VirtualBox vs.
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Why Choose Parallels® Desktop?

  • Install Windows and Linux on your Intel or Apple M1 Mac
  • Optimized for macOS Monterey and the latest Windows 11 updates
  • Support! Easy Installation Assistance + 24/7 support
  • Over 20% faster virtual machine (VM) startup performance
  • DirectX 11 Support
Features VirtualBox Parallels Desktop
Run multiple operating systems (OSes) Intel only Intel and Apple M1 chip
Test software in an isolated environment
Create a VM that will run Windows
Set up and configure a VM
Save the state of the VM
Install guest OS drivers automatically
Shared profile and applications
Installation assistant
Download and install Windows 10 in one click  *
Out-of-the box support for Retina displays
Use a virtual TPM chip
Technical support

Trusted by More Than 7 Million Users and Praised by Experts

“It’s always been astonishing that it’s faster to start up a Parallels PC than a real one. On my MacBook Air, I’m up and running in Windows six seconds after I double-click the Parallels icon.”David Pogue, The New York Times
“Of all the ways to run Windows on a Mac, Parallels Desktop is my favorite because it just works. It's fast, it's reliable, and there's no need to futz about with confusing setting or convoluted setup processes.”Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet
“Unlike Apple’s Boot Camp, Parallels lets you run both operating systems at the same time.”Larry Magid, Forbes
”Parallels Desktop is the easiest, fastest, and most tightly integrated app for running Windows apps or the Windows desktop in Apple OS X.”Edward Mendelson,
“The latest version of Parallels, the popular Windows virtualization tool for Mac OS X, almost feels like its trolling Apple.”Engadget


Included with your Parallels Desktop subscription:
Parallels® Toolbox + Parallels® Access

Bonus with Subscription!

Parallels Toolbox

More than 30 one-touch tools—clean your drive, take screenshots, download a video and more—all with just a single click.

Bonus with Subscription!

Parallels Access

Remote access to your Mac from any iOS device, Android device, or browser with Parallels Access.

Compare Parallels Desktop Editions

Standard Edition
Optimized for macOS Monterey (when released)
Download and Install Windows
Seamless Mac integration
Use a virtual TPM chip
Disk Space Optimization
Auto Video Memory
Free upgrade to the latest version Subscription only
Disk Space Optimization
Advanced virtual networking tools
Virtual RAM for each VM* 8GB vRAM
Virtual CPUs for each VM* 4 vCPUs
Premium 24/7 phone and email support Subscription only
Buy From €79.99Upgrade €49.99
Upgrade €49.99
Most Popular
Pro Edition
All the Standard Edition features PLUS:
New! Unlink a linked clone to a new VM
New! Improved Microsoft Visual Studio plug-In
Advanced networking tools
Free upgrades to newer versions
Automate with CLI tools
Integrations With Vagrant/Docker/Packer/Minikube
Debug, dump VM or start an SSH session from menu
Manage more VMs: templates, colors, sorting
Convert VM bundles to a single file for transfer or deployment
Rename custom networks
Virtual RAM for each VM* 128GB vRAM
Virtual CPUs for each VM* 32 vCPUs
Microsoft Visual Studio Plug-In
Support for business cloud services
Premium 24/7 phone and email support
Buy €99.99/yrUpgrade €49.99
Upgrade €49.99/yr
Business Edition
All the Standard and Pro Edition features PLUS:
New! Enable employees to download a preconfigured Windows to their Mac (including all Apple M1 chips)
New! Universal binary for single mass deployment to all Mac computers (including all Apple M1 chips)
Centralized administration and management
Unified Volume License Key for mass deployment
Buy €99.99/yr

* Up to 32GB of RAM and 8 CPU on Apple Macs with M1 chips

Are you a student? Save with Student Edition (Valid student verification required)

Frequently Asked Questions

Unlike VirtualBox, Parallels Desktop is easy to use and seamlessly lets you run Windows and Linux. There’s no experience required. It's much easier to install and configure Windows—plus, Parallels Desktop supports Retina displays. You don’t need to know what settings are required. Beginners can run Windows applications side by side without rebooting and quickly move files between operating systems. Graphic and resource-hungry Windows applications run effortlessly without slowing down your Mac.

System Requirements

Operating System

macOS Monterey 12 (when released), macOS Big Sur 11, macOS Catalina 10.15, macOS Mojave 10.14, or macOS High Sierra 10.13


Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips, Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor


600 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation


Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips, Intel, AMD Radeon, or NVIDIA


4GB of RAM

*Features that are only available on Mac computers with Intel processors are marked with an asterisk (*).