New features in Parallels Desktop 19 For Mac Review

New features in Parallels Desktop 19 For Mac Review

New features in Parallels Desktop 19 for Mac Review: The Mac is no longer viewed as a small niche market that can’t compete with Microsoft Windows, since sales have increased significantly in recent years despite some recent economic challenges. However, many Mac users still occasionally need to run programs and applications that are exclusive to Windows computers. It’s possible that your workplace utilizes specific business software that is only compatible with Windows, or you could have to use a website that depends on certain Windows-only features. A lot of developers have to test their services and programs on both Macs and PCs, and then there are the A-List titles that are exclusive to Windows.

Because of Apple’s Boot Camp software, installing Windows on a Mac was actually rather simple for a long time. Since all Macs between 2006 and 2020 shared Intel processors with Windows PCs, Apple created a program called Boot Camp that let you divide your Mac’s hard drive into two partitions. Then, by just restarting your Mac, you could rapidly switch between the two operating systems—a procedure known as dual-booting—by installing macOS on one sector and Windows on the other.

For many Mac users, particularly us gamers, who occasionally needed to run Windows software, Boot Camp was a true lifesaver, but it was limited to Macs with Intel CPUs. The standard version of Windows, which was designed to run on Intel CPUs, could no longer be installed on new Macs that use Apple’s M1, M2, and M3 processors due to Apple’s 2020 decision to switch to its own Apple Silicon chips.

Programs for virtualization, like Parallels Desktop are useful in this situation. Since Apple’s M-series chips are based on designs created by ARM Ltd., a British company, they fall under the category of ARM processors. Microsoft has created a version of Windows 11 that is specifically meant to run on ARM chips; it’s no surprise that this version of Windows is called Windows 11 On Arm. Visit Microsoft’s website to learn more.

See our roundup of the Best Virtual Machine for Mac, which contrasts CrossOver, Parallels, Fusion, and other choices, for additional options.

Why use Parallels Desktop?

The reason Parallels Desktop is called a virtualization program is that it enables you to set up a virtual machine, or VM, on your Mac. A VM is essentially a piece of software that mimics the actual hardware of a Windows computer; this technique is also frequently referred to as emulation. Installing the ARM version of Windows on an Apple Silicon Mac virtual machine allows you to install the necessary Windows apps and software on your Windows virtual machine.

Because you can run Mac and Windows apps simultaneously without needing to restart your Mac to transition between macOS and Windows, this is in some ways even better than Boot Camp. As soon as your Windows virtual machine (VM) is launched, you can see the entire Windows desktop float in its own window on top of the Mac desktop, alongside all of your regular Mac applications. If you’d rather, you can hide the Mac desktop completely while using Windows by making the Windows virtual machine (VM) full-screen. As an alternative, you can reduce the size of the virtual machine to a tiny preview that rests in a corner of the Mac desktop, allowing you to monitor the Windows side of things while utilizing other Mac applications.

The main drawback to this method is that it requires a reasonably fast Mac with lots of RAM to get the greatest performance out of your Windows virtual machine because your Mac is really running two operating systems at once—Windows and macOS.

With Parallels Desktop, you may run different operating systems as well. For example, you could create a virtual machine (VM) and run Linux or even macOS. Currently, this can only be used to build virtual machines (VMs) that run Monterey (macOS 12.0) or later on Macs with Apple Silicon, but it can be helpful for developers who need to test a website or app on several versions of the operating system. However, if you can get an installer for a previous version of macOS, Intel-based Macs can return to Lion (macOS 10.7).

While there are other virtualization programs for Macs besides Parallels Desktop, the company has remained one step ahead of its competitors by releasing yearly updates on a regular basis, which usually align with Apple’s major macOS updates. August 2023 saw the release of Parallels Desktop 19, which came out right before macOS Sonoma. However, Parallels has published several more updates in the months that have followed the update, which helps it stay up to current with the quick evolution of Apple’s M-series processors. We’ll examine some of the primary features of Parallels Desktop 19 in this review before bringing everything up to date with the most recent versions 19.2 and 19.3.

Parallels Desktop price

There are three editions of Parallels Desktop available: Standard, Pro, and Business.

