Parallels Desktop for Mac vs Boot Camp
With Parallels Desktop for Mac, easily switch between the most popular OSes and never worry about rebooting.
- Optimized for the latest Windows 10 updates and macOS Catalina (10.15)
- Run thousands of Windows programs on your Mac
- Moving from PC to Mac is easier than ever
- Reuse an existing Boot Camp partition
- Includes Parallels Toolbox – essential utilities for your Mac and PC
Mac and Windows together. No rebooting necessary.
Ready to increase your productivity and save time? Parallels Desktop lets you easily switch between Mac and Windows without ever needing to reboot—unlike Boot Camp.
Over 35% of Parallels Desktop users have made the switch from Boot Camp. Join millions of users and experience what has made us the #1 choice for running Windows on Mac for over 13 years!
With Parallels Desktop 15 for Mac, we’ve got you covered—enjoy the beauty of Mac with the Windows apps you need.
Pro Edition’s Extra Features
Designed with developers, power users, and other demanding professionals in mind. The Pro edition gives you more processing power, up to 128 GB vRAM and 32 vCPUs per virtual machine.
Includes built-in debugging tools, headless mode for virtual machines, nested virtualization, roll back mode, and support for popular development tools like Visual Studio, Vagrant, Chef, Jenkins, and more. Complimentary 24/7 phone and email support included.Compare Editions
Business Edition’s Extra Features
Designed for use in work settings, the Business edition of Parallels Desktop includes all the Pro features plus 24/7 premium email and phone support.
It enables easy centralized administration, mass deployment capabilities, a license management portal, and advanced security controls.Compare Editions
for Mac and Windows
30+ tools in a lightweight, powerful, all-in-one application for Mac® and PC. Easy to use and economical—a whole suite of tools for a fraction of the cost of individual apps, packaged in one simple interface.
- Keep your focus with Presentation Mode. Instantly disable those embarrassing pop-ups or bouncing icons.
- Clean Drive keeps your computer’s storage optimized and free of unimportant data.
- Find Duplicates to free up extra space on your computer.
- Grab videos from the Internet and watch offline using Download Video.
- Take Screenshots or Record a Video with a single click for quick cut-and-paste jobs.
Up to Date
Optimized for the latest Windows 10 updates and macOS Catalina (10.15).
Works with OS X, Windows 10, 8.1, and 7, Linux and Unix, and macOS Server. No more having to choose between PC or Mac.
Add Windows applications to Touch Bar™ for instant access and customization.
USB, USB-C, Thunderbolt and FireWire devices connect with Windows. Pair your Bluetooth® devices—including stylus pen and printer—to work with both Windows and macOS.
Retina® Display Support
Smart resizing and independent screen resolutions for separate displays.
Select productivity, games, design, software testing, or development, and Parallels Desktop will optimize your VM settings and performance for you.
Launch and access Windows applications right from the Mac Dock.
Save Disk Space
Get the most out of your Mac with automatic Disk Space optimization.
Office 365 Integration
Allows Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents in Safari to open in their native Windows Office app.
Works with Boot Camp
Reuse your existing Boot Camp installation. Converting a virtual machine from Boot Camp is easy, just follow our installation assistant at startup.
Volume License Key
Unified volume license key, centralized license management, and advanced security features are available in Parallels Desktop Business Edition.
Extend battery life while away from a power source.
Over 30 one-touch tools—clean your drive, take screenshots, download a video, and more—all with just a single click.
Remote access to your Mac from any iOS device, Android device, or browser with Parallels Access®.
Premium 24/7 phone, email, and social support after activation.
*macOS Mojave is required; macOS Catalina is recommended for the best performance.
See Parallels Desktop in Action
See some of the most popular features in Parallels Desktop 15.
Compare EditionsAre you a student?
Save with Student Edition
(Valid student verification required)
|Download and Install Windows 10 in one click|
|Retina Support for Windows apps|
|Optimized for macOS Catalina (10.15)|
All the Standard Edition features PLUS:
|Integration With Chef/Ohai/Docker/Vagrant|
|Network conditioner to simulate speeds and test|
|Visual Studio plug-In|
|Debug, dump VM, or start an SSH session from menu|
|Support for business cloud services|
|Premium 24/7 phone and email support|
All the Standard and Pro Edition features PLUS:
|Centralized administration and management|
|Unified volume license key for mass deployment|
Are you a student?
Save with Student Edition
(Valid student verification required)
Frequently Asked Questions
To add Windows, Linux, or another operating system to your Mac, Parallels Desktop creates a virtual machine (VM) or a virtual copy of your current Windows PC inside your Mac. You can then install Windows in the virtual machine, just as you would install any operating system on a regular computer. Run multiple OSes at the same time, all on your Mac. It’s like two computers in one!
- Open Windows applications side by side with your macOS applications, without having to restart your Mac
- Copy and paste text or drag and drop objects between Mac and Windows.
- Run Windows games and other 3D applications.
- Transfer all your data from a PC and use it on your Mac.
- Easily share files, devices, and other resources between Windows and Mac.
- Install other operating systems, such as trial versions of Windows, Linux, another copy of macOS, and free virtual appliances—and use them together.
- And much more…
There are several ways to install Windows (or any other operating system) in a virtual machine, and Parallels Desktop makes it easy to get started within minutes.
If you need Windows on your Mac, Parallels Desktop can help you download and install Windows 10. All you need to do is follow our Installation Assistant and click “Install Windows.”
Or you can provide your own Microsoft Windows license key, purchase Windows directly from within Parallels Desktop, or transfer an existing Boot Camp partition with Windows already installed.
With Parallels Desktop, you can switch between Mac and Windows without ever needing to reboot your computer.
