Insider Previews and Parallels Desktop for Mac

Are you an “Insider”? Then this post is important for you.

A feature of Parallels Desktop® for Mac that I use every day is the ability to run beta releases of applications—or even beta releases of entire operating systems (OSes)—in a virtual machine (VM). By their very nature, beta releases have bugs and other issues. By running them in a VM, any potential damage by these beta bugs is limited to that VM—they can’t harm your Mac®. If a bug trashes the VM (this has happened to me), you just throw away the VM. The VM is like an isolated sandbox that protects your Mac.

Beta releases by Microsoft are called “Insider Previews,” and I am both a Windows Insider and an Office Insider. I use this capability of Parallels Desktop with beta releases of Windows 10 and Office for Windows. New releases of each come out about once a week, which keeps me pretty busy installing Windows and Office Insider Previews.

We recently found out that lots of Parallels Desktop users are Insiders when a Windows 10 Insider Preview wouldn’t even boot in Parallels Desktop (or any other virtualization application). We received many problem reports and emails from these Insiders telling us about the issue.

Working with their Microsoft counterparts, the engineers at Parallels were able to determine what was causing this issue. Because it was affecting so many of our users, a new version of Parallels Desktop—version 14.1.3 build 45485, to be precise—which fixes the issue was quickly released. As you can see in Figure 1, Windows Insider builds work correctly in this latest update of Parallels Desktop.

Windows 10 Insider Preview

Figure 1_Windows 10 Insider Preview 18356 on macOS Mojave on a MacBook Pro

If you’re an Insider, make sure you download and install this new release of Parallels Desktop. Just use the Check for Updates menu item in the main Parallels Desktop menu to download it from the Parallels website.

If you would you like to try Parallels Desktop to be able to test Insider Preview on a Mac, feel free to download a 14 day trial of Parallels Desktop.