How to Switch Between Mac and Windows on Parallels Desktop

Let’s be honest: to the average person, the idea of running two different operating systems at the same time on one computer is pretty weird. This idea naturally leads to questions like these:

And of course:

 As a Parallels Desktop® for Mac user, you can probably answer the last two questions like this:

But you might not know all the ways you can switch between Mac and Windows, so in this blog post I’ll show you. Which one of these ways you might use depends on how you use Parallels Desktop.

1. Window Mode

In Window mode, Windows runs in a window on your Mac screen.

You switch between Mac and Windows just be moving your cursor—what could be easier! See Video 1:

2. Full Screen Mode

In Full Screen mode, both Mac and Windows fill the entire screen. You switch between them with a three-finger swipe on your trackpad. See Video 2 (Note: The hand gesture video insets are from

3. Coherence Mode

In Coherence mode, Mac and Windows applications run side-by-side on the Mac desktop. You switch between them just as you would switch between two Mac applications: just click inside the window of the application you want to use. See Video 3:

I hope these three ways help you to easily and quickly switch between Mac and Windows whenever you want.

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