Just Released: Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac Supports Both M1 and Intel Chips


We’re very excited to announce the highly anticipated Parallels® Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full, native support for Mac computers with either Apple M1 or Intel chips. Users will now be able to run Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview and its applications as well as the most popular ARM-based Linux distributions on Apple M1 Mac computers.1    

The M1 chip’s superior performance delivers the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, revolutionary power efficiency and was designed to work with macOS Big Sur’s legendary ease-of-use 2 —which transforms Parallels® Desktop 16.5 into a new standard of seamless Windows-on-Mac experience. 

“Apple’s M1 chip is a significant breakthrough for Mac users,” said Nick Dobrovolskiy, Parallels Senior Vice President of Engineering and Support. “The transition has been smooth for most Mac applications, thanks to Rosetta technology. However, virtual machines are an exception and for that reason, Parallels engineers implemented native virtualization support for the Mac with M1 chip. This enables our users to enjoy the best Windows-on-Mac experience available.” 

Parallels Desktop M1
Figure 1_Microsoft Word and Excel for Windows running in Parallels Desktop 16.5 on an M1 Mac

100,000+ M1 Mac Users Tested the Technical Preview 

We are beyond thankful for the feedback of more than 100,000 M1 Mac users that tested the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Mac. They ran Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview, as well as tens of thousands of different Intel-based Windows applications—including Microsoft Office for Windows, Microsoft Visual Studio, SQL Server, Microsoft PowerBI and MetaTrader.  

“We received enthusiastic feedback about the remarkable performance of both the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Mac and Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview as well as x86 applications and games, including Rocket League, Among Us, Roblox, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sam & Max Save the World and many others. Testers loved Parallels Desktop’s easy-to-use features and seamless integration of Windows with macOS Big Sur, which increases productivity,” said Dobrovolskiy. 

Applications Run Faster and More Efficiently  

With Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac, users benefit from Apple’s M1 chip performance advancements and experience applications that run faster and more efficiently. 

Performance advancements include: 

“I installed Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac and Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview on my M1 Mac Mini because, as a math teacher, several software apps that I use are no longer supported on M1 Mac,” said Daniel Dudley, Albuquerque, NM, United States. “Running Windows on my M1 Mac in Parallels Desktop 16.5 has been awesome. It’s the fastest version of Windows that I have ever had!” 

Run Linux Distributives on M1 Mac Computers 

With Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac, users can not only run Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview in a virtual machine on M1 Mac computers but also Linux distributives Ubuntu 20.04, Kali Linux 2021.1, Debian 10.7 and Fedora Workstation 33-1.2. 

“I absolutely love being able to run Linux environments within Parallels Desktop 16.5 on my M1 Mac,” said Darren Paxton, United Kingdom. “The performance is simply amazing.” 

Parallels Desktop M1
Figure 2_Ubuntu 20.04 ARM64 running in Parallels Desktop 16.5 on an M1 Mac

The Best Features for Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Mac 

Discover some of the best Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac features that have been re-engineered for the Apple M1 chip: 

Check out all of the highlights of Parallels Desktop 16.5’s extensive features for Intel-based Mac computers on our website. Intel-based Parallels Desktop for Mac customers can run more than 50 supported guest OSs, including several versions of Windows, macOS, OS X, Linux, as well as Android OS and dozens more. 

How to Get Your Copy of Parallels Desktop 16.5 

 If you…  

…are an existing customer: Anyone with a Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac license can get an automatic update to Parallels Desktop 16.5 at no additional cost. 

…are a new customer: All editions of Parallels Desktop 16.5 update for Mac support both M1 and Intel Mac computers (Standard Edition, Pro Edition and Business Edition). Purchase your copy here—or test it for 14 days for free

Running VMs on Apple M1 Mac computers in Parallels Desktop 16.5 requires ARM-based operating systems (OSs). Customers who install guest operating systems in Parallels Desktop virtual machines are responsible for making sure that they are compliant with each OS’s end-user licensing agreement (EULA). 

System Requirements 

Discover if Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac can run on your Mac Computer with Intel or M1 chip: System requirements


  1. Running VMs on Apple M1 Mac computers in Parallels Desktop 16.5 requires ARM-based operating systems (OSs). Customers who install guest operating systems in Parallels Desktop virtual machines are responsible for making sure that they are compliant with each OS’s end-user licensing agreement (EULA). 
  2. Apple M1 chip performance, power efficiency, and information is from https://www.apple.com/mac/m1/
  3. Performance measurements were conducted by Parallels by measuring Mac power consumption with Windows 10 running. Tested with a pre-released version of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on MacBook Air 10,1 with Apple M1 chip and 16GB RAM versus MacBook Air 8,2 with Intel Core i5-8210Y and 8GB RAM. The performance will vary based on usage, system configuration and other factors. 
  4. Performance measurements were conducted by Parallels by running the Unigine Valley benchmark for DirectX 11 API and comparing an average score out of five iterations on each computer. Tested with a pre-release version of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on MacBook Pro17,1 with Apple M1 chip and 16GB RAM versus MacBook Pro 15,1 with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 16GB RAM and Radeon Pro 555X GPU. The performance will vary based on usage, system configuration and other factors. 
  5. Performance measurements were conducted by Parallels by running the Geekbench 5 benchmark and comparing an average score out of five iterations on each computer. Tested with a pre-release version of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on MacBook Pro 17,1 with Apple M1 chip and 16GB RAM versus MacBook Pro 15,3 with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB RAM and Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU. The performance will vary based on usage, system configuration and other factors. 

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