Category: Feature How To’s

macOS Catalina and Parallels Desktop for Mac

With macOS Catalina, Parallels Desktop for Mac users have even more powerful ways to run Windows, Linux and other OSes on Mac.


There are two new features brought to Parallels Desktop with Sidecar. First, you can now extend your Mac display on your iPad®. Second, there’s now Apple Pencil® support within Microsoft Windows applications. With our latest version of Parallels Desktop, users are now able to use their favorite Microsoft Windows applications on iPad. 

Extending the Mac display on your iPad is incredible—it allows Parallels Desktop users to view their virtual machine in full screen on their iPad. Not only does this leave your native Mac screen available for whatever your needs may be, but it also feeds directly into the second benefit of Sidecar and Parallels Desktop. 

Parallels Desktop users can now run a virtual machine as full screen on their iPad as an external display. This macOS integration allows designers, CAD experts and more to use their favorite stylist on their favorite Windows programs. With Sidecar and Parallels Desktop, users have full support with the Apple Pencil or your favorite stylist. 

Note: Sidecar will work with any macOS application that supports stylists and turns your iPad into a professional creative tool, such as a Wacom tablet. 

Personally, Sidecar is my favorite macOS feature announced in the last few years. Using Sidecar with Parallels Desktop? It’s simply magic.

Screenshot Preview to Windows

Drag and drop like never before! Apple® has entirely reworked the way screenshots are done in macOS Mojave and Catalina, and you may notice that you can’t use their previews in Windows applications. 

Parallels Desktop now makes this possible—plus, it provides the ability to drag images right from Safari, Photos and your other favorite Mac applications.


The security benefits of macOS Catalina can be broken up into three major components: hardware, system volumes and data. 


The Apple T2 Security Chip keeps your Mac secure by ensuring you’re running software that’s from a trusted developer and automatically encrypts your stored data. If you’re utilizing macOS Catalina, you’ll have a rich encryption on your host OS with the T2 chip. Plus, your virtual machine can also be encrypted to protect any unauthorized use. Learn how to encrypt your virtual machine.

Additionally, Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Edition has BitLocker encryption support, making your data even more protected.

System Volume

A dedicated system volume within macOS Catalina allows the volume to be read-only, so it’s separate from all other data on your Mac. Apple implemented this so that nothing can accidentally overwrite your system files. 


All Mac models with the Apple T2 security chip support an iOS feature, Activation Lock. This is beyond helpful if your Mac is ever lost or stolen—with Activation Lock, you can easily erase and reactivate.  

Screen Time

macOS Catalina brings a popular iOS feature to the Mac: Screen Time. Screen Time monitors where a user spends their time when using their iPhone. Now, macOS Catalina makes it easy for Mac users to monitor their usage with individual applications. 

While Parallels Desktop is in Coherence view mode, Screen Time will individually monitor Windows programs, too.

64-bit Applications

macOS Catalina is the first version macOS to exclusively support 64-bit applications. This means any 32-bit applications will no longer be supported if your Mac is on macOS Catalina. With Parallels Desktop, users can run an older macOS as a virtual machine to support the 32-bit applications you need. In order to continue using your favorite 32-bit applications on macOS Catalina, please read our blog post: 32-bit vs. 64-bit and why it matters. 

Our engineering, sales, social, support and marketing teams closely monitor what our users need from Parallels Desktop. If you’re looking for known issues with macOS Catalina and Parallels Desktop, feel free to read the testing that engineering has already completed. 

If you’re looking to try the latest version of Parallels Desktop, download a free 14-day trial and get started now. Let us know what you think, or if you have any feedback to help us make the experience better. You can reach us on Facebook or Twitter, 24/7. 

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How to Download Videos from YouTube or Vimeo

How to Download Videos from YouTube or Vimeo

According to MerchDope, the total number of people who use YouTube in 2019 is reaching 1,300,000,000. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. 

Due to the vast amount of never-ending content being uploaded every moment, it is very likely someone may want to download a video for later use to enjoy offline. 

