- Mar 17, 2021 Question: Does Parallels Desktop for Mac support Mac computers with the Apple M1 chip? Answer: With macOS Big Sur and the new Mac computers with Apple M1 chip becoming available, we will continue to do more extensive evaluations, both in our lab and with your help via the Parallels Technical Preview Program.
- So Parallels Desktop is officially supporting M1 macs, allowing users to run arm base windows 10 with the windows Arm insider program. But the problem is, if Microsoft decides to end the insider program, and made the official Arm windows 10 not compatible with Virtual Machines, does it means that M1 macs will have no way to boot into windows?
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According to Parallels, there are also some significant performance enhancements in the M1 chip compatible version including: Up to 250 percent less energy used: On a Mac with an Apple M1 chip, Parallels Desktop 16.5 uses 2.5 times less energy than on a 2020 Intel-based MacBook Air computer.
Parallels Access and Parallels Toolbox apps have native support for M1 Mac Computers
Bellevue, Wash.—April 14, 2021 — Parallels®, a global leader in cross-platform solutions, today released the highly anticipated Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac (parallels.com/desktop), which features full native support for Mac computers equipped with either Apple M1 or Intel chips. Experience Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview and its applications on Apple M1 Mac computers.2 The M1 chip’s superior performance delivers the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, revolutionary power efficiency, and was designed to work with macOS Big Sur3—which Parallels Desktop 16.5 transforms into a new standard for a seamless Windows-on-Mac experience. It also delivers M1 support for the most popular ARM-based Linux distributions. Separate Parallels Access (parallels.com/access) and the just-redesigned and simplified Parallels Toolbox (parallels.com/toolbox) apps, which are both included for free concurrently with Parallels Desktop subscriptions, now also provide native support for M1 Mac computers.
'Apple's M1 chip is a significant breakthrough for Mac users,” said Nick Dobrovolskiy, Parallels Senior Vice President of Engineering and Support. “The transition has been smooth for most Mac applications, thanks to Rosetta technology. However, virtual machines are an exception and thus Parallels engineers implemented native virtualization support for the Mac with M1 chip. This enables our users to enjoy the best Windows-on-Mac experience available.”
More than 100,000 M1 Mac users tested the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Mac and ran Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview, as well as tens of thousands of different Intel-based Windows applications—including Microsoft Office for Windows, Microsoft Visual Studio, SQL Server, Microsoft PowerBI and MetaTrader.
“We received enthusiastic feedback about the remarkable performance of both the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16 for M1 Mac and Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview as well as x86 applications and games, including Rocket League, Among Us, Roblox, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Sam & Max Save the World and many others. Testers loved Parallels Desktop’s easy-to-use features and seamless integration of Windows with macOS Big Sur, which increased productivity,” said Dobrovolskiy.
Watch a video demo of how to install virtual machines (VMs) in Parallels Desktop 16.5 on an M1 Mac: www.parallels.com/VMonM1Mac.
The virtualization approach for Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac enables users to benefit from Apple’s M1 chip performance advancements—applications run faster and more efficiently. Performance observations include:
- Up to 250 percent less energy used: On a Mac with an Apple M1 chip, Parallels Desktop 16.5 uses 2.5 times less energy than on a 2020 Intel-based MacBook Air computer.4
- Up to 60 percent better DirectX 11 performance: Parallels Desktop 16.5 running on an M1 Mac delivers up to 60 percent better DirectX 11 performance than on an Intel-based MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 555X GPU.5
- Up to 30 percent better virtual machine performance (Windows): Running a virtual machine (VM) of Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview on Parallels Desktop 16.5 on an M1 Mac performs up to 30 percent better than a Windows 10 VM running on Intel-based MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9 processor.6
“I installed Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac and Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview on my M1 Mac Mini because, as a math teacher, several software apps that I use are no longer supported on M1 Mac,” said Daniel Dudley, Albuquerque, NM, United States. “Running Windows on my M1 Mac in Parallels Desktop 16.5 has been awesome. It’s the fastest version of Windows that I have ever had!”
Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac also supports guest operating systems (OSs) on M1 Mac computers including Linux distributives Ubuntu 20.04, Kali Linux 2021.1, Debian 10.7 and Fedora Workstation 33-1.2.
