macOS Catalina and Parallels Desktop for Mac

With macOS Catalina, Parallels Desktop for Mac users have even more powerful ways to run Windows, Linux and other OSes on Mac.


There are two new features brought to Parallels Desktop with Sidecar. First, you can now extend your Mac display on your iPad®. Second, there’s now Apple Pencil® support within Microsoft Windows applications. With our latest version of Parallels Desktop, users are now able to use their favorite Microsoft Windows applications on iPad. 

Extending the Mac display on your iPad is incredible—it allows Parallels Desktop users to view their virtual machine in full screen on their iPad. Not only does this leave your native Mac screen available for whatever your needs may be, but it also feeds directly into the second benefit of Sidecar and Parallels Desktop. 

Parallels Desktop users can now run a virtual machine as full screen on their iPad as an external display. This macOS integration allows designers, CAD experts and more to use their favorite stylist on their favorite Windows programs. With Sidecar and Parallels Desktop, users have full support with the Apple Pencil or your favorite stylist. 

Note: Sidecar will work with any macOS application that supports stylists and turns your iPad into a professional creative tool, such as a Wacom tablet. 

Personally, Sidecar is my favorite macOS feature announced in the last few years. Using Sidecar with Parallels Desktop? It’s simply magic.

Screenshot Preview to Windows

Drag and drop like never before! Apple® has entirely reworked the way screenshots are done in macOS Mojave and Catalina, and you may notice that you can’t use their previews in Windows applications. 

Parallels Desktop now makes this possible—plus, it provides the ability to drag images right from Safari, Photos and your other favorite Mac applications.


The security benefits of macOS Catalina can be broken up into three major components: hardware, system volumes and data. 


The Apple T2 Security Chip keeps your Mac secure by ensuring you’re running software that’s from a trusted developer and automatically encrypts your stored data. If you’re utilizing macOS Catalina, you’ll have a rich encryption on your host OS with the T2 chip. Plus, your virtual machine can also be encrypted to protect any unauthorized use. Learn how to encrypt your virtual machine.

Additionally, Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Edition has BitLocker encryption support, making your data even more protected.

System Volume

A dedicated system volume within macOS Catalina allows the volume to be read-only, so it’s separate from all other data on your Mac. Apple implemented this so that nothing can accidentally overwrite your system files. 


All Mac models with the Apple T2 security chip support an iOS feature, Activation Lock. This is beyond helpful if your Mac is ever lost or stolen—with Activation Lock, you can easily erase and reactivate.  

Screen Time

macOS Catalina brings a popular iOS feature to the Mac: Screen Time. Screen Time monitors where a user spends their time when using their iPhone. Now, macOS Catalina makes it easy for Mac users to monitor their usage with individual applications. 

While Parallels Desktop is in Coherence view mode, Screen Time will individually monitor Windows programs, too.

64-bit Applications

macOS Catalina is the first version macOS to exclusively support 64-bit applications. This means any 32-bit applications will no longer be supported if your Mac is on macOS Catalina. With Parallels Desktop, users can run an older macOS as a virtual machine to support the 32-bit applications you need. In order to continue using your favorite 32-bit applications on macOS Catalina, please read our blog post: 32-bit vs. 64-bit and why it matters. 

Our engineering, sales, social, support and marketing teams closely monitor what our users need from Parallels Desktop. If you’re looking for known issues with macOS Catalina and Parallels Desktop, feel free to read the testing that engineering has already completed. 

If you’re looking to try the latest version of Parallels Desktop, download a free 14-day trial and get started now. Let us know what you think, or if you have any feedback to help us make the experience better. You can reach us on Facebook or Twitter, 24/7.