Category: Parallels Desktop

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. 

The post macOS Catalina and Parallels Desktop for Mac appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Parallels Desktop 15, DirectX 11 and Metal

Parallels Desktop 15, DirectX 11 and Metal

The recently released Parallels Desktop® 15 for Mac has a number of excellent features that will benefit its huge user base in a variety of ways. I think, however, the feature that will provide the greatest benefit to the largest number of users is the move to Metal and the support of DirectX—in particular, DirectX 11. This feature of Parallels Desktop 15 provides performance improvements (especially in graphics) for a wide range of Windows applications. In this blog post, I will discuss some of the benefits of this new feature and describe why it will affect so many users.

There is a fundamental mismatch in the way Windows applications and Mac® applications provide high-quality graphics to their respective users. In the Windows ecosystem, the widely used underpinning for graphics is DirectX. In Mac, graphics support has been provided in a number of different ways, ranging from QuickDraw (in the early days of the Mac) to Quartz (in the early days of Mac OS X®) to Metal today.

Parallels Desktop has bridged this mismatch and provided the means for Windows applications built with DirectX to run on Mac. In earlier versions of Parallels Desktop, this was accomplished by yet another graphics library, OpenGL. OpenGL, which was available on Mac, provided a way for Parallels engineers to achieve the graphics support needed by many Windows applications.

However, in
June 2017, Apple® announced that OpenGL on Mac was being deprecated, and Apple urged
all Mac developers to move to Metal. Metal has been available since 2014 and is
now part of macOS®, iOS, tvOS™ and watchOS®.
All recent Apple hardware products provide for hardware acceleration for Metal,
which makes Metal the best approach for fast graphics performance for Mac

The graphics
needs of Parallels Desktop are quite different from other Mac applications. So Parallels
engineers began working with their Apple counterparts to ensure that Metal
would support the needs of DirectX-using Windows applications in Parallels
Desktop. The culmination of that work is Parallels Desktop 15 and Metal in
macOS Catalina.

relationship between all these graphics libraries in the last three versions of
Parallels Desktop is shown in Table 1.

  Parallels Desktop 13 Parallels Desktop 14 Parallels Desktop 15
Supported via OpenGL Supported via OpenGL Supported via Metal
Supported via OpenGL Supported via OpenGL Supported via Metal
Not Supported Not Supported Supported via Metal

Table 1: The relationships between Windows and Mac graphic libraries in the last three versions of Parallels Desktop.

So what does
this mean to users of Parallels Desktop 15? Here are some of the broad

  • The move to Metal has made Parallels Desktop 15 faster and more
    efficient, especially with graphics.
  • Some Windows applications now run that did not launch in Parallels
    Desktop 14 or earlier versions. Other Windows applications show improved
  • Note: Since OpenGL is still in macOS
    Mojave and macOS Catalina, Windows OpenGL applications still rely on Mac
    OpenGL, as do Linux 3D applications.

The following table (2) lists a few of the Windows applications that now work in Parallels Desktop 15:

CAD/CAM Applications Games
Autodesk 3ds Max 2020 Anno 2205
Lumion Frostpunk
ArcGIS Pro 2.3 Mark of the Ninja:
MasterSeries Risk of Rain 2
  Space Engineers
  Age of
Empires: Definitive Edition

Of particular importance to me is Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, Age of Empires is my favorite game of all time. In February 2018, Microsoft released a new version called Definitive Edition. I was anxious to play this new version, but it required DirectX 11. I tried to run it in Parallels Desktop 14, but the results were quite disappointing. There were warning dialogs (Figure 1) and the game was sluggish and slow—unplayable.

DirectX 11

When Parallels Desktop 15 was available in beta, I volunteered to test Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. I was happy to report to the development team that this new version of Age of Empires ran really well in Parallels Desktop 15—especially on the beta release of macOS Catalina. Video 1 shows a portion of an Age of Empires: Definitive Edition game running in an early beta of Parallels Desktop 15.

So does this
mean all DirectX 11 applications run great in Parallels Desktop 15? Your
experience will depend on the hardware you have, and especially on the CPU and
graphic card in your Mac.