“I absolutely love being able to run Linux environments within Parallels Desktop 16.5 on my M1 Mac,” said Darren Paxton, United Kingdom. “The performance is simply amazing.”
All the best Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac features have been re-engineered for the Apple M1 chip, including:
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- Coherence Mode: Run Windows applications on your Mac as if they were native Mac applications, without managing two separate desktops or rebooting.
- Shared Profile: Share your Mac desktop, pictures, documents, and other folders with a VM for easy access.
- Touch Bar controls: Quickly access apps in your virtual machine and customize your Touch Bar shortcuts to feature the apps and commands you use most.
- Mac keyboard layouts: Easily customize your keyboard menu and shortcuts for a more personalized experience.
- Hundreds of other Parallels Desktop features are included to help make it simple for customers be more productive.
- macOS Big Sur in a VM is a feature that Parallels hopes to add support for in Parallels Desktop later this year.
Highlights of Parallels Desktop 16’s extensive features for Intel-based Mac computers are available in this press release. Intel-based Parallels Desktop for Mac customers can run more than 50 supported guest OSs, including several versions of Windows, macOS, OS X, Linux, as well as Android OS and dozens more.
Availability and Pricing
All editions of Parallels Desktop 16.5 update for Mac support both M1 and Intel Mac computers (Standard Edition, Pro Edition and Business Edition). They can be purchased either online at parallels.com/desktop (which also offers free full-featured 14-day trials) or from retail and online stores worldwide. Parallels Desktop subscriptions include complimentary concurrent subscriptions to Parallels Access, and just-redesigned and simplified Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Windows, which are also separately available for free trials and subscriptions at parallels.com.
Anyone with a Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac license can get an automatic update to Parallels Desktop 16.5 at no additional cost. And, when new full versions of Parallels Desktop for Mac are released annually, customers with active subscriptions receive complimentary upgrades, which ensure support for the latest OSs, hardware, and Parallels Desktop’s innovative features.
Running VMs on Apple M1 Mac computers in Parallels Desktop 16.5 requires ARM-based operating systems (OSs). Customers who install guest operating systems in Parallels Desktop virtual machines are responsible for making sure that they are compliant with each OSs’ end-user licensing agreement (EULA).
Recommended Retail Price (RRP)
Parallels Desktop 16.5 for Mac
- Upgrade your Parallels Desktop 14 or 15 to a perpetual license – US$49.99
- New subscription – US$79.99 per year
- New perpetual license – US$99.99
Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
- Upgrade from any edition – US$49.99 per year
- New subscription – US$99.99 per year
Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
- US$99.99 per year
Parallels is a global leader in cross-platform solutions that make it possible and simple for businesses and individuals to use and access the applications and files they need on any device or operating system. Parallels helps customers leverage the best technology out there, whether it’s Windows, Mac, iOS, Android or the cloud. Parallels solves complex engineering and user-experience problems by making it simple and cost-effective for businesses and individual customers to use applications wherever they may be—local, remote, in the private datacenter or in the cloud. Parallels, a business unit of Corel, has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Visit parallels.com/about for more information.
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Corel® products enable millions of connected knowledge workers around the world to do great work faster. Offering some of the industry's best-known software brands, Corel gives individuals and teams the power to create, collaborate, and deliver impressive results. Success is driven by an unwavering commitment to deliver a broad portfolio of innovative applications – including CorelDRAW®, MindManager®, Parallels®, and WinZip® – to inspire users and help them achieve their goals. To learn more about Corel, please visit www.corel.com.
John Uppendahl, Vice President of Communications, [email protected], +1 425 282-1734
Ryan Donough, Burson Cohn & Wolfe, [email protected], +1 415 403-8311
- Running Windows at native speeds on your Mac depends upon its hardware configuration. Parallels Desktop for Mac has more than seven million customers.
- Running VMs on Apple M1 Mac computers in Parallels Desktop 16.5 requires ARM-based operating systems (OSs). Customers who install guest operating systems in Parallels Desktop virtual machines are responsible for making sure that they are compliant with each OSs’ end-user licensing agreement (EULA).
