Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac

The #1 choice of Mac users for over 7 years – WOW!
Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac lets you seamlessly run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side, without rebooting.

Enjoy the latest Mountain Lion and Lion features in Windows apps. Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac delivers an even more immersive environment for gaming, music, movies, with support for Retina display, Surround Sound 7.1 and superior 3D graphics rendering speeds.

In addition to Windows 8, other OSes can also be run in Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac, including Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 98, Linux, and Google Chrome OS.
What's New
Volume License

Parallels Desktop® 9 for Mac is the best solution
for running Windows apps on a Mac

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac is the virtualization solution that is the most powerful and flexible for users who need regular access to many apps on both Windows and Mac from a single machine without rebooting. From PC-only games to productivity software, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac has you covered.

If you love the look & feel of Mac OS, make Windows invisible while still using its applications. If you're new to Mac, keep the familiar Windows background and controls on your Mac. Either way, run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side with no compromises in performance.

Run Windows applications like they were made for your Mac.

  • With full support of Windows 7 with its AERO graphics, Windows 8 as well as older versions of Windows, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is optimized for Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Lion features like Launchpad, Mission Control and gestures work in Windows applications, making them feel like they were made for Mac.
  • Parallels Desktop includes a feature called Coherence Mode, which hides the Windows desktop while displaying Windows applications. Windows still runs in the background, but is hidden from view. Windows applications appear in the Mac Dock, letting you switch between them without using the Windows interface. Isn’t that cool?
  • When no Windows applications are open, Parallels Desktop will pause, thus taking up very little system resources. Parallels Compressor is a feature that automatically compresses and defragments the virtual disk while you work for better performance.

User Testimonials about their experience of running Windows on Mac computers:

Parallels Desktop works flawlessly inside Mountain Lion. My Windows 7 Ultimate VM in full screen mode in its own mission control desktop just works and that's exactly what I need it to do. No hassles, no fuss...just works. — Keith W., Powell, OH

I have been using Parallels for a while now and the most important thing I can say is that it hasn't missed a beat. All of the features that caused me to switch from the "other" product are still there and there are some new things that I really like — Rick H.

New & enhanced features include:

  • New! SkyDrive, iCloud, Photo Stream, Dropbox, Google Drive optimizations make sure you don’t inadvertently duplicate files locals, so you get the most of our storage space
  • New! Get stuff done in Windows at with a “real” Start menu and the ability to run Modern (Metro) apps in a separate window rather than in full screen
  • New! The new Security Center makes is a breeze to make sure that all of your stuff, both on your Mac and in your Windows virtual machine, is protected
  • New! Integration between Mac and Windows deepens, and now you can use the Mac Dictionary gesture to access the dictionary in Windows
  • New! Power Nap on a Retina™ Display Mac or MacBook Air now also updates Windows and your Windows applications so that you’re always up to date
  • Enhanced! Virtual Machine wizard makes it even easier to create new virtual machines, especially if your Mac doesn’t have an optical drive.
  • Enhanced! If you use Windows in Full Screen mode and want to connect to an external monitor, Parallels Desktop will remember your settings and put your Windows VM back into full screen mode on your remote monitor
  • Enhanced! Linux Guest integration gets better with shared applications, shared profiles, and automatic Parallels Tools updates

New & enhanced features of Parallels Desktop 9 include:

Brilliant Retina display resolution

Enjoy stunning Retina display resolution in Windows and Windows applications to see crisper fonts, vivid photos, images and animations

Dictionary gestures in Windows

Integration between Mac and Windows deepens, and now you can use the Mac Dictionary gesture to access the dictionary in Windows

Full screen on demand

The Full screen on demand feature makes presentations interruption-free by disabling screen savers on Mac and Windows, optimizing the full screen display and automatically adjusting resolution

3D Graphics

Parallels Desktop 9 gives your Mac a more enhanced Windows 3D graphics experience and offers up the fastest way to run the most graphical intensive Windows programs and cross-platform Windows development tools. And you can use a wide-variety of design programs and games with DirectX 9.0c/9Ex and Shader Model 3 support.

Surround Sound 7.1

Immerse yourself in games, movies, and music with Surround Sound 7.1 support for Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista: use any external Surround Sound 7.1 USB or FireWire device simultaneously in your Mac and the virtual machine.


It's easy to see how much hard drive space your virtual machine is using with a visual indicator and improved Snapshots.

Security Center

The Security Center makes it easy for you to be sure all your stuff is secure, both on your Mac and in your Windows virtual machine

Thunderbolt and Firewire Drive support

Thunderbolt and Firewire drives connect just like USB devices

Virtual Machine Management Tools

Easily monitor your Mac’s resources with the new graphical view of how much of your Mac’s processor and memory is being used by your virtual machine.

Linux guest support

Linux Guest integration gets better with shared applications, shared profiles, and automatic Parallels Tools updates

Advanced encryption support

Get improved data security through fast virtual machine encryption with Intel AES-NI. All your Windows programs are securely encrypted.

Proven Performance

With improved battery life, up to 1GB of video memory, enhanced security, and more Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac features the best overall performance and stability in the market.


Reviews & Awards
Parallels Desktop for Mac — WOW!

What others are saying:
We think Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac is great. But don't just take our word for it. Millions of people use Parallels Desktop, and these are some of their stories. Parents. Pilots. Police Officers. Pharmacists. Project Managers. Whoever you and are whatever you do, Parallels Desktop unites Mac and Windows. The rest is up to you.