Lots of recent
DirectX 11 games—especially first-person shooters—stress
the most recent hardware available. Parallels Desktop 15 with DirectX support
can achieve some truly remarkable results. But Parallels Desktop cannot turn
your four-year-old MacBook Air® into an $8,000 Alienware™ gaming rig
with a $1,300 liquid-cooled graphics card. That is just not possible.

To be completely above board and transparent, the details of the Mac used to create Video 1 are shown in Figure 2.

DirectX 11

In addition, Xbox
games can now run in Windows 10 in Parallels Desktop 15. That will be the
subject of another blog post, coming soon.

Please let us know in the comments about your experience with DirectX 11 applications in Parallels Desktop 15. I will try to break free from playing Age of Empires: Definitive Edition long enough to respond to your comments.

Test it yourself and download Parallels Desktop 15 for 14 days for free!

The post Parallels Desktop 15, DirectX 11 and Metal appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac System Requirements

Here is a detailed outline of Parallels Desktop 15 system requirements for hardware, supported host and guest operating systems—as well as how to transfer your PC to a virtual machine— provided below.

For well over a decade, millions of global users have used Parallels Desktop® for Mac to run Windows, Linux and other popular operating systems on Mac®—without rebooting. We recommend that curious users read this blog post thoroughly to ensure that you’re set up for success before downloading Parallels Desktop 15. 

Minimum Best Performance
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor Intel Core i5, Core i7, Core i9 or Xeon processor
Memory 4 GB of RAM 16 GB of RAM or more
Storage 500 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation
Additional disk space for the guest operating system (at least 16 GB is required for Windows 10)
SSD drive
Graphics Intel, AMD Radeon or NVIDIA AMD Radeon Pro graphics card
Operating System macOS Catalina 10.15
macOS Mojave 10.14
macOS High Sierra 10.13
macOS Sierra 10.12
macOS Catalina 10.15
Note: DirectX 11 requires at least macOS Mojave 10.14 but works best on macOS 10.15 Catalina.


Minimum requirements are dictated to run most applications, such as Microsoft Office and more: 

  • A Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor
  • A minimum of 4 GB of RAM
  • At least 500 MB of space on your local hard drive to download the Parallels Desktop installation. Additional disk space is needed for the guest OS and future saved files.

Note: Microsoft Windows 10 requires at least 16 GB of storage space. 

For the best performance with graphics-intensive applications, gaming, high loads and running multiple virtual machines, we recommend: 

  • Intel Core i5, Core i7, Core i9 or Xeon processor
  • A suggested memory amount for intensive applications and multitasking is 16 GB of RAM.
  • SSD hard drives will also optimize the performance of Parallels Desktop.

Guest Operating Systems Supported as a Virtual Machine within Parallels Desktop

Supported Guest Operating Systems

  • Windows 10 (recommended)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 7 (SP0-SP1)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP0-SP2)
  • Windows Vista Home, Business, Ultimate and Enterprise (SP0-SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (SP0-SP2)
  • Windows XP (SP0-SP3)
  • Windows 2000 Professional SP4
  • Windows 2000 Server SP4
  • Boot2Docker
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 and 6
  • CentOS Linux 7 and 6
  • Fedora Linux 30* and 29
  • Ubuntu 19.04, 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS
  • Debian GNU/Linux 9 and 8
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 15
  • OpenSUSE Linux 15.1 and 15
  • Linux Mint 19 and 18
  • Kali 2019 and 2018
  • Elementary 5
  • Manjaro 18
  • Mageia 7 and 6
  • Gentoo Linux **
  • Solaris 11 and 10 **
  • openBSD 6 **
  • FreeBSD 12 and 11 **
  • openVZ 7
  • eComStation 2 and 1.2 **
  • ReactOS 0.4 **
  • Android OS*
  • macOS Catalina 10.15
  • macOS Mojave 10.14.x
  • macOS High Sierra 10.13.x
  • macOS Sierra 10.12.x
  • OS X El Capitan 10.11.x
  • OS X Yosemite 10.10.x
  • OS X Mavericks 10.9.x
  • OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.x
  • OS X Lion 10.7.x
  • OS X Lion Server 10.7.x
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6.x
  • Mac OS X Leopard Server 10.5.x
  • and many more…

*Only the version downloaded with help of the Installation Assistant with Parallels Desktop.
**Parallels Tools are not available for this operating system.

