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Share files and folders, copy and paste images and text and drag and drop files between Mac and Windows applications. Parallels Desktop automatically detects what you need to get started so you're up and going within minutes. Graphic and resource-hungry Windows applications run effortlessly without slowing down your Mac. Make Windows invisible while still using its applications in Coherence mode.
Optimized for the latest Windows 10 updates and the new macOS Mojave Works with OS X, Windows 10, 8. No more having to choose between PC or Mac. Select productivity, games, design, software testing, or development, and Parallels Desktop will optimize your VM settings and performance for you. Reuse your existing Boot Camp installation. Converting a virtual machine from Boot Camp is easy—just follow our installation assistant at startup.
Unified volume license key, centralized license management, and advanced security features are available in Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition. Thanks to ParallelsMac for making this unholy marriage so easy! Customization options are planned and contributions are welcome! You can then install Windows in the virtual machine, just as you would install any operating system on a regular computer. Run multiple OSes at the same time, all on your Mac. There are several ways to install Windows or any other operating system in a virtual machine, and Parallels Desktop makes it easy to get started within minutes.
Or you can provide your own Microsoft Windows license key, purchase Windows directly from within Parallels Desktop, or transfer an existing Boot Camp partition with Windows already installed. With Parallels Desktop, you can switch between Mac and Windows without ever needing to reboot your computer. If you have already installed Windows 10, Windows 8. Play your Windows-only game on a Mac using Parallels Desktop. Parallels Desktop even has a virtual machine setting dedicated to gaming to optimize performance. Download a free day trial of Parallels Desktop and see if your desired game is supported.
Note: Parallels Desktop for Mac emulates PC hardware, so operating systems that are not present in this list can work as well. They are not on the list because we didn't test them in our lab yet or we found some critical issues. You can download Parallels Desktop Trial here and install an operating system of your choice and if it doesn't work and you believe it should be supported, let us know at Parallels Forum. Need Parallels Desktop for your team? Check out Parallels Desktop Business Edition. Parallels offers exclusive discounts for educational students currently enrolled in a qualified educational institution or professional educators who are currently employed.
How do I create a new virtual machine?
Download Parallels Desktop. Open Parallels Desktop. Get Windows from Microsoft or install freely available operating systems such as Ubuntu, Fedora, or other Linux systems supported by Parallels Desktop. Parallels offers a day money-back guarantee on all purchases made on parallels. If you purchased this from another retailer, please check their return policy. User guides and resources can be found on our Technical Documentation and Resources page.
Or go to Support. Toggle navigation Overview Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac. Just Released! Develop and test across multiple OSes in a virtual machine for Mac. One of macOS's biggest architectural changes in recent years has been Apple's introduction of its new Metal graphics system. If your Mac has a decent graphics card GPU then you should get better performance when running Windows games, as well as professional-level graphics tools such as Autodesk 3DS Max.
How we tested running Windows on a Mac
However, you'll need to be running either Mojave or Catalina on your Mac in order to get the full benefits. Parallels Desktop Pro provides additional features and technical support for developers, while Parallels Desktop Business Edition includes centralised admin and deployment tools for large businesses. Read more in our Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac review. You can sign up for Parallels 15 here.
VMware Fusion: Powerfully Simple Virtual Machines for Mac
Fusion takes the same basic approach to virtualisation technology as Parallels Desktop, allowing you to create a 'virtual machine' VM that uses software to simulate the hardware of a conventional Windows PC. The virtual machine runs on your Mac, just like any other Mac app, and allows you to install your copy of Windows - that you do have to provide yourself - and any other Windows programs and apps that you want to use.
The virtual machine can then run alongside your normal Mac apps, such as Apple Mail and Safari, allowing you to run Windows and Mac apps on the Mac desktop at the same time. You can run your virtual machine in a window on the desktop, or expand Windows to full-screen mode if you prefer while still leaving your Mac apps open and running in the background. You can also use Fusion's 'unity' mode to hide the Windows desktop so that individual Windows apps, such as the Windows File Browser, can run right on the Mac desktop as though they were ordinary Mac apps.
Like Parallels, Fusion allows you to create virtual machines that run macOS and many versions of Linux, as well as Windows.