Parallels Desktop 9 soups up cloud storage, improves Windows 8 support


Parallels announces Parallels Desktop 9: performance improvements, enhanced Windows support, more

Apple Insider

Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac launches with cloud storage support, Windows 8 Start button, 40% faster read times


Volume Licensing

Parallels offers a simple and flexible volume licensing program that rewards businesses, academic, non-profit and government organizations for volume purchasing. Realize deeper IT savings and get the best value from your software investment with a Parallels Volume Licensing Program.

Volume Licensing Program
A Parallels Volume Licensing Program offers a simple and flexible approach to acquire the latest Parallels technologies and ensure your IT investment is protected. Licensing plans are available in the following options:

  • Corporate Volume Licensing Program
  • Academic Volume Licensing Program

Based on the size of your organization, a customized volume licensing program can address network computing requirements and purchasing preference while delivering a cost-effective and scalable solution. In addition, volume licensing allows organizations to acquire product licenses and maintenance plans, for a cost-effective and simple approach to acquiring the latest Parallels software.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the Parallels Desktop Tech Guarantee?

The Parallels Desktop Tech Guarantee is a program where customers who purchase Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac between August 15, 2013 and October 31, 2013 may be eligible for no-charge upgrade to the next version of Parallels Desktop for Mac when it is released.  For complete details, please visit either KB116771 or our Tech Guarantee page at

Please visit KB116853 for information on obtaining your no-charge upgrade key.


2. Question about Parallels Access

How do I set-up and install Parallels Access?  Instructions can be found at KB116770

How do I access my Parallels Desktop Virtual Machine from Parallels Access? Please see KB116675

I cannot find my Virtual Machine inside of Parallels Access? See KB116714 for more details.

I installed Parallels Access inside of my Virtual Machine, but it is not working? See KB116745 for more details on troubleshooting.


3. Pre-Sales Questions - I want to buy Parallels and need to know...

Does Windows come pre-installed with Parallels Desktop for Mac? Windows is not included with your purchase of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac. Windows can be purchased directly from Microsoft or many retail stores.

Will Parallels run on my current Mac hardware?  A full list of system and hardware requirements can be found here.

Can I use my license on multiple Macs?  Parallels licenses are valid only on 1 Mac per license.  For more information, please reference

Do you have discounts for Students/Education Staff/offer academic licenses?  Yes. For information on how to purchase Education licenses, please visit

Can I migrate my current Windows PC to a Parallels Desktop for Mac Virtual Machine?  Yes, for instructions on how to migrate your Windows PC, visit KB115007

Is there a trial version of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac I can evaluate before purchasing?  Yes, Parallels offers a free 14 day trial at

I currently use VMware Fusion and am interested in switching to Parallels.  Information about switching to Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac can be found here.


4. I have purchased Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac and I need to...

Getting started is quick and easy. Instructions and video tutorials are available at KB116850

How do I activate my copy of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac? Activation instructions are available at KB116852

How do I register my copy of Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac?  Please visit KB116847

Does Windows come with my purchase of Parallels?  Windows is sold separately from your Parallels Software.  For more information see KB115286


5. I have installed Parallels Desktop, but how do I install my Windows (or other) Virtual Machines?

Easy guided steps for installing Windows in Parallels Desktop for Mac can be found at KB4729

I cannot install Windows in my Virtual Machine. Help can be found at KB112940

How do I launch Windows from Parallels Desktop for Mac ? See KB115170

What is Coherence Mode? I cannot find my Windows Desktop/applications or see my open files. See KB4670


6. I have installed Windows but my Virtual Machine does not launch/crashes

When starting Windows I get a black or blue screen? For solutions, see KB113964

Windows is stuck at the “Welcome” screen or Windows displays unexpected error messages.  For solutions, see KB5223

Windows and/or my Windows applications are slow. For solutions, see KB112091


7. I am unable to install Virtual Machine: troubleshooting installation issues

Check solutions to the most frequent Virtual Machine installation issues at KB112940


8. My printer / keyboard / mouse do not work?

My printer does not work on the Windows side? For troubleshooting tips, see KB111997

How do I setup the Network printer in my Virtual Machine? Setup instructions are available at KB4886

My keyboard does not work/behave as expected? For troubleshooting tips, see KB113932

My mouse does not work/behave as expected. For troubleshooting tips, see KB116990


9. I cannot connect to the Internet/network from my Virtual Machine?

I am receiving an error message in my Windows VM that says I am not connected to the Internet.  For troubleshooting steps, see KB8978


Transfer an existing virtual machine to your new Mac

To learn about migrating your Virtual Machines from one Mac to another please refer to KB114118


10. A guide to Windows 8 - Install, Activation and Upgrade

How do I install Windows 8? Easy steps are available at KB4729

Check what Windows OS can be upgraded to Windows 8 at KB114988

How do I upgrade/activate Windows 8? Follow these simple steps at KB114985

My Windows 8 does not start? See KB114987 for tips and solutions

Top Windows 8 questions and solutions are available at KB114993


11. How to migrate a Windows 8 PC to Parallels Desktop 9 Virtual Machine?

To learn about how to migrate your existing Windows 8 install to a VM please visit KB115007


12. Installing Internet Security and Anti-Virus Programs

Parallels offers a number of internet security options.

How can I install and activate Norton Internet Security? See KB116872

How can I install and activate Kaspersky Internet Security? See KB116884

How can I install and activate Dr.Web Security Space? See KB116888

How can I install and activate Norton Internet Security for Mac? See KB116895

How can I install and activate Kaspersky Security for Mac? See KB116898

How can I install and activate Dr.Web for Mac OS X? See KB116903