Parallels Tools for Linux requires X Window System version 1.15–1.20 and Linux Kernel version 2.6.29–5.1.

Need to migrate your PC to a virtual machine in Parallels Desktop?

PC system requirements to move your PC to your Mac (using Parallels Transporter Agent):

  • 700 MHz (or higher) x86 or x64 processor (Intel or AMD)
  • 256 MB of RAM
  • 50 MB of available hard disk space for installation of Parallels Transporter Agent
  • Ethernet or WiFi network adapter for migrating over network
  • External USB drive for migrating via external disk
  • Supported Windows: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000*

*To migrate Windows Vista or older, Transporter Agent from Parallels Desktop 13 should be used. Download the Parallels Transporter Agent

Parallels Desktop Trial

Parallels Desktop emulates PC hardware, so operating systems that are not present in this list can work as well. You can download the Parallels Desktop trial and install an operating system of your choice. 

If it doesn’t work and you believe it should be supported, let our engineers know in the Parallels Forum.  

The post Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac System Requirements appeared first on Parallels Blog.

The Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac Tech Guarantee 2019

The Parallels Desktop® for Mac Tech Guarantee for 2019 answers important license-related questions that users may have about running Windows, Linux, and other popular OSes on Mac® without rebooting.

In Parallels Desktop 15, this is a must-have upgrade packed with 30+ new features and powerful graphics performance:

  • Work Faster – Start Microsoft Office applications up to 80% faster
  • Next-level Graphics – Up to 15% faster, plus support for DirectX 11 via Apple Metal*
  • Be Productive – Drag and drop screenshot previews and email files right from Finder
  • Get Creative – Support for Apple Pencil in Sidecar, Xbox One controller via Bluetooth, IRISPen and more
  • Future-Proof – Ready for upcoming macOS Catalina and Windows releases 

With our Tech Guarantee, customers who purchased and registered a copy of Parallels Desktop 14 from the Parallels online store ( or an authorized reseller on or after August 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019 are eligible to upgrade to Parallels Desktop 15 at no charge, subject to certain conditions.

Note: If you have an active annual subscription of Parallels Desktop for Mac, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition, or Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition, then you’re eligible for an upgrade to the latest version. Subscription users automatically get access to the latest version. For information on how to redeem your upgrade, check Parallels MyAccount or your email that you used for the purchase. 

The conditions covering eligibility for an upgrade include:

  • Upgrade to the next version of Parallels Desktop at no additional cost if you purchased and registered Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac between August 1, 2019 and October 31, 2019.
  • Must be a qualifying product, as mentioned in #1 below. Non-qualifying products are explained in #3 below.
  • Must be purchased from an authorized retailer. Non-authorized retailers are explained in #4 below.

1. The following Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac products qualify for the Tech Guarantee:

  • Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac Full Version (New Licenses)
  • Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac Upgrade (Upgrade Licenses)
  • Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac Student License
  • Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac OEM Version when purchased together with hardware or other approved software products (OEM License)

Your product must be registered on or after August 1, 2019, and before or on October 31, 2019.

2. How do I receive my upgrade key?

For eligible customers who purchased and registered their product after August 1, 2019 and before October 31, 2019, upgrade keys will automatically be added to your Parallels MyAccount. You’ll also receive an automatic upgrade notification via email.

You should receive your upgrade key within seven days after the new version of Parallels Desktop becomes available. The upgrade key will be sent to the email that was used to register your license for Parallels Desktop 14.

If you have not yet registered your copy of Parallels Desktop 14, register your key now to allow the system to create the upgrade key to Parallels Desktop 15 for you.

3. The following Parallels Desktop for Mac products do not qualify for the Tech Guarantee:

  • Trial versions of Parallels Desktop for Mac
  • Licenses sold under the Volume License Program, including PIK/PIKA, Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition licenses, and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition licenses
  • Not-for-resale (NFR) versions
  • OEM versions that are purchased unlawfully without hardware or qualifying software
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac versions purchased and registered before August 1, 2019, or after October 31, 2019

4. Non-authorized retailers and resellers include but are not limited to: 

Please follow the steps above before contacting Parallels Customer Support. Key(s) will be automatically sent to your email address, so check your spam/junk folder. Please allow up to seven business days for your key to be delivered. 