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The latest version Fusion 11, which came out in September ; the company has confirmed to us that there won't be an update for supports the use of multiple processor cores when running VMs on recent iMac Pro and MacBook Pro models, and Apple's Metal graphics system. Fusion's interface has never been quite as slick and streamlined as that of Parallels Desktop, but version 11 does include a new Application Menu that makes it quicker and easier to manage your virtual machines. The Application Menu sits in the main menu bar at the top of your Mac screen and allows you to quickly launch, pause or shut down all your virtual machines.
You can also select and launch individual Windows apps from this menu, rather than having to first launch the virtual machine and then locate the app that you want.
There are two versions of Fusion currently available, and we're pleased to see that VMWare still allows you to buy a straightforward licence for the software as a one-time purchase, rather than pretty much requiring a subscription as Parallels Desktop now does. The company also makes a Windows counterpart to Fusion, called Workstation Pro , that allows business users to share their virtual machines on both Macs and Windows PCs.
That focus on corporate users might deter some people, but Fusion is still a worthy rival for Parallels Desktop, and there's a day trial available so that you can check it out before making your mind up. Sign up to VMWare Fusion 11 here. Using 'dual-boot' rather than virtualisation technology, Boot Camp provides the best performance for Macs that need to run Windows.
Instead of creating a 'virtual machine' that allows you to run Mac and Windows apps together at the same time, Boot Camp is a 'dual-boot' system that simply allows you to 'boot' start your Mac using either the native macOS or Windows but not both at the same time. When you run the Boot Camp Assistant on your Mac, it divides your Mac's hard disk or solid-state drive into two sections, called 'partitions'. These partitions can vary in size, as required, and you leave the existing macOS on one partition, and then install Windows on the new partition and you'll have to provide the copy of Windows yourself, of course.
In effect, your Mac can then act as a straightforward Windows PC, and devote all its processor power and memory to running Windows and your Windows apps. And, crucially, if your Mac has a decent graphics card, it can use the full power of the graphics card to help run your Windows software. That's definitely the best option for people who need to run high-end graphics software or 3D games, as you get much better performance than when running Windows in a virtual machine. Destiny 2 , here I come…. The disadvantage of using Boot Camp this way is that you lose access to all your Mac apps while you're running Windows.
If you use Apple Mail for your emails then you'll need to shut down Windows and Boot Camp, and switch back to macOS every time you want to send or receive an email. And, if truth be told, the current version of BootCamp 6. Previous versions of Boot Camp did all the work for you - they would partition your hard drive, install Windows from a normal installer disk, and also install any driver software that you needed so that components such as your graphics card, keyboard and mouse all worked properly within Windows. Boot Camp 6. But not all Macs will work with all three versions of Windows, so before you even start to run the Boot Camp Assistant you'll need to check the compatibility tables on Apple's website to see which version of Windows will work on your Mac.
You can't install Windows from an old installer disk any more either, so you'll either have to download a disk image file for Windows - called an ISO file - from Microsoft's own website, or use your Windows disk to create one. BootCamp includes driver software for setting up Windows 8 and Windows 10, but if you're a fan of Windows 7 which some people prefer for gaming then you'll have to hunt around on Apple's web site for the drivers you need and make sure you follow the correct procedure when copying them on to your Boot Camp partition.
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Still, if you persevere with all that, you will eventually have Windows running at full speed on your Mac, giving you access to a wide range of Windows software and games that require more power and speed than you can get from using virtual machine technology. This open-source virtualisation program is free for personal use - but more at home in a corporate environment.
VirtualBox is a bit of a mixed bag.
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If you want it for personal or educational use then VirtualBox is free - it's actually been made available as an open-source program by Oracle, the big database company that owns the core code. There are Linux and Windows versions of VirtualBox too, which allows you to use your virtual machines on many different types of computer although you'll still need to pay for your own Windows licence to get started.
The disadvantage of open-source software is that VirtualBox isn't as polished or easy to use as Parallels or Fusion.
To be fair, the latest version 6. It has also improved its support for audio and 3D graphics in Windows games and apps. However, VirtualBox still throws a lot of jargon at you and if you don't know the difference between a 'virtual hard disk' and a 'virtual machine disk' then you might find it a bit tricky to get started.