Parallels Desktop

Parallels Desktop

About TrustRadius Scoring
Score 8.1 out of 100
Parallels Desktop

Overview

Recent Reviews

Life Saver

10 out of 10
January 24, 2020
I am the only user as our company is very small. I use Parallels in order to access Windows because my accounting program (QuickBooks …
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Popular Features

View all 13 features
  • File transfer (16)
    9.3
    93%
  • Screen sharing (5)
    9.0
    90%
  • Centralized management dashboard (7)
    9.0
    90%
  • Over-the-Internet remote session (6)
    8.0
    80%

Reviewer Pros & Cons

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Video Reviews

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Pricing

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Parallels Desktop 16

$49.99

On Premise
per license

Parallels Desktop Pro Edition

$49.99

On Premise
per license/per year

Parallels Desktop

$79.99

On Premise
per license

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee

Offerings

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

How to Run Windows on Mac with Parallels Desktop for Mac - Now Runs on Intel and M1 Chip
01:24
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Features Scorecard

Remote Administration

8.6
86%
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Product Details

What is Parallels Desktop?

Parallels Desktop is a virtual user session solution built to run Windows on Macintosh computers without rebooting. It is designed for OS X Yosemite with one-click tuning.

Parallels Desktop Video

How to Run Windows on Mac : Parallels Desktop for Mac

Parallels Desktop Technical Details

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Parallels Desktop is a virtual user session solution built to run Windows on Macintosh computers without rebooting. It is designed for OS X Yosemite with one-click tuning.

Reviewers rate File transfer and Session record highest, with a score of 9.3.

The most common users of Parallels Desktop are from Mid-sized Companies (51-1,000 employees) and the Computer Software industry.
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Comparisons

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Reviews and Ratings

 (64)

Ratings

Reviews

(1-20 of 20)
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Will Goad | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Windows (or other OS) virtualization on machines running MacOS
  • Using Windows apps side by side your Mac apps
  • Coherence Mode allows you to hide the Windows Virtual Machine and only interact with the Windows Apps (no Windows desktop in browser window)
  • I think that over time it slows down, but this is really linked to Windows bloating.
  • I think Coherence Mode could improve slightly...how the windows search window populates and moves around sometimes is weird. (this could be changed in settings, but I'm not sure)
  • Memory Usage optimization (again, they do a great job, so I'm nitpicking here)
Cameron Michael Rhoads | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • It allows easy back and forth between operating systems. Can access all my Mac documents within my Parallels [Desktop] instance.
  • [It] is a fully functioning Windows operating system on my MacBook.
  • My MacBook gets incredibly hot when I run Parallels [Desktop]. Like scorching hot.
  • My MacBook's battery only lasts 1 hour when running Parallels [Desktop}. Normally will last over 4 hours.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Takes good advantage of hardware
  • Virtualizes very efficiently
  • Is fast and responsive
  • Allows virtually seamless integration of overlapping OS'
  • It could launch faster
  • the licensing model forces upgrades often
  • Has a relatively high resource footprint
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Emulated a Window environment
  • Reflecting the MAC finder/file structure
  • Runs fast and stable (doesn't crash)
  • Occasionally have restart issues and get stuck on a black screen
  • Windows passwords don't sync with OSX passwords
  • Exhaust Fan always runs heavier when using Parallels
  • has issues handling multiple monitors (3 or more)
Jonah Dempcy | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • File Transfer - You can easily transfer files between Parallels virtualized desktops and the host desktop either through Copy and Paste functionality, or Drag and Drop. You can also configure shared folders.
  • Switch Between Virtual and Host Desktop - You can configure swipe gestures on a MacBook Pro to be able to switch between the virtualized and host desktop. You can also launch apps from the OS X Taskbar.
  • Performance - Apps in Parallels run quite smoothly on my 2015 MacBook Pro, as of 2020. Considering they are running on a 5-year-old computer, I give Parallels top marks for performance.
  • Support for more versions of OS X. For instance, I would like to install Snow Leopard, but it is not supported. Parallels supports Snow Leopard Server but it is prohibitively expensive now, having gone up in price due to rarity and also likely because of people needing it due to the lack of support for normal Snow Leopard.
  • Compatibility issues with certain versions of OS X, meaning you have to continually upgrade Parallels for it to work with the current version of OS X. It would be better if older versions of Parallels continued to work bug-free with updated versions of OS X.
  • Lack of support for gaming and multimedia - The newest version of DirectX is not supported at the time of this writing, and some games that run at 90-110 FPS on host architecture or BootCamp run at only 20 FPS in Parallels.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Quickly share resources between the host machine and guest. Great for when we process data in MacOS and then need it in a virtual machine.
  • Coherence mode is great for a lot of users. They don’t even realize the app isn’t running natively on the host operating system.
  • The user interface for managing virtual machines isn’t my favorite.
January 24, 2020