If you’ve read the above but still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our teams. We’re here to help with your questions or concerns via our social support on Facebook or Twitter

– The Parallels Team

The post The Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac Tech Guarantee 2019 appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Parallels Desktop for Mac Cracked License Key

Here at Parallels, we would like to thank our millions of users for choosing our software, Parallels Desktop® for Mac, the #1 choice for Mac® users for over a decade. With pirated licenses on the rise in every software market, we want to encourage curious users to read this blog post thoroughly before hunting for a Parallels Desktop for Mac cracked license key. We dive into security risks and concerns and explore why users should be cautious about using a crack/torrent version of Parallels Desktop from unidentified sites—or simply put, the pirating sites. 

Are you searching for a cracked license key of Parallels Desktop for Mac? Globally, millions of users are turning to installing bootleg versions of software as more companies either increase their prices or change to a subscription model. In the software ecosystem, there has always been a dense market for pirated or cracked licenses to obtain the software illegally. While users may save a penny or two, the dangers of using pirated copies grossly outweigh the benefits. 

According to 2018 Revulytics, the top 20 software license misuse and piracy hotspots are not only in the United States, but also China, India, Russia, Germany and many more. Funny enough, there are only nine countries in the world that have no reports of unpaid software! In recent years, Google has been asked to remove over 100,000 pirated links every hour. The reality is that the market for pirated software continues to grow, regardless of efforts from software companies or search engines. 

Potential risks that users face when utilizing pirated or illegally cracked licenses for Parallels Desktop (or any macOS or Windows software) are:

  • Malware – Malware is shorthand for “malicious software.” By Bullguard’s definition, it is a computer program that is designed to infiltrate and damage computers without the user’s consent. 
  • Keyloggers or spyware – These are usually used in identity or financial threats. They’re designed to steal passwords or banking information. This can cause years of difficult loopholes to get your identity or financial health back up to speed.
  • Ransomware – An extortion-based threat that is considered a cryptovirology because it locks a user out of software or hardware until a ransom is paid. CSOOnline outlines the 6 biggest ransomeware attacks of the last 5 years. While the commonality of this threat has gone down in recent year, ransomware is still very much considered to be a concern for both individual users and enterprise companies. 
  • Viruses and worms – Kaspersky released an educational article outlining the difference between the two: “An important distinction between computer viruses and worms is that viruses require an active host program or an already infected and active operating system in order for viruses to run, cause damage and infect other executable files or documents, while worms are standalone malicious programs that can self-replicate and propagate via computer networks, without human help.”
  • Bloatware – Bloatware is software that is downloaded without the user’s knowledge. It eventually utilizes hardware’s memory resources to cause a device to become so slow it is eventually unusable.

Not to mention, you also lose all future benefits of functionality, security, support and updates—and your cracked Parallels Desktop for Mac license can be disabled at any time. Almost every software company has backend intelligence to check if a license is registered, and they regularly do this check throughout the lifecycle of their product. 

The Parallels End User License Agreement states that users may use one copy of the software activated by a license key on a single instance owned, leased or controlled by the user. In accordance with the End User License Agreement terms and conditions, a Parallels Desktop retail license can only be used for activation of Parallels Desktop on a single Mac machine at a time.

Note: To use Parallels Desktop on several Mac machines, users will need to purchase the corresponding number of licenses. If you’d like to move Parallels Desktop from one computer to another, you don’t need to buy a new key. Simply uninstall the software from the Mac it’s currently installed on before installing on a new one.

If you have feedback you’d like to provide surrounding Parallels and the Parallels family of products, please reach out to us! We sincerely are open to improving our policies for global users. 

We encourage users to buy their software directly from the manufacturer or directly from authorized resellers. This directly benefits the teams of real humans who pour hard work into their product to provide an excellence experience for the end user.

If you’re looking to download a free copy of Parallels Desktop, feel free to download our 14-day trial and run Windows, Linux and other popular OSes on your Mac, without rebooting. 