If you have already installed Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7 on your Mac using Boot Camp, you can set Parallels Desktop to run Windows from the Boot Camp Partition or import Windows and your data from Boot Camp into Parallels Desktop as a new virtual machine.
To use Windows from Boot Camp, install Parallels Desktop and follow the Installation Assistant.
Play your Windows-only game on a Mac using Parallels Desktop. Parallels Desktop even has a virtual machine setting dedicated to gaming to optimize performance. With ongoing support for DirectX and OpenGL, many popular games and game engines are supported within Parallels Desktop. Download a free 14-day trial of Parallels Desktop and see if your desired game is supported.
- A Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor
- Minimum 4 GB of memory, 8 GB is recommended
- 600 MB of disk space on the boot volume (Macintosh HD) for Parallels Desktop application installation
- Additional disk space for virtual machines (varies on operating system and applications installed, e.g. at least 16GB is required for Windows 10)
- SSD drive is recommended for better performance
- Internet connection for product activation and select features
- macOS Catalina 10.15
- macOS Mojave 10.14
- macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 or later
- macOS Sierra 10.12.6 or later
- OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 or later
Guest Operating Systems
- Windows 10
- Windows 8.1
- Windows 8
- Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows 7 (SP0-SP1)
- Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP0-SP2)
- Windows Vista Home, Business, Ultimate, Enterprise (SP0-SP2)
- Windows Server 2003 R2 (SP0-SP2)
- Windows XP (SP0-SP3)
- Windows 2000 Professional SP4
- Windows 2000 Server SP4
- MS-DOS 6.22 **
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, 6, 5
- CentOS Linux 7, 6, 5
- Fedora Linux 29, 28, 27, 26
- Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, 17.10, 16.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS, 12.04 LTS
- Debian GNU/Linux 9.4, 9, 8, 7
- Suse Linux Enterprise 12 SP3, 11 SP3, 11 SP2
- OpenSUSE Linux 15, 42.3, 13.2, 13.1, 12.3
- Linux Mint 19, 18, 17
- Kali 2018.2, 2018.1, 2
- Elementary 5.0, 0.4
- Manjaro 17
- Mageia 6, 5, 4, 3
- Gentoo Linux **
- Solaris 11.3, 11, 10 **
- openBSD 6 **
- FreeBSD 11.1, 10, 10, 9, 8 **
- openVZ 7
- eComStation 2, 1.2 **
- ReactOS 0.4 **
- Android OS*
- macOS Mojave 10.14.x
- macOS High Sierra 10.13.x
- macOS Sierra 10.12.x
- OS X El Capitan 10.11.x
- OS X Yosemite 10.10.x
- OS X Mavericks 10.9.x
- OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.x
- OS X Lion 10.7.x
- OS X Lion Server 10.7.x
- Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server 10.6.x
- Mac OS X Leopard Server 10.5.x
- * — Only the one downloaded with help of Installation Assistant.
** — Parallels tools are not available for this operating system.
Note: Parallels Desktop for Mac emulates PC hardware, so operating systems that are not present in this list can work as well. They are not on the list because we didn't test them in our lab yet or we found some critical issues. You can download Parallels Desktop Trial here and install an operating system of your choice and if it doesn't work and you believe it should be supported, let us know at Parallels Forum.
Need Parallels Desktop for your team? Check out Parallels Desktop Business Edition.
Parallels offers exclusive discounts for educational students currently enrolled in a qualified educational institution or professional educators who are currently employed. Educational discounts can save users up to 50% off by verifying their eligibility.
Parallels Desktop Pro Edition is packed with extra features, including:
- More Power: Parallels Desktop Pro Edition gives your virtual machines more processing power, up to 128 GB vRAM and 32 vCPUs per virtual machine.
- Network Conditioner – Simulate various internet connectivity speeds to test your applications.
- Visual Studio Plug-In – Develop software in one virtual machine and test in others—with just one click.
- Nested Virtualization Support – Support is available for the following:
- VMware ESXi virtual machines
- Xen and kernel-based virtual machines in versions of Linux that support Xen and KV
- Android emulator for Visual Studio in Windows
- iPhone emulator for Visual Studio in Windows
- Xamarin.Android in Windows
- Android Studio in Windows
- Embarcadero RAD Studio in Windows
- Docker for Windows
- (experimental) Microsoft Visual Studio + TwinCat 3
- VMware ESXi virtual machines
- Download Parallels Desktop.
- Open Parallels Desktop.app from the Applications folder and choose File » New.
- Now you can create a new virtual machine for Mac, including a Windows VM on Mac.
- Get Windows from Microsoft or install freely available operating systems such as Ubuntu, Fedora, or other Linux systems supported by Parallels Desktop. See all Guest Operating Systems »
Parallels offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all purchases made on parallels.com. If you purchased this from another retailer, please check their return policy.
Fast, Powerful, and Easy
Whether you need to run Windows programs that don’t have Mac versions, or you're making the switch from PC to Mac and need to transfer your data, Parallels Desktop has you covered.
Use Windows side by side with macOS® (no restarting required) on your MacBook®, MacBook Pro®, iMac®, iMac Pro®, Mac mini®, or Mac Pro®. Share files and folders, copy and paste images and text and drag and drop files between Mac and Windows applications.
Parallels Desktop automatically detects what you need to get started so you're up and going within minutes. If you need Windows, you’ll be prompted to download and install Windows 10 or choose your existing Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, or Boot Camp® installation.
Graphic and resource-hungry Windows applications run effortlessly without slowing down your Mac. Run the most demanding applications such as Adobe® Photoshop®, Visual Studio®, or SketchUp®.
Choose Your View
Make Windows invisible while still using its applications in Coherence mode. If you’re new to Mac, you can set Windows to occupy your entire screen, so it looks just like it would if you were using a Windows PC.