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Parallels Desktop for Mac

Parallels Desktop for Mac

Overview

What is Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Parallels® Desktop for Mac is used to run Windows on Intel or Apple silicon. Users can switch between Mac and Windows applications, while retaining the macOS appearance, or use the familiar Windows desktop aesthetic.

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Recent Reviews
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Awards

Products that are considered exceptional by their customers based on a variety of criteria win TrustRadius awards. Learn more about the types of TrustRadius awards to make the best purchase decision. More about TrustRadius Awards

Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Pricing

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Parallels Desktop Standard Edition

$99.99

On Premise
per year

Mac App Store

$99.99

On Premise
per year

Parallels Desktop Pro Edition

$119.99

On Premise
per year

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee
For the latest information on pricing, visithttps://www.parallels.com/products/desk…

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting/Integration Services

Starting price (does not include set up fee)

  • $99.99 per year
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Product Details

What is Parallels Desktop for Mac?

Parallels® Desktop for Mac is used to run Windows on Intel or Apple silicon. Users can switch between Mac and Windows applications, while retaining the macOS appearance, or use the familiar Windows desktop aesthetic.


The application's 3D performance can fuel demanding graphical applications, games, and a wide array of OSes, including Windows and Linux VMs.


As a subscription license bonus, Parallels Toolbox offers 40+ practical tools to simplify everyday tasks like recording the screen, cleaning the drive, taking screenshots, or downloading a video.


Parallels Desktop for Mac Features

Application Virtualization Features

  • Supported: Application support
  • Supported: Ease of deployment
  • Supported: Security

Parallels Desktop for Mac Screenshots

Screenshot of Parallels Desktop running Windows applications, on a Mac.Screenshot of the ability to switch between operating systems without rebooting.Screenshot of Coherence Mode, which minimizes distraction.Screenshot of file sharing between Mac and Windows.Screenshot of application development and testing in Windows, Linux, and virtual macOS (Pro & Business Edition).Screenshot of license management in Parallels Desktop (Business Edition).

Parallels Desktop for Mac Videos

Windows on a Mac with Parallels Desktop 19
Parallels Desktop 19 for Mac Business Edition

Parallels Desktop for Mac Competitors

Parallels Desktop for Mac Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise
Operating SystemsWindows, Linux, Mac
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Parallels® Desktop for Mac is used to run Windows on Intel or Apple silicon. Users can switch between Mac and Windows applications, while retaining the macOS appearance, or use the familiar Windows desktop aesthetic.

Parallels Desktop for Mac starts at $99.99.

Oracle VM VirtualBox, VMware Fusion, and CrossOver are common alternatives for Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Reviewers rate Usability highest, with a score of 10.

The most common users of Parallels Desktop for Mac are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees).
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Comparisons

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Reviews and Ratings

(84)