The post Parallels Desktop for Mac Cracked License Key appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Parallels Desktop Birthday Promotion – 25% Off

Parallels Desktop Birthday Promotion – 25% Off

Celebrate the birthday of Parallels Desktop® for Mac with a special offer for new and upgrade users. No coupon code required! Simply follow the link below to get 25% off: 

For over a decade, Parallels Desktop has been the #1 choice to run Windows on Mac. Here at Parallels, we deeply credit our success to our customers. We extend heartfelt gratitude for the immense amount of loyalty shown from millions of global customers. Since the start of Parallels Desktop in 2006, we have relentlessly delivered the best software to run Windows on Mac by staying up to date with the latest releases from tech leaders such as Apple® and Microsoft. In a tech-centric landscape of Mac vs. PC, we’ve driven innovation to ensure a seamless marriage between the two systems—and we couldn’t be prouder of what our users have accomplished.

Parallels core values are all about delighting our customers. That value is ingrained in every action and decision we make. From engineering to marketing to support teams, we strive to uphold the highest standards for our users to provide the best virtualization software for Mac.

Since 2006, we’ve hit a lot of great milestones with Parallels Desktop.

  • June 15, 2006 – Parallels Desktop launches in the Mac market and becomes the first virtualization software for the Mac. Mac users are now able to run Windows and Mac OS X® simultaneously without having to restart via Boot Camp®.
Parallels Desktop First Box
  • February 27, 2007  – Parallels Desktop introduces Coherence Mode to make Windows feel like it belongs on Mac. 
  • November 4, 2009 – Parallels Desktop 5 launches with full support for Windows 7 and OS X Snow Leopard. Support for Apple trackpad gestures and keyboard actions (such as drag and drop and copy and paste) is added to easily work between the systems.
Parallels Desktop 5
  • September 14, 2010 – Mac OS X Spotlight search is integrated with Windows, furthering a seamless experience for Parallels Desktop users.
  • June 2011 – Parallels Desktop for Mac Enterprise Edition (now renamed Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition) launches with features that unify volume license keys. It also introduces a license portal for IT administrators.
  • September 4, 2012 – Parallels Desktop 8 launches with full support for DirectX 10 and Bluetooth devices across the two systems.
  • August 28, 2013 – Parallels Access® for iOS and Android launches. Customers can now use iPad® and iPhone® devices with native touch gestures to access and run applications on their Mac and Windows remotely, anytime.
  • September 5, 2013 – Parallels Desktop 9 integrates cloud services such as Dropbox, iCloud, and SkyDrive—and improves virtual machine performance by 40%. 
  • August 19, 2015 – Parallels Desktop 11 and Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition launch with OS X El Capitan and Windows 10 support. Best feature of this year? The Windows 10 personal assistant, Cortana, is brought to Mac. 
  • December 1, 2016 – Parallels® Toolbox for Mac and PC—a standalone product featuring 25-single purpose tools, with new tools added regularly—enters the market.
  • August 21, 2018 – The most powerful version of Parallels Desktop arrives with version 14. Parallels Desktop remains the market leader in desktop virtualization. Seamlessly run Windows 10, Linux, and other popular OSes on Mac without rebooting. Includes Parallels Toolbox and 24/7 support (with active subscription).
Windows Mac Parallels
  • 🎈 Today: Parallels Desktop Birthday Celebration!🎈

Don’t forget! To celebrate our birthday, we’ve put together an exclusive birthday savings promotion with 25% off Parallels Desktop for Mac until June 26, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Don’t miss out on these savings—we only celebrate our birthday once a year!

Parallels Team


Q: I want to upgrade from an older version. Can I upgrade?
A: Yes, of course! Upgrade to Parallels Desktop here.

Q: Can I get a discount for multiple years on my subscription?
A: Promotional pricing is only applied to the first year of your subscription. 

Q: What if I already have a subscription to Parallels Desktop and want to purchase this promo to extend my existing subscription?
A: Sorry, only Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition provides a licensing extension. 

Q: What if I want to gift this promotion to a friend or family member?
A: You can do this for a new license, only. Simply forward your purchase confirmation email to the recipient of your choice. Let them download our software and use your product key. They will register the license with their own credentials.

Q: What versions of Parallels Desktop are included with this birthday promotion?
A: All versions of Parallels Desktop for Mac, directly purchased through Retail or third-party vendors are excluded from this promotion.

The post Parallels Desktop Birthday Promotion – 25% Off appeared first on Parallels Blog.