The Standard edition costs $99.99/£89.99 a year and is primarily intended for home and educational users. Students and education users can also receive further savings. Any future releases of upgrades and new versions are covered by that yearly subscription price. For a one-time purchase of $129.99/£104.99, you can also purchase the basic edition with a perpetual license; however, you will need to pay additional fees for updates in the future.

The Business edition, which is intended for larger businesses, also requires a subscription and costs $149.99/£119.99 yearly, while the Pro edition, which is primarily targeted at developers, is only available as a subscription and costs $119.99/£99.99 annually. Although there is a version of Parallels Desktop available through the Mac App Store, it is recommended to purchase Parallels Desktop directly from Parallels due to significant technological restrictions imposed by Apple.

In order to evaluate Parallels Desktop before purchasing the full version, the Parallels website also provides a 14-day free trial. Just keep in mind that Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise licenses are still required, and they start at a somewhat steep $199.99/£219.99.

Read also: Best video editing software on mac

What has Parallels Desktop 19 been updated to?

What has Parallels Desktop 19 New features
What has Parallels Desktop 19 New features

As previously indicated, Parallels Desktop receives a significant yearly update in August of 2023, right before Apple releases macOS Sonoma in October. This update cycle aligns with Parallels Desktop’s own macOS updates. This was also a significant update, even though some of its new features are technological underpinnings that users of earlier versions might not notice right away. Additionally, there are a number of additional features—some of which are targeted primarily at developers—that are exclusive to the Parallels Desktop Pro and Business editions.

The revised interface of Parallels Desktop 19 is one new feature that will catch your eye right away. Windows and conversation boxes now have the same candy colors and curved lines as Apple’s macOS in recent years. With OpenGL 4.1 support for 3D graphics in Windows, certain significant graphics and design applications, like ArcGIS Pro, VectorWorks, and VariCAD, now run better and are more compatible—talk about some eye candy.

However, a few subtle but equally significant traits are described underneath the surface. Parallels Desktop 19 offers a new Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) that enables you to print documents from a virtual computer using your regular printer even if Apple modified the printing system in Sonoma.

Touch ID is now available for your Windows virtual machines (VMs) with Version 19. Because you can log in to your Windows virtual machine (VM) using both your own Microsoft account and Touch ID, this adds an extra degree of security. This will be especially crucial for business customers who might need to protect sensitive data stored on their Windows virtual machines. Corporate management solutions like Microsoft’s InTune and Hashicorp Packer can be used with virtual machines (VMs) by larger firms who purchase Parallels Desktop’s Business edition.

Parallels Desktop 19’s Pro and Business Editions draw some interest from developers. Improved support for building virtual machines (VMs) that run several macOS versions is available, as is an extension for Visual Studio code that facilitates the organization and use of many VMs.

Updates on Parallels – 2024

The major updates for Parallels Desktop usually come out once a year, but recently, Parallels has also released a number of smaller “point updates,” maybe in response to the quick development of Apple’s M-series CPUs.

Parallels Desktop has been upgraded twice (so far) since the arrival of Apple’s M3 CPUs in October 2023. Version 19.2 offers a faster alternative for cloning virtual machines. Developers and business users who might need to build several virtual machines (VMs) based on an existing template will find that helpful. Additionally, it enhanced the functionality of Sign In With Apple, which enables users to access Parallels accounts with hardware security keys that they may have generated on their Mac. Version 19.2 also addressed this issue to increase the reliability of virtual machines (VMs) on external drives. The release of Sonoma altered the way macOS supports Windows disk formats, which led to some VMs being unstable when operating from an external hard drive or SSD.

Additionally, version 19.3 of the application was updated in March 2024. This resolved visual issues that impacted several popular Windows games, including Dark Souls II and Genshin Impact. However, players should be aware that Parallels Desktop is still only compatible with games that use DirectX 11 and that, as of this writing, Parallels is still working on support for Microsoft’s DirectX 12 graphics engine.

Better security safeguards are offered by Parallels Desktop Pro and Business versions when copying the Clipboard between Mac and Windows. For example, the Copy capability may be restricted to copying from Mac to Windows (or vice versa). Parallels reports that an increasing number of Mac users are using the macOS in virtual machines (VMs) as a guest operating system, particularly developers who need to test their programs across several macOS versions. As a result, Parallels has enhanced the configuration options for building virtual machines (VMs) running macOS, giving users more flexibility to choose the number of processors and memory used. Sharing folders and volumes between multiple macOS versions is now possible, and networking features have also been enhanced. There’s also some TLC for Linux, with quicker installation for the well-known Ubuntu variant of Linux and better support for Mac trackpads.

