VirtualBox vs.
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Why Parallels® Desktop is the best VM for M1 and M2?

  • Install Windows and Linux on your Intel or Apple M-series Mac
  • Optimized for Windows 11 and macOS Ventura
  • 24/7 support with easy Installation Assistance
  • 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
M-series chips
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 11 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

Fast, Powerful and Easy

Run thousands of Windows apps like Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Access, Quicken, QuickBooks, Visual Studio, even graphic intensive games and CAD programs without compromising on performance or rebooting.


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

Bonus with Subscription!

Parallels Toolbox

More than 40 one-touch tools—clean your drive, take screenshots, download a video, and more—all with one 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 Ventura (when released)
Download and Install Windows 11* in one click
Seamless Mac integration
New! Use game controller in Windows with no setup
Disk Space Optimization
Free upgrade to the latest version Subscription only
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 £89.99 Upgrade £54.99
Upgrade £54.99
Most Popular
Pro Edition
All the Standard Edition features PLUS:
New! Manage macOS VM via CLI (on Apple M-series Mac)
Visual Studio plug-In for remote debugging and profiling
Advanced virtual networking tools
Free upgrades to newer versions
Automate with CLI tools
New! Automate with CLI tools + CLI for macOS VM on Apple M-series Mac
Integrations With Vagrant/Docker/Packer/Minikube
Debug, dump VM or start an SSH session from menu
Manage more VMs: templates, colors, sorting
Virtual RAM for each VM 128GB vRAM
Virtual CPUs for each VM** 32 vCPUs
Premium 24/7 phone and email support
Buy £99.99 /yrUpgrade £54.99
Upgrade £54.99/yr
Business Edition
All the Standard and Pro Edition features PLUS:
Enable employees to download a preconfigured Windows to their Mac
New! Per user licensing option for companies that are ready to use SSO/SAML/SCIM integration
Centralized administration and management
Unified Volume License Key for mass deployment
Buy £119.99 /yr

* Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise
** Up to 18 CPU on Apple with M-series 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 Ventura 13.2 or newer
macOS Monterey 12.6 or newer
macOS Big Sur 11.7 or newer
macOS Catalina 10.15.7 or newer
macOS Mojave 10.14.6 or newer


Apple M2 Pro, M2 Max, M2, M1 Ultra, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 chips
Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor


600 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation


Apple M2, M1 Ultra, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 chips
Intel, AMD Radeon, or NVIDIA graphics cards


4GB of RAM