Parallels On Macbook M1

Virtualization software Parallels announced today that it has released Parallels 16.5 which is officially compatible with M1 chip Macs. So doing a speed test between my old MacBook Air 2014 on bootcamp versus the M1 Mac mini on parallels, the 2014 air performs better. I've tried different amounts of processors and memory but it hasn't helped. I feel like the CPU capped at 1.0 GHz is the issue perhaps? The 2014 air on bootcamp gets 3.9 GHz where as the M1 Mac mini runs a flat 1.

Apple’s “one more thing” event on November 10, 2020, revealed the first Mac computers powered by the Apple M1 chip.

Parallels is excited to see the performance, power efficiency, and virtualization features that are brought to the Mac with the Apple M1 chip. The transition to Mac with the M1 chip should be smooth for most Mac applications, thanks to Rosetta technology. Fortunately, Parallels Access™, Parallels® Toolbox, and Parallels® Client software worked smoothly as universal binaries even before Parallels rebuilt them. However, virtual machines are an exception and Parallels engineers proactively implemented native virtualization support for Mac computers with the M1 chip. This enables our users to enjoy the best Windows-on-Mac experience ever.

Parallels on macbook m1 proReview

Learn more about the new version in this blog post.

When Apple Silicon Mac was first announced during the keynote at WWDC on June 22 of this year, Apple demoed a Parallels Desktop for Mac prototype running a Linux virtual machine flawlessly on Apple Silicon. Since WWDC, the new version of Parallels Desktop, which runs on Mac with the Apple M1 chip, has made tremendous progress. We switched Parallels Desktop to universal binary and optimized its virtualization code; Apple M1 Mac computers and macOS Big Sur became available, and Microsoft announced and then introduced support for x86_64 applications in Windows on ARM Insider Preview.


As our customers know, Parallels cares deeply about the quality of our software products and the experience they provide. With macOS Big Sur and the new Mac with Apple M1 chip available, we continue to conduct more extensive evaluations, both in our lab and with your help via the Parallels Technical Preview Program. More than 100,000 M1 Mac users tested the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16 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 the games inside it, 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 and its applications with macOS Big Sur, which increased their productivity.

On April 14th 2021, the new update for Parallels Desktop 16 for Mac was released and now features support for both Mac computers with Intel processor as well as Mac computers with Apple M1 chip.

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.

Parallels desktop 16 m1

Parallels On Macbook M1 Vs

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:

Parallels On M1 Macbook

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.

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!

Read more about running Windows on M1 Macs:

Parallels On M1 Mac Review

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