Parallels Inc.

Parallels vs Fusion

Parallels Desktop 11
for Mac

Not sure which Edition is right for you? Learn More»

Already have a subscription? Download your free upgrade to Pro Edition, at no additional cost to you.

  • Overview
  • Compare
  • What's New
  • Reviews & Awards
  • Volume Licensing
  • FAQ

You are a very savvy consumer by not letting yourself get drawn by flashy sales and offers from our competitors and choose to do the research first. You make the ultimate decision on which product to go with, but we are glad you gave us a chance to prove we can do better.

Click here to download a full featured free trial today. 

You can experience the difference in performance and features—some huge, some small but all of them designed to help you get stuff done a little bit faster.

“I have used VMWare Fusion and Parallels side-by-side for over 2 years now. Nothing can beat the Parallels level of integration for Windows / RHEL / Ubuntu. Fusion lacks the seamless level of integration for copy/paste and pass-over that Parallels provides. If you are serious about having a seamless desktop experience - go with Parallels” – Rick L

Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac vs VMware Fusion 8

Comparing Parallels vs Fusion
Easy to Get Started
Parallels Desktop

VMware Fusion
Run Windows on Mac
Double-Click or Drag & Drop to create a virtual machine
1-click download of Chrome, Ubuntu and Android appliances
Complimentary Parallels Access (a $20/yr value) New customers signing up for Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac receive a complimentary 3 month trial to Parallels Access
Seamless Integration
Parallels Desktop

VMware Fusion
Full Microsoft Cortana Integration, your intelligent, digital assistant made available on Mac
Disk savings for iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive
Windows applications automatically added to Launchpad
Mac native "Share" and "Save to" in Windows
Call with iPhone in IE
"Open in IE" button in Safari
Parallels Desktop

VMware Fusion
DirectX 10.1 Support
Breeze through graphic and resource intensive apps like AutoCad with lightning speed Up to 2GB Up to 2GB
Real-time virtual disk optimization
Pause Virtual Machine when no apps are running
Virtual RAM / virtual CPUs for each VM 64GB vRAM / 16 vCPUs 64GB vRAM / 16 vCPUs
Ideal for Developers, Testers, and other Power Users
Parallels Desktop

VMware Fusion
Microsoft Visual Studio Plug-in Available in Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
Support for popular development, design and test tools including Docker, Jenkins and Chef Available in Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
Vagrant Provider support

Extra fee
Advanced networking tools Available in Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
Rollback Mode Available in Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
Subscription ensures you have the latest software Available in Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition

Make your Windows, Linux, or any other OS
truly at home on your Mac.

Designed to be Faster, Easier,
and More Powerful

Ready for Windows 10 and El Capitan

Run Windows® 10 and OS X® El Capitan with ease. You can even upgrade your virtual machine from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10. 

Real-Time Location

Mapping applications like Google Earth now receive location data in real time from OS X.

Action Center Comes to Mac

While in Coherence Mode, quickly view notifications through an icon located in your OS X menu bar.

Windows Printing made Easy

No need to install a print driver in Windows; printing from the virtual machine now opens the native OS X printer dialog to print to your OS X configured printer.

Quickly Switch into Coherence Mode

Quickly switch into Coherence Mode, maintaining the look and feel of OS X for your Windows apps.

Improved File Associations

Right click on a file in OS X and choose to have the files open in your virtual machine, and remember that choice for all operations with the extension.

New! Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition

Designed for developers, power users, and other pros who demand more from their software.

Developer Tool Integration

Leverage popular productivity tools to reduce time spent on development and testing with Parallels Desktop Pro Edition. Validate web apps in any browser on any operating system.

Docker Integration 

Create and manage Docker virtual machines from within Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition.

Advanced Networking Tools

Create virtual networks for complex network scenarios and testing, including simulating various network instabilities.

Business Cloud Service Support

With either Pro or Business Editions, virtual machines gain easy access to Business Cloud Services, including OneDrive Business,, and DropBox for Business.

