Parallels Desktop for Mac

Parallels Desktop for Mac allows you to seamlessly run both Windows and Mac OS X Mountain Lion applications side-by-side with speed, control and confidence.  Click below for frequently asked questions, documentation and other helpful tools to get the answers you need.

Search Knowledgebase for Parallels Desktop for Mac


  1. 1.
    Question about Parallels Access
    1. How do I set-up and install Parallels Access?  Instructions can be found at KB116770
    2. How do I access my Parallels Desktop Virtual Machine from Parallels Access? Please see KB116675
    3. I cannot find my Virtual Machine inside of Parallels Access? See KB116714 for more details.
    4. I installed Parallels Access inside of my Virtual Machine, but it is not working? See KB116745 for more details on troubleshooting.
  2. 2.
    Pre-Sales Questions - I want to buy Parallels and need to know...
    1. Does Windows come pre-installed with Parallels Desktop for Mac? Windows is not included with your purchase of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac. Windows can be purchased directly from Microsoft or many retail stores.
    2. Will Parallels run on my current Mac hardware?  A full list of system and hardware requirements can be found here.
    3. Can I use my license on multiple Macs?  Parallels licenses are valid only on 1 Mac per license.  For more information, please reference
    4. Do you have discounts for Students/Education Staff/offer academic licenses?  Yes. For information on how to purchase Education licenses, please visit
    5. Can I migrate my current Windows PC to a Parallels Desktop for Mac Virtual Machine?  Yes, for instructions on how to migrate your Windows PC, visit KB115007
    6. Is there a trial version of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac I can evaluate before purchasing?  Yes, Parallels offers a free 14 day trial at
    7. I currently use VMware Fusion and am interested in switching to Parallels.  Information about switching to Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac can be found here.
  3. 3.
    I have purchased Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac and I need to...
    1. Getting started is quick and easy. Instructions and video tutorials are available at KB116850
    2. How do I activate my copy of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac? Activation instructions are available at KB116852
    3. How do I register my copy of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac?  Please visit KB116847
    4. Does Windows come with my purchase of Parallels?  Windows is sold separately from your Parallels Software.  For more information see KB115286
  4. 4.
    I have installed Parallels Desktop, but how do I install my Windows (or other) Virtual Machines?
    1. Easy guided steps for installing Windows in Parallels Desktop for Mac can be found at KB4729
    2. I cannot install Windows in my Virtual Machine. Help can be found at KB112940
    3. How do I launch Windows from Parallels Desktop for Mac ? See KB115170
    4. What is Coherence Mode? I cannot find my Windows Desktop/applications or see my open files. See KB4670
  5. 5.
    I have installed Windows but my Virtual Machine does not launch/crashes
    1. When starting Windows I get a black or blue screen? For solutions, see KB113964
    2. Windows is stuck at the “Welcome” screen or Windows displays unexpected error messages.  For solutions, see KB5223
    3. Windows and/or my Windows applications are slow. For solutions, see KB112091
  6. 6.
    I am unable to install Virtual Machine: troubleshooting installation issues

    Check solutions to the most frequent Virtual Machine installation issues at KB112940 

  7. 7.
    My printer / keyboard / mouse do not work?
    1. My printer does not work on the Windows side? For troubleshooting tips, see KB111997
    2. How do I setup the Network printer in my Virtual Machine? Setup instructions are available at KB4886
    3. My keyboard does not work/behave as expected? For troubleshooting tips, see KB113932
    4. My mouse does not work/behave as expected. For troubleshooting tips, see KB116990
  8. 8.
    I cannot connect to the Internet/network from my Virtual Machine?

    I am receiving an error message in my Windows VM that says I am not connected to the Internet.  For troubleshooting steps, see KB8978

  9. 9.
    Transfer an existing virtual machine to your new Mac

    To learn about migrating your Virtual Machines from one Mac to another please refer to KB114118 

  10. 10.
    A guide to Windows 8 - Install, Activation and Upgrade
    1. How do I install Windows 8? Easy steps are available at KB4729
    2. Check what Windows OS can be upgraded to Windows 8 at KB114988
    3. How do I upgrade/activate Windows 8? Follow these simple steps at KB114985
    4. My Windows 8 does not start? See KB114987 for tips and solutions
    5. Top Windows 8 questions and solutions are available at KB114993
  11. 11.
    How to migrate a Windows 8 PC to Parallels Desktop 9 Virtual Machine?

    To learn about how to migrate your existing Windows 8 install to a VM please visit KB115007 

  12. 12.
    Installing Internet Security and Anti-Virus Programs

    Parallels offers a number of internet security options.

    How can I install and activate Norton Internet Security? See KB116872

    How can I install and activate Kaspersky Internet Security? See KB116884 

    How can I install and activate Dr.Web Security Space? See KB116888

    How can I install and activate Norton Internet Security for Mac? See KB116895 

    How can I install and activate Kaspersky Security for Mac? See KB116898

    How can I install and activate Dr.Web for Mac OS X? See KB116903

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac Tutorials

How to Install or Upgrade to Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac

How to Activate Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac

How to Setup a Virtual Machine in Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac

Technical Documentation

Choose the type of documentation you desire from the left-hand column and then click on the format you need in the right-hand column to download a document.

Document NameFormat
Readme for Parallels Desktop RTF | PDF
Getting Started With Parallels DesktopPDF
Parallels Desktop User's Guide HTML | ZIP | PDF
Parallels Transporter Agent User's GuideZIP
Parallels Python API ReferenceZIP
Parallels Desktop Mass DeploymentZIP | PDF
Parallels C API ReferenceCHM | ZIP | PDF
Parallels Command Line Reference GuideZIP | PDF
Parallels Virtualization SDK Programmer's GuideCHM | ZIP | PDF

Registered Your Product?

Parallels Product Support is available after product registration in My Account.

The best place to find answers on Parallels Desktop for Mac is to visit our KnowledgeBase.

Interactive conversations with Parallels Desktop for Mac customers and Parallels Team members are found in the Parallels Forums.

Follow Parallels Support on Twitter -  @ParallelsCares for tips, tricks, and Tweets about Parallels products!

Self Service Resources

Search our database of articles for known solutions.

Get to know Parallels products product features, how to operate them and how to use them.

Connect with fellow Parallels users. For information on specific Parallels products, see the appropriate product forums.

Two separate marketing, sales and technical programs - one for Service Providers and one for Cloud Service Developers (ISVs).

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Critical and Urgent:

Service Alert for Windows XP Users – April 8, 2014!

After April 8, 2014, support and security updates for Windows XP will no longer be available from Microsoft. This will leave your XP VM unprotected from viruses and malware when it is connected to the internet. Upgrade options are available from Microsoft here. Information on how to upgrade your VM once you have a new Windows license can be found at KB120737. Parallels Desktop will continue to work with Windows XP but it is highly recommended that you upgrade your Windows OS system prior to April 8, 2014. Please visit/contact Microsoft Support with any questions.

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