Parallels Desktop for Mac

Version19(as of 9/14/2023)
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Rating:3.0  |  108 Votes

Main Features

  • Support for multiple versions of Windows, macOS, and Linux OSs, including Windows 11 and macOS Sonoma (14)
  • Quickly set up your virtual machines with just a couple of clicks
  • Transfer files and copy and paste data between macOS and VM OSs
  • Connect plug-and-play USB devices, such as flash drives, printers, and mobile devices
  • Sign into a guest Windows operating system with Apple Touch ID
  • Capture VM snapshots and revert to saved states
  • Manage VM storage space directly from macOS
  • Use Toolbox utilities to take screenshots, record video and audio, archive files, and more

Software Overview

Screenshot of Parallels Desktop for Mac 19
Screenshot of Parallels Desktop for Mac 19

Parallels Desktop for Mac is an operating system virtualization application that allows Intel- and Apple silicon-based Mac users to run Windows and other operating systems (OSs). The software lets users seamlessly run non-macOS programs, switch between and customize OSs, and simplify tasks with its Toolbox. The software is available in Standard, Pro, and Business editions.

Parallels Desktop for Mac runs as an application within macOS and functions as a virtual machine (VM). With Parallels Desktop for Mac, users can create and run Windows, Linux, and additional macOS VMs, each integrated with the user's original instance of macOS. For example, users can access their macOS files within Parallels Desktop for Mac VMs, copy and paste text across OSs, and connect USB devices, such as flash drives, printers, and mobile devices, to either macOS or a VM (and reassign devices as needed). In addition, those who want to work across multiple OSs simultaneously can run Parallels Desktop for Mac in a windowed or side-by-side mode, while those who wish to immerse themselves in Windows or another OS can run Parallels Desktop for Mac in full-screen mode.

Parallels Desktop for Mac on Intel-based Macs allows users to run over 60 different OSs, including Windows 11 to 2000. It can also run macOS versions from Ventura (13) to Lion (10.7), as well as Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Linux, Red Hat, Debian GNU/Linux, Debian, CentOS Linux SUSE, Fedora Core, Mandriva, FreeBSD, Kali, Mint Linux, Solaris, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, ReactOS, and Android. In addition, Parallels Desktop for Mac on M1 Macs can run Windows 11, macOS Monterrey (12), Ventura (13), Sonoma (14), Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Workstation, Debian GNU/Linux, and Kali Linux.

After a user creates and launches their first VM, they can access Parallels Desktop for Mac's VM controls and toolkit. The program enables users to easily pause, suspend, shut down, and restart VMs and manage the disk space consumed by the VMs. The software also allows users to save a snapshot of their VM's current state to use as a backup or branch if needed.

In addition, the included Parallels Toolbox simplifies many simple OS-based tasks. For example, it enables you to archive files, record your screen, take screenshots, record audio, convert video, turn off wireless communication in Airplane mode, set notification alarms and timers, make GIFs, enter Presentation mode, and switch your VM's resolution with just a few clicks. Also, Parallels Desktop for Mac can connect to your Xbox or PlayStation DualShock Bluetooth controller, providing an enhanced gaming experience.


Parallels Desktop for Mac is an excellent solution for home, education, or business users who prefer macOS and need to perform tasks in other OSs, such as Windows or Linux. It is easy to use, integrates well with macOS, and has many customizable features. If you are a macOS user who needs access to other OSs, you should try Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Primary File Type

pvm icon.PVMParallels Virtual Machine

Supported File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.PVMParallels Virtual Machine
.FDDParallels Desktop Floppy Disk Image File
.HDDParallels Desktop Hard Disk
.HDSParallels Desktop Hard Disk File
.ISODisc Image File
.MACVMParallels Virtual Machine (Virtualization Framework Based)
.MEMParallels Desktop Memory Dump File
.PVCParallels Desktop Copied Configuration File
.PVMParallels Virtual Machine
.PVMPParallels Packed Virtual Machine
.PVMZParallels Compressed Virtual Machine
.PVSParallels Desktop Configuration File
.SAVParallels Desktop Saved State Image File

Additional Related File Types

ExtensionFile Type
.BATDOS Batch File
.CMDWindows Command File
.COMDOS Command File
.DEVWindows Device Driver File
.DMGApple Disk Image
.EXEWindows Executable File
.IMGDisc Image Data File
.INIWindows Initialization File
.LNKWindows Shortcut
.MSSTYLESWindows XP Style
.SYSWindows System File
.VBOXOracle VM VirtualBox Settings File
.VMCWindows Virtual Machine Configuration File
.VMDKVirtual Machine Disk File
.VMWAREVMVMware Fusion Virtual Machine
.VMXVMware Virtual Machine Configuration File
.VPC6Virtual Machine Package
.VPC7Virtual Machine Package
.WPXPrinter Description File
Updated 9/14/2023