Volume License Program

Parallels Volume Licensing Program offers a simple and flexible approach to acquire the latest Parallels technologies and ensure your IT investment is protected. Licensing plans are available in the following options:

  • Corporate Volume Licensing Program
  • Academic Volume Licensing Program

Based on the size of your organization, a customized volume licensing program can address network computing requirements and purchasing preference while delivering a cost-effective and scalable solution. In addition, volume licensing allows organizations to acquire product licenses and maintenance plans, for a cost-effective and simple approach to acquiring the latest Parallels software.

Parallels offers a simple and flexible volume licensing program that rewards businesses, academic, non-profit and government organizations for volume purchasing. Realize deeper IT savings and get the best value from your software investment with a Parallels Volume Licensing Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Customers who purchased and activated Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac between July 29, 2015 and October 15, 2015 are eligible for an upgrade to Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac at no charge. Eligible customers will be automatically sent their upgrade key to the email address used during registration. For complete details on the Tech Guarantee 2015, please visit this page.
  2. For information on how you receive your no-charge upgrade key for Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac, please visit KB123275.
  3. Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac End-of-Life statement is located at KB123274
  1. Does Windows come pre-installed with Parallels Desktop for Mac? Windows is not included with your purchase of Parallels Desktop for Mac. Windows can be purchased directly from Microsoft or retail stores. Please visit KB9003 for additional information.
  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 one Mac per license. For more information, please reference
  4. Do you have discounts for Students/Education Staff/offer academic licenses? Yes. For more information on Education licenses, please visit KB113630.
  5. Is there a trial version of Parallels Desktop for Mac I can evaluate before purchasing? Yes, Parallels offers a free 14 day trial at
  6. I currently use VMware Fusion and am interested in switching to Parallels. Information about switching to Parallels Desktop for Mac can be found here.
  7. What bonus software comes with Parallels Desktop for Mac? Visit KB123282
  1. To install or upgrade to Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac see KB123279
  2. To upgrade Parallels Desktop to Pro Edition see KB123279
  3. To register your copy of Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac see KB123277
  4. To activate your full license copy of Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac see KB123221
  5. To activate your upgrade license Parallels Desktop 11 see KB123222
  6. Does Windows come with my purchase of Parallels? Windows is sold separately from your Parallels software. Please visit KB9003 for additional information.
  1. Easy guided steps for installing Windows in Parallels Desktop for Mac can be found at KB123284
  2. How do I launch Windows from Parallels Desktop for Mac? See KB115170.
  3. What are virtual machine profiles in Parallels Desktop 11? To learn how to set your profile and which is best for you, see KB123294.
  4. 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.
  5. How to install Quicken, MS Office or other software in Windows virtual machine. See KB119310.
  6. Which networking mode (Bridged, Shared or Host-Only) should I prefer for the virtual machine? See KB4948.
  7. How to install Parallels Tools? See KB123295.
  8. Parallels Desktop sharing tools. See KB122567.
  9. What is Coherence Mode? I cannot find my Windows Desktop/applications or see my open files. See KB4670.
  1. I lost my Parallels Desktop for Mac key. See KB115424.
  2. Unable to start Parallels Desktop: Troubleshooting Parallels Desktop start issues. See KB113990.
  3. A program for Windows does not work: troubleshooting third-party software issues. See KB112983.
  4. Cannot install Parallels Tools. See KB8969.
  5. Troubleshooting issues related to migrating a PC to Parallels Desktop for Mac Virtual Machine. See KB113269.
  6. How to terminate a frozen virtual machine. See KB6338.
  7. Windows Login Password required after Windows update installation in the Virtual Machine. See KB114193.

Tutorials for Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac

How to install and activate Parallels Desktop for Mac
How to move your Windows PC to Mac using Parallels Desktop
How to install Windows 10 on your Mac using Parallels Desktop
How to convert a Windows Boot Camp to a Parallels Desktop virtual machine