How to Use Parallels Desktop Snapshots

Guest blog by Ram Chavali, Parallels Support Team

In the age of cyber-attacks, data leaks and computer viruses, people tend to back up their computers more often. Virtual machines should be backed up from time to time too.

However, it can be difficult and time-consuming to create multiple backups, especially if you’re using an external storage device.

What if I need to create a reserve copy for my virtual machine and I don’t want to mess with the full virtual machine or a Mac backup? The answer is easy: use Parallels Desktop snapshots!

So what is a snapshot? A snapshot in Parallels Desktop is a copy of the virtual machine state at a particular point in time.

Why Would I Use Snapshots?

So, How Do I Make a Snapshot?

It will only take a few clicks. First, go to the Actions menu and choose Take Snapshot:

Parallels Snapshots

How many snapshots can you take? There is no limit. However, your virtual machine hard drive will expand with every new snapshot you take:

Parallels Snapshots

If something goes wrong, you can also revert to one of the snapshots you took in the past:

Parallels Snapshots

You can also automate snapshots by using built-in SmartGuard. With SmartGuard on, you can schedule snapshots to be taken every day, week….whatever period of time you like!

Now, let me go through several user scenarios and describe how snapshots could help in each particular case:

Office Work

You use Parallels Desktop for running Microsoft Office and potentially some custom Windows programs—or, even if you just need Internet Explorer for access to work-related resources. In this scenario, Snapshots could be useful for you when:


You use Parallels Desktop for software development and testing. Snapshots could help when:


Love to play games? You could do the following with Snapshots for gaming:

Graphic Design

Using Photoshop, AutoCAD or similar software in a virtual machine?

Hopefully this extra info on Snapshots in Parallels Desktop was useful, and don’t forget to follow the Parallels Support team on Twitter!


Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac

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