Parallels® Toolbox offers the best way to download YouTube, Vimeo, and other Internet-hosted videos directly to your computer. Whether it’s macOS® or Windows, the Parallels Toolbox tool Download Video reigns supreme when compared to other utilities that claim to do the same thing.

Not only is it just one click to save your favorite videos, you can do so without reducing their quality. Save your videos in high resolution up to 1080p, instantly. 

Download YouTube

Downloading a video from the Internet is easy:

  1. Buy Parallels Toolbox.
  2. Download the .DMG or .EXE to install.
  3. Launch the Download Video tool.
  4. Copy and paste, drag and drop, or utilize the Safari plug-in to instantly save your favorite video!

YouTube now offers “Add to Offline” with their premium subscription, YouTube Red, for $12 per month ($144 per year). But Parallels Toolbox has over 30+ other helpful tools and is available for only $19.99 per year. YouTube Red offers additional services such as exclusive content, live sports, and ad-free viewing, but it’s clear the top-used feature of YouTube Red is the “Add to Offline” ability. If your only goal is to download YouTube videos to enjoy offline later, Parallels Toolbox is a much more cost-effective option—and it’s bundled with dozens of helpful tools to help out your Mac or PC.

Parallels Toolbox is our all-in-one solution with over 30 tools for macOS and Windows 10. With just one click, you can save space on your hard drive, create high-quality content, quickly optimize your computer for a presentation, and more. Our economical suite of tools replaces the need for multiple applications and is only $19.99 per year.

Make your life easier and start a free trial of Parallels Toolbox to get started today!

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How to Move Files to Your iOS Device: The Share Menu

How to Move Files to Your iOS Device: The Share Menu

In my role at
Parallels, I spend a considerable amount of time on planes. My experience with
in-flight Wifi is that it’s really slow—and to add insult to injury, it’s also
really expensive. So before I leave for the airport, I spend a considerable
amount of time getting documents I want to read during the flight converted
into PDF files and stored on my iPad®.

If the documents I want are not already PDFs, converting them is pretty easy. My method for getting them on to my iPad, however, is Rube Goldberg-like, and I would be embarrassed to describe it to you. Luckily, I have recently found a straightforward, easy way to do this: use the iOS Share menu.

The Share menu was added to iOS in iOS 8. (One example is shown in Figure 1.) The new, streamlined way to get a PDF to my iPad uses the Share menu in your browser. I tested this using Safari, Edge, and Chrome, but it probably also works with other iOS browsers.

iOS Share Menu
Figure 1_iOS_ShareMenu

Just go to a webpage that has a link to the PDF you want, or just send yourself an email with a link to the PDF. When you click on that link, the PDF will open in your default browser. Use the Share menu in the browser to send that PDF to any app on your iOS device that can open and store PDF files. PDF-compatible apps include Apple Books, Adobe Acrobat, Amazon Kindle, and Readdle PDF Expert (my favorite), among many others.

Video 1 shows how easy it was for me to get a PDF into Acrobat:

I hope this simplifies
whatever method you use to get documents onto your iPad. If you have an even
simpler method, let us know in the comments. Also, if you have a simple way to
get videos onto your iOS device, let us know—I still don’t have a quick, easy
way to do so!

The post How to Move Files to Your iOS Device: The Share Menu appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Windows 10 May 2019 Update: What the Parallels Desktop User Needs to Know

Windows 10 May 2019 Update: What the Parallels Desktop User Needs to Know

Microsoft’s Windows
10 has two major updates each year: one in the fall and one in the spring.
While things haven’t gone according to this plan in the recent past (long
), the spring update (also known as the May 2019 Update) is now

I have been able to get this update early, and in this blog post, I’ll highlight some of its features that will be of special interest to Parallels Desktop® for Mac users. I won’t describe every single change in this update, but if you are interested in knowing everything about the update, I suggest you read the article on the How To Geek website.