- Apple M1 chip performance, power efficiency, and information is from https://www.apple.com/mac/m1/.
- Performance measurements conducted by Parallels by measuring Mac power consumption with Windows 10 running. Tested with a pre-released version of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on MacBookAir10,1 with Apple M1 chip and 16GB RAM versus MacBookAir8,2 with Intel Core i5-8210Y and 8GB RAM. The performance will vary based on usage, system configuration, and other factors.
- Performance measurements conducted by Parallels by running the Unigine Valley benchmark for DirectX 11 API and comparing an average score out of five iterations on each computer. Tested with a pre-release version of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on MacBookPro17,1 with Apple M1 chip and 16GB RAM versus MacBookPro15,1 with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 16GB RAM and Radeon Pro 555X GPU. The performance will vary based on usage, system configuration, and other factors.
- Performance measurements conducted by Parallels by running the Geekbench 5 benchmark and comparing an average score out of five iterations on each computer. Tested with a pre-release version of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on MacBookPro17,1 with Apple M1 chip and 16GB RAM versus MacBookPro15,3 with Intel Core i9-8950HK, 32GB RAM and Radeon Pro Vega 20 GPU. The performance will vary based on usage, system configuration, and other factors.
©2021 Parallels International GmbH. All rights reserved. Parallels, the Parallels logo, and Coherence are trademarks or registered trademarks of Parallels International GmbH in Canada, the U.S., and/or elsewhere. Corel, CorelDRAW, MindManager, and WinZip are trademarks or registered trademarks of Corel Corporation in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere. Apple, Mac, macOS, and Launch Pad are trademarks of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google LLC. Linux is a trademark of Linux Foundation. Windows Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and SQL Server are trademarks of Microsoft. All other company, product and service names, logos, brands, and any registered or unregistered trademarks mentioned are used for identification purposes only and remain the exclusive property of their respective owners. Use of any brands, names, logos or any other information, imagery, or materials pertaining to a third party does not imply endorsement. We disclaim any proprietary interest in such third-party information, imagery, materials, marks, and names of others. For all notices and information about patents please visit https://www.parallels.com/legal/
Parallels has released a Technical Preview Program for running Parallels Desktop 16 on M1-powered Macs. The company says that it created a “new virtualization engine that uses the Apple M1 Mac chip hardware-assisted virtualization” to allow users to run ARM-based operating systems, including Windows, in a virtual machine.
Parallels points out some limitations with the first version of the Parallels 16 Technical Preview for Apple Silicon Macs:
- It is not possible to install or start an Intel x86 based operating system in a virtual machine.
- It is not possible to suspend and resume a virtual machine, including reverting to a “running state” snapshot.
- It is not possible to use the “close” button when a virtual machine is running – shut down the virtual machine instead.
- ARM32 applications do not work in a virtual machine.
The company says it continues to focus on expanding the capabilities of Parallels on M1 Macs as well:
Many Parallels Desktop features depend on a virtualization engine and guest OS architecture and must be developed nearly from scratch for the Apple M1 chip: starting from running an OS itself, graphics, the ability to suspend/resume a virtual machine, seamless integration, Coherence mode, Shared Folders, and many more. While our team continues to work hard on bringing all of the best Parallels Desktop features to Mac computers with Apple M1 chip, we are proud to share the results we achieved with this significant milestone.
With those limitations in mind, however, this technically means that you can run the ARM version of Windows using the Parallels Technical Preview on an M1 Mac. Microsoft does not sell a version of Windows that will run on Apple Silicon Macs with Parallels, but the company has made a version available to members of the Windows Insider Program.
You can head to the Microsoft website to download the Insider Preview version of Windows for use an Apple Silicon Mac with Parallels. If you’re not a member of the Insider Preview program, you can also request to join through this link.
Here’s a look at the process of installing Windows through Parallels on an M1 Mac in action:
Today’s release of the Parallels Desktop 16 Technical Preview for M1 Macs comes less than a month after the company teased that it was in development. This release makes a major milestone in the ongoing quest for a way to run Windows on M1 Macs.
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Do you plan on using the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16 to run Windows on M1-powered Macs? Let us know down in the comments!
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Read more about running Windows on M1 Macs:
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