Life Saver

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • I like how it is a separate entity from the workings of my Mac. I can access the programs on Windows in a separate section on my desktop.
  • Parallels allows Windows to run seamlessly.
  • Parallels uses a lot of RAM, so unless your machine has 16 GB of RAM, it will probably run slowly.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to setup
  • Support for all major guest operating systems
  • Good integration within macOS
  • Good performance
  • Expensive
  • Pricing and release model forces yearly upgrades
  • Some default settings can be undesirable if wanting to reduce integration with macOS
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Simple, intuitive Windows virtualization: Parallels makes it easy to create a guest operating system on your Mac. From there, users can easily access legacy business applications that work only on Windows.
  • Coherence Mode: Allows Windows applications to run side by side with Mac applications in MacOS—this gives users a more cohesive environment to work in, enabling them to be productive and not requiring them to switch contexts constantly.
  • Performance: Parallels continues to focus on enhanced performance with every new release.
  • Price: While Parallels offers great functionality and support for their price, there are free options available that satisfy my needs, namely, VirtualBox.
  • 3D Performance: This is less of a knock against Parallels, and rather a shortcoming of virtualization in general - it's hard to get "bare metal" performance from a virtual machine when using 3D applications.
  • Upgrade Justification: For some time, Parallels has struggled to justify an upgrade to its users, other than "compatibility" with the latest MacOS. This continues to be the case.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • You don't need to switch between host and guest system like other virtual systems.
  • Apps from the guest system shows in menu which makes them seamless to use.
  • Even the most resource intensive software run smoothly such as visual studio.
  • The overall requirement to run this on older laptops is bit too high. If you are running with less than 8 GB ram, it slows down the system quite badly.
  • Installation is quite tricky.
Damien Dolan | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Snapshots, being able to create images of your Windows VM daily
  • Share folders across machines
  • Disk IO, never seems to be a hog
  • Size, it seems bloated
  • We have had issues with users trying to reclaim disk space. Not sure if it is just us or a known hassle
  • Updates seem few and far between
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • USB device compatibility. This is ESSENTIAL when using some of the USB-connected testing hardware I often have to work with.
  • Parallels also makes it seamless to share data between the host OS and the virtual environment.
  • I spend most of my time in Parallels running Windows, but at times I do load up a Linux or Android VM for testing. I am able to switch back and forth between them or run multiples with little to no effort.
  • I honestly cannot think of anything I would want Parallels to add or do differently. After 10 years of use, since Parallels 4, I have stuck with Parallels because they just do it right from the beginning.
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Being able to use two OSs at the same time allows me to use OS-specific applications at the same time on the same machine.
  • Parallels works like a browser window or any other "program" window on your native machine, you can minimize parallels like any other program which means you're essentially able to minimize and hide an entire computer screen.
  • File sharing. Being able to access, say, a Microsoft Office document on windows and then can save it and open it on my native Mac system means that it's immensely more efficient than having to use to computers.
  • You can use virtual desktops as your OS rather than having to share hard drive space between two OSs and having to partition the processor locally to run both OSs at the same time.
  • Adjusting settings in Parallels is difficult and confusing. There are a few different menus that only open depending on whether Parallels is running or not.
  • Setting up an "are you sure you want to close" modal when closing out of the program via the mac side. It can get confusing switching between Mac and PC windows and clicking the correct "exit" button since Mac and PC are on opposite sides.