32-Bit vs. 64-Bit and Why It Matters

32-Bit vs. 64-Bit and Why It Matters

Chances are high that you’re running a 64-bit/x64 operating system, application, or CPU—and you don’t even know it. 

What is a bit?

By means of Lifewire’s definition, a bit is shorthand for binary digit. In laymen’s terms, this is where you see units of measurements regarding 1s and 0s and can apply to computer networking or memory. Sometimes you’ll see the formatting as “32-bit” or “x32.” These two formats represent the same thing. 

32-bit and 64-bit operating systems

The 32-bit processor was the most popular processor used by computers until the early 1990s. Both Intel Pentium and AMD processors were 32-bit, which means Microsoft’s Windows 95, 98, and XP are all 32-bit operating systems. However, a slight shift occurred in 2003 when Microsoft released a 64-bit version of Windows, and then in 2005 shifted the internal processor to a 64-bit AMD processor.  

Microsoft Windows utilizing a more powerful processor in combination with a more powerful operating system unlocked a lot of potential with improved security, better game performance, and the ability to allocate more memory as needed. Why does this matter? Every personal computer (whether a Mac® or PC) has a 32-bit OS or 64-bit OS, and this dictates the user experience. The OS and the software used is the underlying foundation for our productivity. 

Difference between 32-bit and 64-bit CPUs

Simply put, a 64-bit processor is more capable than a 32-bit processor because it can handle more data in any given moment.

The most popular consumer reference to a x64 processor in CPUs or hardware is the Nintendo 64. Hence, the name. Personally, I always thought this was due to 64 games being released with the Nintendo 64 (haha). Nope, it’s due to the processor. Additionally, through a popular HowStuffWorks article, I’ve learned that this specific processor was a customized chip system that was named the 64-bit R4300i “Reality Engine.” (Insert an oooh and an ahhhhh here.)

What’s the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit software?

HowToGeek outlined a very helpful article: “Why are most programs still 32-bit on a 64-bit version of Windows.” It provides useful information about why users should care about the difference and how it effects their productivity. 

The biggest and most simple way to answer what the difference is between 32x and 64x software is that the 64x version will be more secure and reliable. 

How to check if a macOS application is 32-bit or 64-bit

If you’re on macOS® Mojave, it’s quite easy to see if any application on your Mac is either 32- or 64-bit. Follow this pathway:

Apple menu > About This Mac > System Report

macOS Mojave About This Mac

From the System Report, scroll to Software > Applications> Select your desired Application

macOS 32bit 64bit

Depending on the applications on your Mac, you may see mostly 64-bit, some 32-bit, or all 32-bit. This is entirely dependent on your personal setup. 

How to run older 32-bit operating systems and applications on your Mac

Running older 32-bit operating systems or software on your Mac is quick and easy. With Parallels Desktop® for Mac, you can virtualize any 32-bit operating system in a virtual machine and run your needed application. 32-bit operating systems could be either macOS or Windows. For example, this is what a 32-bit macOS virtual machine looks like in Parallels Desktop:

Parallels Desktop mac OS X Lion Mojave

Running a macOS virtual machine on the macOS with Parallels Desktop may seem a bit redundant, but it is absolutely necessary for users who need older 32-bit operating systems or applications. It’s also necessary for developers to code, test, and deploy without buying secondary machines. 

Downloading a free trial of Parallels Desktop is easy! Simply download the .dmg, create a new virtual machine with the operating system needed, and run the application to get started. 

The post 32-Bit vs. 64-Bit and Why It Matters appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Nested Hyper-V Support in Parallels Desktop

Nested Hyper-V Support in Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop® for Mac provides nested virtualization support (VT-X technology) that allows users to run Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) inside Windows 8, 10, and Windows Server 2012 virtual machines.

Microsoft outlines Hyper-V technology but the shorthand is that Hyper-V exclusively provides the ability to virtualize hardware in Windows operating systems. This directly helps users who utilize VMs in professional or development environments to have more flexibility with hardware, time, and money.

Hyper-V can help IT utilize hardware more effectively by consolidating servers or physical computers to minimize resources needed for one-off projects or extensive infrastructures. 

Within a developer’s needs, Hyper-V makes development and testing more efficient by creating VMs, avoiding the need to buy additional hardware or physical systems for testing. 