There are lots of different Windows 10 updates on the Microsoft site: Insider Preview updates, Fast Ring updates, Slow Ring updates, Skip updates, Release Preview updates, and probably some others that I don’t know about. The May 2019 Update that I’m talking about in this post is Windows 10 version 1903 build 18362.


Windows 10 now includes its own virtualization sub-system, which enables a user to safely test applications in a “sandbox” (a virtual machine running inside Windows). As this is an advanced feature, it is not included in Windows 10 Home edition. To use the new Windows 10 Sandbox inside Parallels Desktop, you must enable “Nested Virtualization”, a feature in Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition (see Figure 1).

Windows 10 May Update
Figure 1_Nested Virtualization, a feature in Parallels Desktop Pro and Business Editions

Once Nested Virtualization is enabled, you will see Windows Sandbox as an optional Windows feature that you can enable in the “Turn Windows feature on or off” Control panel (see Figure 2).

Windows 10 May Update
Figure 2_Enabling the Windows Sandbox with the Turn Windows feature on or off control panel

The Sandbox feature is pretty cool for Windows geeks, and especially cool for Parallels Desktop geeks (see Figures 3 and 4).

Windows 10 May Update
Figure 3_Starting up the Windows Sandbox

As you can see in Figure 4a and 4b, when you shut down the Sandbox, everything in it is discarded—not unlike when you enable Rollback mode (also known as Undo Drives) in Parallels Desktop.

Windows 10 May 2019 Update: What the Parallels Desktop User Needs to Know 1
Figure 4a_Using the Windows Sandbox — a PC inside a PC
Windows 10 May 2019 Update: What the Parallels Desktop User Needs to Know 2
Figure 4b_Using the Windows Sandbox — a PC inside a PC

However, Windows Sandbox isn’t really too useful for any user of Parallels Desktop because of the large performance drop when one virtualization occurs inside another virtualization.

Update Changes

Microsoft has
received a lot of criticism over the last year for serious bugs in released
updates, for updates that failed to install, and for forcing updates on users
without their permission. In the May 2019 Update, Microsoft has given more
control over update installation and will now notify users that such an update
is available—you can choose to install or not. (No choice for security updates,
however—those are automatically installed.) They are also making
about-to-be-released updates available to Insiders for additional testing.
Hopefully, this will eliminate or reduce bugs in updates before they’re
released to all Windows users.

Microsoft has
also addressed a major reason that updates fail: insufficient disk space. About
7 GB will be reserved for an update to use.

This shouldn’t matter too much to Parallels Desktop users, since you can easily change the maximum size of a VM’s virtual hard drive.

Search and Cortana Have Split

Search and Cortana used to be unified, but now they are split in the taskbar and their usability is improved. (See Figure 5.)

Windows 10 May 2019 Update: What the Parallels Desktop User Needs to Know 3
Figure 5_Search and Cortana are now separated

Minimum Storage

After this
update gets baked into the standard Windows installation, Windows 10 will
require 32 GB of disk space.

This will not
be an issue for Parallels Desktop users, since the virtual hard drive in a VM
is 256 GB, but it only uses up the actual space it needs on the Mac®
hard drive.

Light Theme
and a Less Crowded Start Menu

This update adds a Light Theme and a less crowded Start Menu. While Dark Mode is a current hot topic in macOS®, I rather like the new Light Theme in Windows 10. (See Figure 6.)

Windows 10 May Update
Figure 6_The new Light theme for Windows 10 and the less crowed Start menu

Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter or Facebook.  about your experience with the May 2019 Windows 10 Update.

Try Parallels Desktop for free for 14 days and check out the new Windows 10 May Update.

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Customer Request: You Should Make Parallels Desktop for iOS

Customer Request: You Should Make Parallels Desktop for iOS

“You should make a Parallels Desktop for iOS. I want
to be able to run Windows on my iPad.”

As a product manager for Parallels Desktop® for Mac, I receive lots of suggestions from users about features they want to see in Parallels Desktop, as well as requests for Parallels Desktop to run on additional platforms, like Windows or the iPad®.

