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Parallels Desktop for Mac. Education with no limits.
Parallels® Desktop for Mac is a fast, easy, and powerful solution that lets students and educators run Windows and Windows apps on Mac, seamlessly.
No matter what they’re studying, with Parallels Desktop for Mac students can easily switch between Mac and Windows applications, share files and folders, copy and paste images and text, and drag and drop files and content between operating systems.
Affordably priced, at up to 50% less than the commercial version, students can rely on Parallels Desktop for Mac to support their entire learning journey, building skills for life.
Do more with Parallels Desktop for Mac.
Parallels Desktop for Mac. Loved by millions of Mac users, in education and industry, for more than 17 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
+ Why do I need Parallels® Desktop for Mac?
Parallels Desktop allows you to run almost every native Windows application (plus other operating systems) quickly and easily on your Mac, supporting even the most demanding applications, games, and more.
As a student taking courses that rely on industry standard PC applications, you can seamlessly work across operating systems on your MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, or Mac Pro. If you are a gamer, you’ll be thrilled about the possibilities of playing your favorite PC games on your Mac as well.
+ What programs can I run with Parallels Desktop for Mac?
For Intel Macs, Parallels Desktop for Mac lets you run macOS, Windows, Linux and other x86-based operating systems as virtual machines. On Apple Silicon Macs, Parallels® Desktop for Mac supports the Arm editions of the most popular operating systems including Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise editions.
Parallels® Desktop for Mac supports more than 200,000 applications that run on these systems. Programs can range from common business administration applications, like Microsoft Office, PowerBI, and Visio to graphics-intensive programs such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks, as well as custom applications.
+ Who qualifies for Education discount pricing?
Currently enrolled students who would like to run Windows on Mac.
+ Will I have to purchase a Windows license key?
Yes. Parallels Desktop for Mac requires the installation of an operating system in order to function. The operating system is not included with the purchase of Parallels Desktop for Mac. To run a Windows virtual machine, you must have a licensed copy of that Windows operating system or purchase a new Windows license. Note: You can purchase Microsoft Windows directly from Parallels or in the product itself.
+ What versions of Microsoft Windows can I run on the Mac with Parallels Desktop?
Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11 are the most popular OSs run within Parallels Desktop. Additionally, Linux, Google Chrome OS, and other OSs are also supported. You can find a full list of guest operating systems that are supported on our Resources page.
+ Which editions of Windows has Microsoft confirmed will be officially compatible with Apple M-series Mac?
Microsoft has confirmed that Parallels Desktop for Mac used with Arm versions of Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise editions is an officially compatible solution for customers on Apple M-series based Mac computers.
+ Can I use the Windows operating system that came with my PC?
Whether you can legally use a copy of Windows from an existing physical machine (typically delivered as an 'OEM' license) depends on the license terms surrounding that installation of Windows. Please consult the license agreement that came with the version of Windows included with your PC or the PC manufacturer for more details.
+ Can I play 3D games on a virtual machine?
Yes, Parallels Desktop for Mac for Intel Macs has 3D hardware-accelerated graphics support. On Apple Silicon Macs, Windows 11 graphics are rendered using the host CPU, while Linux VMs can use 3D hardware acceleration. For Windows VMs on Intel Macs, Parallels Desktop for Mac supports DirectX 11 (with Shader Model 5.0) and earlier. For Linux guests on Intel or Apple Silicon Parallels Desktop for Mac provides OpenGL 4.3 capabilities.
Parallels® Desktop 18 for Mac System Requirements
Supported Mac Configurations
MinimumTo run most applications such as Microsoft Office, accounting, trading, SAP, Matlab, and more.
Best PerformanceFor graphics-intensive applications, high loads, and running multiple virtual machines.
Apple M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips, Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Intel Core M or Xeon processor
Apple M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips, Intel Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, or Xeon processor
4GB of RAM
16GB of RAM or more
600 MB for Parallels Desktop application installation
Additional disk space for the guest operating system (at least 16GB is required for Windows OS)
Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max, M1 Ultra chips, Intel, AMD Radeon, or NVIDIA
Apple M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max, M1 Ultra chips, AMD Radeon Pro graphics card
macOS Next 13 or newer (when released)macOS Monterey 12.4 or newermacOS Big Sur 11.6.6 or newermacOS Catalina 10.15.7 or newermacOS Mojave 10.14.6 or newer
macOS Next 13 or newer (when released)macOS Monterey 12.4 or newermacOS Big Sur 11.6.6 or newer
Internet connection is required for product activation, updates, and select features.
Only ARM versions of operating systems are supported.
Only x86 versions of operating systems are supported.
* - Only the version downloaded with help of the Installation Assistant with Parallels Desktop.
** - 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. You can download the Parallels Desktop trial and install an operating system of your choice. If it doesn't work and you believe it should be supported, let us know at Parallels Forum.
Parallels Tools for Linux require X Window System version 1.15-1.20 and Linux Kernel version 2.6.29-5.12.
Note: Parallels Transporter is not available for Mac with Apple M1 chips.
PC system requirements to move your PC to your Intel Mac (using Parallels Transporter Agent):
* - To migrate Windows Vista or older, Transporter Agent from Parallels Desktop 13 should be used.