 8
  • 3D graphics and web browsing are 15% faster than in Parallels Desktop 8

enterprise version :

  • Set an expiration date for the virtual machine.
  • Run virtual machines in headless mode.
  • Start virtual machines on Mac boot.

adaptation 9 is the last version to support Snow Leopard.

version 10.

Released August 20, 2014, Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac includes defend for OS X 10.10 “ Yosemite ”, and ends support for Snow Leopard. [ 33 ] Less than a year after the release of its release, Parallels spokesperson John Uppendahl confirmed translation 10 will not be fully compatible with Windows 10. The coherence mode, which integrates the Windows exploiter interface with OS X, will not be updated and users will need to purchase and upgrade to version 11 to continue using this feature. [ 34 ]

interpretation 11.

Released August 19, 2015, Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac includes confirm for Windows 10 and is quick for OS X 10.11 “ El Capitan ”. [ 35 ] Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac is available as erstwhile leverage of $ 79.99 for the Desktop edition, and as an annual subscription of $ 99.99 for Pro edition. [ 36 ] Version 11 has multiple issues with macOS 10.13, High Sierra. The website presently offers a full-price upgrade to Version 13 as a correction, efficaciously making this interpretation disused with the macOS upgrades. [ 37 ]

version 12.

Released August 18, 2016. [ 38 ]

version 13.

Released August 22, 2017, [ 39 ] Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac provides macOS high Sierra readiness and support for upcoming Windows 10 features. According to Parallels, the modern translation makes it childlike for MacBook Pro users to add Windows applications to the Touch Bar, and to use the Touch Bar within Windows applications. It is the first solution to bring the approaching Windows 10 People Bar feature to the Mac, including integration with the Mac Dock and Spotlight. The new version features up to 100 percent performance improvements for completing certain tasks. The update brings in a slenderly refreshed UI to better match macOS and ocular improvements for Windows users on Retina displays. [ 40 ]

version 14.

Released August 21, 2018, Parallels Desktop 14 supports macOS 10.14 “ Mojave ”. [ 41 ]

version 15.

Released August 13, 2019 .

version 16.

Released August 11, 2020., [ 42 ] Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac comes with the following highlights :

  • Is ready for the new macOS Big Sur architecture
  • In Windows and Linux VMs, DirectX 11 is 20 percent faster and there are improvements for the OpenGL 3 graphics
  • The battery life when users activate “Travel Mode” in Windows is up to 10 percent longer
  • In Windows apps, users can now use zoom and rotate with Trackpad in Windows apps
  • More printing options: Print on both sides and paper sizes from A0 to envelope.

New features are added to Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro version :

  • Easier export a virtual machine in a compressed format and prepare it for transfer to another Mac or an SSD
  • Give custom networks an individual name

[ 43 ] On April 14, 2021, Parallels updated the software to interpretation 16.5, notably adding patronize for Apple silicon-based Macs. On such Macs, entirely ARM-compatible OSes can be run in VMs; Parallels does not emulate the x86 computer architecture. [ 44 ] Supported guest OSes include Windows Insider builds of Windows 10 ( as no retail ARM versions of Windows 10 nor facility harrow images for such versions are publicly available ), deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as an ARM build-up of diverse Linux distributions.

translation 17.

Released August 10, 2021, Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac comes with the following highlights :

  • Optimized for Apple M1 chip.
  • Added support for USB 3.1 devices.
  • Added multi-monitor support for Linux.
  • Added drag-and-drop support for text or graphics between Mac and Windows applications.
  • Version 17.1, released October 14, 2021, is fully compatible with macOS Monterey and adds support for Windows 11 as a guest OS.[45]

Supported operating systems.

Parallels Desktop for Mac Business, Home, and Pro Editions requires these versions of macOS : [ 46 ]
Parallels Desktop 11 and 12 only partially support macOS high sierra: A Coherence Mode windows may appear under MacOS windows, and some graphics artifacts may occur. B Neither Parallels Desktop 11 nor 12 in full confirm Apple File System ( APFS ) disks, including virtual disks and Boot Camp partitions. therefore, an eminent Sierra guest machine must be installed ‘manually ‘ bypassing the “ — converttoapfs NO ” command line substitution, and can not use the automated Parallels virtual machine creation process. C Versions are partially compatible with the comparable macOS versions and may not work correctly.


Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac includes confirming for a variety of different guest operating systems : [ 47 ]

In Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, support for node operating systems includes an assortment of 32-bit and 64-bit x86 operating systems, including [ 46 ]

See besides.


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