First of all,
I want to assure you that I really like to receive these suggestions and
requests. They tell me that lots of people like Parallels Desktop and that they
have ideas to make it even better. They’re all looked at by the engineering and
marketing teams here at Parallels—and they often are the inspiration for
features that we explore for future versions.

A request that
we often receive is for “Parallels
Desktop for the iPad,”
with the intended goal of running Windows on an iPad—or
more specifically, to run Windows applications on an iPad.

differentiate between two cases: (1) actually
running Windows and Windows applications on an iPad, and (2) appearing to run Windows and Windows applications
on an iPad.

Case 1 requires the installation of Windows and Windows applications into a virtualization app on the iPad. In this case, you could run Excel for Windows on an iPad without using any network connection. I do not know of any virtualization app that would do this, nor have I heard of anyone trying to build such an app. Some have stated that even if such an app were built, Apple® would not allow it in the App Store. In addition, a Windows installation is about 10-20GB which would make such an iPad app reallylarge.

Case 2, on the other hand, requires an app that would show the Windows desktop on the iPad screen and would translate your touches and gestures on the iPad screen into commands that Windows understands. This app would then send those commands to Windows running on a remote computer—and then bring the Windows screen changes back to the iPad and show them on the iPad screen. There are iPad apps that do this, and I will show you two such apps in this blog post. Such apps require a network connection to this remote computer. Without this connection or without the remote computer, they can’t do very much.

Note: Be careful of what you find if you just search for “iPad virtualization app” or “run Windows on iPad.” When I did so, I found fake videos on YouTube, links to apps that run iOS on Windows PCs or the Mac—the opposite of what this blog post is about—and links to legitimate “Case 2” solutions.

Two solutions from Parallels: Parallels Access and
Parallels RAS

There are two “Case 2” solutions from Parallels. While they look quite similar, who uses them and how they are set up differ quite a bit.

Parallels Access®

Parallels Access has an iPad app that enables you to remotely connect to Mac or PC devices that you own or control. Figure 1 shows using the Parallels Access iPad client to remotely access a Windows 10 virtual machine running in Parallels Desktop on my MacBook Pro®.

Parallels Access on iPad connecting to Windows 10 VM
Figure 1_Parallels Access on iPad connecting to Windows 10 VM

Video 1 shows this in operation.

When you install the Parallels Access agent on your Mac or PC, Parallels Access will remember how to navigate the firewall that protects both your iPad and your remote computers. I have successfully used Parallels Access to connect to my home iMac and my work iMac from many locations in the US and around the world. I have even used Parallels Access to connect to these two Mac when I was behind the Great Firewall while on a business trip to China.

When you
install the Parallels Access agent on your Mac or PC, that computer can only be
remotely accessed by you. If, instead, you would like to have a remote PC
accessed by several people, read the next section about Parallels®
Remote Application Server (RAS).

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS)

Parallels RAS has an iPad app “Client” that enables authorized users to connect to a remote Windows PC—either a PC in a Windows cloud–based server farm, or a Windows PC set up and maintained by your company’s IT team. Figure 2 shows me using an iPad to connect to a Windows Server 2016 DataCenter PC in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Parallels RAS on a large iPad-Pro
Figure 2_ Parallels RAS on a large iPad-Pro

Several other people also have access to this server. Parallels RAS does not provide for remote access to Macs or Linux PCs.

Read more about Parallels RAS and see videos of its use in my earlier blog post.

Feel free to download a free trial of Parallels Access or Parallels RAS to see how you achieve the effect of running Windows applications on your iPad. Please let us know in the comments how this works for you.

The post Customer Request: You Should Make Parallels Desktop for iOS appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Staying Current: The Major Updates in Parallels Mac Management

Parallels strives to guarantee that organizations managing their Mac® devices with Parallels® Mac Management for Microsoft® SCCM will always enjoy up-to-date support for today’s and all future versions of macOS®. Check our version history—with each new macOS, major new features have been added to Parallels Mac Management, making the admins’ job easier und enhancing client safety in their organization.

