.PVS File Extension

Parallels Desktop Configuration File

Developer Parallels
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What is a PVS file?

A PVS file is a configuration file for a virtual machine (VM) created by Parallels Desktop for Mac, a virtualization application for Macs that can run other operating systems. It contains settings in the XML standard configuring a VM, including its name, memory usage, and how it shuts down.

More Information

Screenshot of a .pvs file in Parallels Desktop for Mac 19
PVS file open in Parallels Desktop for Mac 19

Parallels Desktop for Mac is an app that allows you to run Windows, Linux, Android, and other versions of macOS on your Mac. When you create a virtual machine (VM) with Parallels Desktop for Mac, the software creates a PVM file to store its contents.

The PVM file is a macOS package that contains all the files Parallels Desktop needs to run a virtual machine, including .HDD, .LOG, .ISO, and .DAT files. Also, Parallels Desktop for Mac creates a config.pvs file that stores the configuration settings for the VM. Settings include the location and size of the virtual drive, memory allocation, network settings, and peripheral connections.

Location of PVS files

You can find the PVS configuration file for a VM inside the VM's PVM file, which Parallels Desktop for Mac saves in the following location by default:

Macintosh HD/​Users/​[username]/​Documents/​Parallels/​

Once you locate the PVM file, right-click the file and select Show Package Contents to view the package's files, including the config.pvs file, with Apple Finder.

Common PVS Filenames

config.pvs - Default name given to PVS files found within PVM files.

How to open a PVS file

You should not attempt to open PVS files. Instead, Parallels Desktop for Mac automatically loads the information in the PVS file when running a virtual machine. You can view and modify the configuration settings saved in a PVS file by selecting Actions → Configure... or clicking the "Configuration" gear icon.

Opening a PVS file with a text editor

PVS file open in Microsoft Visual Studio Code
PVS file open in Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Since PVS files store information in plain text, you can open them with a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad (Windows) or Apple TextEdit (Mac), or a source code editor. You may need to rename the .pvs file extension to .txt for the text editor to recognize it.

When opened in a text editor or source code editor, you can modify the elements and parameters in the PVS file. However, if you incorrectly edit the file, you may inadvertently cause the VM not to run correctly.

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Programs that open PVS files

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