There’s also the incredible ability for remote connectivity and management. While Parallels Access® is available for managing your VMs from iOS or Android, Hyper-V includes Virtual Machine Connection, a Windows or Linux remote connection tool to provide console access.  With the combination of both Parallels Access and Virtual Machine Connection, users could access and control their machines from anywhere, with any device. 

To enable Hyper-V support in Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition:

Nested Hyper-V Support in Parallels Desktop 1

Go to the Actions menu > Configure > Hardware > CPU & Memory > Expand “Advanced Settings” and click the Enable Nested Virtualization checkbox.

If you’re interested in running a nested virtualization environment on your Mac via Hyper-V, feel free to download a free 14-day trial of Parallels Desktop

Older versions of Parallels Desktop also have this feature. You can find more information on where these VM settings can be configured in this knowledgebase article.

Note: Running a virtual machine within a virtual machine may slightly slow down the hosting VM’s performance. Dividing the Mac hardware resources between your computer and two VMs will require more resources than running only one. We warn not to use Hyper-V VMs in a production environment. Microsoft® doesn’t support nesting Hyper-V, and so such VMs may be unstable.

The post Nested Hyper-V Support in Parallels Desktop appeared first on Parallels Blog.

Why Developers Choose Parallels Desktop over VMWare Fusion and Boot Camp

Parallels Desktop® for Mac is fully optimized for the latest releases of macOS® and Windows. Designed with developers in mind, Parallels Desktop has integrated developer tools into our Parallels Desktop® for Mac Pro Edition to encourage software and web-development tasks.

If you rely on development systems—such as the Microsoft Visual Studio plug-in and SQL Server Management Studio—but have a Mac®, Parallels Desktop is a great option.  

Upon learning more about our developer audience, we found some incredible users who utilize a virtual machine to develop and test their projects. One such user is Darren Petit, who is the chief technology officer at Outpost HealthCare. Outpost HealthCare is an app that empowers humanization in healthcare for all by bringing the best healthcare professionals together as a virtual team for an individual’s unique needs. 

Darren has three developers on the team who use Mac, and two of them use Parallels to develop on Windows. They use Visual Studio.Net, SQL Server management studio, and other various tools for development. 

Developing a cross-platform solution is important for the success of Outpost HealthCare—but deploying their app can be stressful. That’s why Darren Petit relies on Parallels Desktop to help develop with peace of mind. He extensively explored other virtualization options with benchmarking tests, such as performance and macOS integration. Parallels Desktop won in performance and integration over VMWare Fusion and Boot Camp®. 


Darren summarizes his analysis: “When I tested the difference between VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop, I was absolutely amazed at the performance and integration differences. We have a bunch of unit tests (100+ of them) that are very heavily CPU and memory bound. When we ran them on Boot Camp (on the same hardware) and then again in Parallels Desktop using the Boot Camp options, I couldn’t believe that they ran only one second slower. Using VMWare Fusion, they were 25% slower. (About 9 seconds).”


Unlike Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop lets you run both operating systems at the same time without rebooting. Hands down, Parallels Desktop is the fastest and most tightly integrated application for running Windows applications or desktops in macOS. Copy and paste, drag and drop, share folders between systems—these Parallels Desktop features are what create a seamless experience when working between macOS and Windows. 

Darren exclaims, “The integration between macOS and Windows is also amazing. Everything just works. I have a Mac with 32 GB of RAM and I allocate 16 GB to the virtual machine, and I haven’t looked back (or adjusted anything else).”

What else can Parallels Desktop do for developers?

  • Virtual machines offer a safe environment to easily deploy and test without worrying about ruining the native environment on your Mac
  • One-click problem solving for various network testing, such as our Network Conditioner feature.
  • SSH sessions 
  • Open in Browser for web development
  • Start Debugging session
  • Generate Core Dump
  • Free systems available for Mac with a VM creation, such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS 

Our favorite part of Parallels Desktop is our users. We encourage readers to reach out to our team and tell us about your experience! Feel free to comment below, or on Twitter or Facebook. 

Haven’t tried it yet? Try a free 14-day trial and get started with Parallels Desktop in minutes. 

The post Why Developers Choose Parallels Desktop over VMWare Fusion and Boot Camp appeared first on Parallels Blog.