Zero-day support for macOS releases

Even before Apple® rolls out a new major release of macOS, Parallels Mac Management is prepared. This can be seen with Parallels Mac Management 7.1 for macOS 10.14 Mojave, or with Parallels Mac Management 6.1 and macOS 10.13 High Sierra one year earlier. It’s always current—and not only in relation to macOS updates. Updates also cover any changes in Microsoft SCCM. Admins can be quite sure that all changes both in macOS and SCCM will already be covered by Parallels Mac Management when they’re released.

New features for Parallels Mac Management

Major new features have recently been added with version 7 of Parallels Mac Management, including native support for FileVault® 2 and web-based administration. The latter enables managing clients located outside of the corporate network. Version 6 featured remote wipe, maintenance windows, and software metering as major innovations. Support for the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) came with Parallels Mac Management 5, as well as significantly improved administration tools.

All this shows: Parallels Mac Management is a plug-in for SCCM specializing in Mac, and as such is more agile than SCCM itself. You, the user, can rest assured that you will always be receiving the best possible support for the Mac clients in your organization.

Learn more about how to manage Mac devices like PCs with Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM in our weekly Webinars. Register now for free!


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The Network Conditioner in Parallels Desktop Pro Edition

The Network Conditioner in Parallels Desktop Pro Edition

This post is part of a series about features unique to Parallels Desktop Pro Edition.

Nowadays, many applications require a network connection for some or even all of their features. Examples range from the simple to the complex. There’s the Apple Books app or Amazon’s Kindle app, which keep track of what page you’re on in a book so you can easily keep reading on any of your devices. Then there’s applications that give you the ability to remotely control another computer, like the Apple Remote Desktop or Parallels Access®.

If you’re a developer or tester of an application that uses the network, you need to know how your application behaves in a variety of networks: 3G or 4G cellular, a network that’s “noisy” with lots of other activity, or one with a faulty infrastructure that results in uneven network performance. The Network Conditioner feature in Parallels Desktop® for Mac Pro Edition is designed to make it very easy to simulate a wide variety of networks so this testing can be done economically.

A developer or tester is able to configure the desired network conditions for any Parallels Desktop virtual machine (VM) using the dialog shown, with all its menu choices, in Figure 1. The network conditions can be changed even while the VM is running.

 Network Conditioner

Figure 1_The Network Conditioner dialog

Video 1 shows the Network Conditioner checking the performance of the Apache web server running in Ubuntu.

In addition to the Network Conditioner, video 1 shows another feature of Parallels Desktop Pro Edition: a set of developer menu commands, including Start SSH Session, Open in Browser, Start Debugging Session, and Generate Core Dump. The Open in Browser command is used in the video. This command launches the default browser on the Mac®, and “points” the browser at the VM (the Ubuntu VM in this case). If that VM is serving up webpages, then the browser will display these pages. Personally, I would always use a menu command rather than type a command into the Terminal or type a URL into a browser. However, if you prefer to type, then the end of the video will be particularly interesting to you. It shows a cool but hidden feature: the names of running VMs are, in effect, entered in the Domain Name Server. You can just type the name of the VM (instead of the IP address) as a URL, as I do at the end of the video.

The exact setup used in Video 1 was:

  • Hardware: MacBook Pro® (15”, 2016)
  • Host OS: macOS® Mojave 10.14.3 with Safari 12.0.3
  • Parallels Desktop Pro Edition, 14.1.2
  • Guest OS: Ubuntu 18.04 running the Apache2 HTTP Server

If you use the Network Conditioner in Parallels Desktop Pro Edition, please let us know in the below comments, or on Twitter or Facebook. We’d especially love to hear any additional features you would like to see in future versions of the Network Conditioner.

Learn more about all the features in Parallels Desktop Pro Edition and download a free 14-day trial.



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