Attribute Ratings

Reviews

(1-23 of 23)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
Joshua O'Hazza | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Every software development company every software development company has their own solutions works on every software development company has their own solutions works on a multitude of solutions and when it comes to parallels they have fine tuned theirs and critique it to be perfect and it's essential use case every software development company has their own solutions works on a multitude of solutions and when it comes to parallels they have fine tuned theirs and critique it to be perfect and it's essential use case I highly recommend it to every software development company has their own solutions works on a multitude of solutions and when it comes to parallels they have fine tuned theirs and critique it to be perfect and it's essential use case I highly recommend it to anybody and I see no every software development company has their own solutions works on a multitude of solutions and when it comes to parallels they have fine-tuned theirs and critiqued it to be perfect and it's essential I highly recommend it to anybody and I see no problem using it over top of other platforms that are currently out there because they are focused on other solutions rather than fine-tuning solutions they already have and I have a problem with people that aren't fine-tuning their own solutions to be perfect.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
At the end of the day, it seemed like Parallels Desktop has the fastest product with a feature set that was most important to our users. Additionally, it seemed to hit a mark where it was easy enough for our less tech-savvy users, but powerful enough for our users that really wanted to stretch the software and its capabilities.
Jose Almiñana | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Main two features that made the balance decission go to the Parallels Desktop were the possibility to pause the Windows partition easily (allowing to consume less resources in Mac and save battery) and the other one is the user interface feature called "Coherence" with allows you to show the Windows application windows as if they were native to the macOS, allowing for a better user experience.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Parallels makes running other operating systems on your Mac user friendly and not have the hassle of some of the server use cases. VMware is the closest competitor I use occationally but for the most part Parallels is what I use for the majority of the time.
Will Goad | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
If you can follow a prompt and click a button, you can install Parallels. We chose Parallels because they make it so simple to buy, install, set up, and add licenses. I work with Creatives and getting them to run a Windows environment is a painful task. With Parallels, we can do it for them in minutes and "hide" Windows.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Parallels Desktop has better experience for MacOS if we compare to VMware Workstation Pro. It has more extensions and feature that working great on MacOS environment. Support working multi virtual machines on the same time and no limit (if you have a powerful laptop) I am really pleased to use it and keep suggested it to everyone around me.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Parallels [Desktop] is more polished and has a friendlier interface than VMware Fusion. While the VMware Fusion licensing model is simpler Parallels [Desktop] innovates faster and optimizes their product more often and with more features that customers want. At their core they perform the same function, but Parallels [Desktop] does it with a much improved user experience which helps reduce the support needed from our helpdesk. From personal experience I noticed Parallels [Desktop] to be slightly more responsive in some cases, and also handle Virtual machine issues slightly better.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
*VMware is not is the list but that is probably the most popular alternative. We went with Parallels because it was generally easier to install and maintain. VMWare is a solid product and we have people on staff who use it but most people who have experience both strongly prefer Parallels in my setting.
Jonah Dempcy | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I'm a longtime user of VMware Fusion and I still use it in some cases. We use it on RedHat Linux computers to run other Linux environments with specific software development environment configurations. I've also used VMware Fusion on a MacBook Pro laptop to run Windows and other versions of Mac OS X. However, I prefer Parallels for a Mac, as it is so well-integrated with the host operating system and specialized for Mac virtualization needs. I find the user interface better than VMware Fusion, and the file transfer, Copy and Paste, Drag and Drop, networking, and the ability to launch virtualized apps from the host desktop make Parallels overall much easier to use.
January 24, 2020

Life Saver

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I have not used any other program to meet these needs and to be honest I didn't want to. Parallels had great reviews and from my research it would do what I needed, so there was no reason to look elsewhere. On top of that, Parallels is not overly expensive for the capability you get.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
  • VirtualBox and VMWare
Parallels has better performance and easier setup than VirtualBox (and VMWare the last time I tried it). Parallels is fairly expensive, while VirtualBox is free, so going with VirtualBox will save quite a bit of money. The strength of VirtualBox lies in use with Vagrant and command-line only virtual machines. For more user-friendly virtual machines, Parallels works very well.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Parallels Desktop ends up filling the sweet spot between free, but basic application (VirtualBox), and fully featured enterprise application (VMware Fusion.). Even at this point, we don't use all of the features of Parallels, but the perceived performance boost over VirtualBox and simplicity versus VMware Fusion makes it the best choice for our organization. Our users don't want to really have to manage their virtual machine—they just want to use it for their legacy Windows applications and be done, so neither a barebones approach nor a swiss army knife of customizations would fit. Parallels hits that sweet spot.
Damien Dolan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
It's cheaper for one, it also is the company's sole focus so you know it is getting a lot of support on their end. I also feel it is easier to use. It is its own standalone and doesn't have any other flavors or variations like VMware. One stop software solution that works.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Parallels offers a much more streamlined and easier to navigate VM configuration interface. Once configured, device compatibility and overall system efficiency appears to be better in Parallels Desktop compared to others. Integration between the Mac host OS and the VM is virtually seamless whether you are just sharing files between the two operating systems or utilizing full-on Coherence mode.
Stefan Boeykens | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
I have used VirtualBox on Windows as a free alternative, as I only used it to access an old scanner without recent drivers. So far, I stick with Parallels, but the OpenGL limitations are said to be resolved better with VMware Fusion. But I currently don't want to migrate to another VM solution. The main ease-of-use and integration in macOS is still good for me.
Aaron Pace | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Prior to using Parallels, I ran under Boot Camp. Of course, the OS runs just fine that way, but having to power down and back up each time I wanted to switch environments just wasn't working for me. That's what sent me looking for another solution. I tried Oracle VM VirtualBox, but the configuration was difficult and the OS never installed correctly. (Likely user error.) The setup process for Oracle VM VirtualBox was definitely geared to very tech savvy people who understand virtual machine lingo, which I do not. Parallels is loaded with all the features and functionality that I need to do my work, with a very simple user interface.
Denise Wade | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Incentivized
Parallels Desktop for Mac was chosen because of its robust features and great price. Even though VirtualBox is free it does not provide the same features. In Parallels you can download extra patches to accommodate printer and usb drivers.
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