Where Should I Store My Docs? Part 1

The following is the first in a series of posts on document storage options in Parallels Desktop 10. Stay tuned for Part 2!

As a Parallels Desktop user, you work in both Mac and Windows applications—and it’s likely you also create, revise, edit, and approve lots of documents. So where should you store all these docs on your Mac?

Parallels Desktop users have several choices of where to store files. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and no one option is best for all users. In this series of four posts, I’ll examine the pros and cons of each storage option and and show you how to set it up.

Your choices are:

  1. On your Mac, typically in the Documents folder.
  2. “Near” the applications that created your docs: in your virtual machine(s) for docs created with Windows applications, typically in the Documents library folder; for docs created with Mac applications, typically on your Mac.
  3. In one or more clouds.
  4. A combination of all of the above.

Today, we’ll cover the first option in the list. Check back next week for option 2!

Option 1: Store docs in the documents folder on your Mac


You can store all your documents on your Mac very easily, even the ones created in Windows applications. In fact, this is the default setting for Parallels Desktop—if you create your virtual machine with Express Installation and select “Like a Mac.”

In this option, the contents of your Home folder on the Mac are shared with Windows, and the contents of your Windows user directory are shared with Mac. This means that from a Mac application, you can access files stored in Windows; and from a Windows application, you can access files stored on the Mac. Figure 1 shows the Sharing settings you’ll need to make this exchange work in Parallels Desktop.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Mutual sharing between the two operating systems works particularly well when you are using Coherence: the Parallels Desktop view in which the Windows desktop doesn’t even show on your Mac display.

So, to recap–here is the full list of pros and cons for storing all of your docs in the Documents folder of your Mac:



  1. All docs are in one place, so they’re easy to find.

  2. All docs in one place means easy backup.

  3. All docs are visible all the time, even if Windows isn’t running.

  4. Default setup in Parallels Desktopless work out of the gate.


  1. May be confusing because docs will show up in two places—e.g., on your Mac desktop and on your Windows desktop.

  2. If Windows isn’t already running, opening a doc generated by a Windows application may take longer because Windows has to boot up.

  3. If you have multiple machines, docs will be “trapped” on one machine.


So, where do you store your docs? Stay tuned for Part 2!


Parallels Desktop

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