  • Parallels uses a ton of local processor data. Making Parallels more CPU friendly for users that aren't running i7 processors would greatly improve their attraction to non-commercial developer users.
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Emulates the entire Windows OS on a Macintosh computer. You can launch the entire Windows OS from your Mac desktop and work entirely in a Windows desktop environment.
  • Emulates specific programs if you want to run in Windows mode. With this option you don't have to be in a separate OS but launch single applications with Parallels.
  • There were occasions where the system would crash. Typically there would be no reason and a reboot would resolve the issue.
Stefan Boeykens | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Run the Bootcamp partition in a running macOS session.
  • Integrate in both directions: copy/paste text, open files in both directions, integrate the file system, to read and write files in either direction.
  • Using the same hardware and network connection.
  • Run Clickshare in a Windows session, when the Mac-version fails due to non-updated system firmware updates.
  • No update for OpenGL 3, which prevents some 3D applications from launching. The Windows-version of SketchUp is but one example.
  • Frequent (yearly) updates which don't always bring benefits (I always skip at least one version).
  • If you don't be careful, it generates 100s of useless Windows-application wrappers in macOS which sometimes take precedence in spotlight over the Mac apps I usually need to use (e.g. SketchUp, Excel, Word, Evernote...). More than once I launched Parallels instead of opening the native Mac app.
Aaron Pace | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Range of application support. When I first started using Parallels, one of the applications I run for development seemed to have issues running in the VM. I discovered that I had actually failed to install a needed Windows component during the installation process. To date, I haven't found any applications that don't play nice in the Parallels environment.
  • Interoperability. The Parallels system is really good at making Mac resources available under the VM environment. For example, I use Dropbox for file storage. I don't have to install Dropbox on the Mac and Parallels VM. Parallels accesses the Dropbox folders on the Mac without any issue.
  • Ease of Use. This one deserves honorable mention. The setup was a snap; their setup wizard is excellent and asked me difficult technical questions in plain English so I was able to set up Parallels in just a few minutes. The user interface is pretty much what you see is what you get, with a caveat I'll explain later.
  • Coherence Mode. I've mentioned this already in the review, but the Coherence mode is just cool. Parallels runs in a sort of full-screen mode but sits behind the Mac OS. Programs appear in the dock with two vertical bars so you know they're actually running under Parallels. Otherwise, the transition between Mac and Windows under Parallels is almost transparent.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. This is the only thing I've really struggled with in using Parallels. When moving from Mac to Windows and back, the keyboard shortcut keys change. For example, to copy+paste under Windows is Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V. Under the Mac it is Command + C and Command + V. Small thing, but when you're hurrying, it can cause trouble. Some of the keyboard shortcuts for moving to the beginning or end of a line also don't work quite right in Parallels. Now, this could all be user error. I've still got some searching to do.
Denise Wade | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
  • Parallels Desktop is very stable and over the year has improved tremendously. I particularly love the migration, this feature allows a user to convert a desktop image to virtual image.
  • Parallels Desktop is very user friendly and users actually believe they are working on a real Windows Desktop. I use Parallels Desktop to constantly test applications that need to run in both a Windows and Mac environment.
  • I love the snapshot feature I recovered several users VM with this feature it's one of best backup options I have ever used.
  • I am quite satisfied with features and I have no complaints. I have no problem with functionality.
  • It would be nice if it was a little bit cheaper for home users.
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