Read also: How to Screenshot on a Mac: A Comprehensive Guide for Mac Users

Functionality And Usability

It might be challenging to run two operating systems side by side, but Parallels Desktop aims to simplify matters for the user by including a feature called Coherence Mode. By doing this, the Windows desktop is hidden and Windows apps—like the Edge browser—can display on the Mac desktop in the same way as regular Mac apps. To enable you to swiftly launch any additional Windows apps, the Windows Start Menu even shows up as a new pull-down menu in the Mac’s main Menu bar.

Parallels contributes to the harmonious coexistence of Windows and macOS in a variety of ways. The ability to copy and paste text and graphics across Mac and Windows apps, for instance, was strengthened in version 17 and was further improved in the most recent 19.3 upgrade. Additionally, you can drag and drop visuals and pictures straight into Windows from Mac programs like Photos and Safari.

Parallels Desktop version 18 now includes support for Stage Manager (which debuted in macOS Ventura). This implies that all of your regular Mac apps can be tucked away to the side of the screen alongside Windows apps. Game controllers are compatible with Windows games, and corporate and developer users can take advantage of additional functionality. While the Pro Edition of Parallels Desktop 18 for developers offers advanced networking features and a command-line interface to speed up testing, the Business Edition of Parallels Desktop 18 includes several features to help IT departments in large organizations quickly roll out Parallels virtual machines to multiple users.

Performance Of Parallels Desktop 19

You need a lot of memory, disk space, and CPU power to run your virtual machines effectively while running two or more operating systems on your Mac at once. Thankfully, regular apps like the Windows versions of Microsoft Word and Excel can run smoothly on modern multi-core processors like Apple’s M-series chips when they are virtualized. Faster Mac models can also run 3D games and sophisticated design and graphics software quite well.

It is true that running Windows and macOS together requires a lot of memory. The recommended minimum RAM for each virtual machine (VM) by Parallels Desktop is usually 1-2GB, but that really is the absolute minimum—this is on top of the memory required by MacOS—so if your Mac only has 8GB of RAM, you won’t get the best performance possible when running Windows in a virtual machine.

Additionally, Parallels Desktop allows you to designate a maximum number of processing cores for your virtual machine (VM). This is where Apple’s M-series processors shine, particularly the Pro, Max, and Ultra variants, which have up to twelve processor cores available for your VM to run on. For inexperienced users, adjusting RAM and CPU cores can be complicated, but Parallels Desktop can assist by suggesting configurations that work well with various Windows software and apps. You may set up your virtual machines on high-end Macs, such as the Mac Studio, to employ up to 62GB of RAM and 18 CPU cores for better performance. Regretfully, Parallels has informed us that the macOS is the only operating system that controls the many GPU cores on Apple Silicon chips. As a result, Parallels does not presently enable you to customize the amount of GPU cores used by your virtual machines.

Installing Windows on Parallel Desktop 19

As previously mentioned, in order to create a Windows virtual machine (VM) on Macs with Apple Silicon processors, you must purchase a license for the ARM version of Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise. The less expensive Home edition isn’t supported, but you can also use an existing license if you have one available. Although support for earlier Windows versions has ended, older Intel-based Macs can still run Windows 10.

Installing Windows New features in Parallels Desktop 19 For Mac Review
Installing Windows New features in Parallels Desktop 19 For Mac Review

Since individual users are typically not granted licenses for the Arm version of Windows, this is neither inexpensive nor simple. Thankfully, Parallels and Microsoft have collaborated extensively to streamline the process of building virtual machines (VMs) that run the ARM version of Windows. To start a new virtual machine (VM), just choose the File/New command (or click the “+” button in the main Control Center window of the application). A large button labeled “Get Windows 11 from Microsoft” will then appear.

You only have to do this:

  1. Click the “Get Windows 11 From Microsoft” button.
  2. If your Mac has an ARM processor, Parallels will automatically download the ARM version of Windows 11; otherwise, it will download the appropriate version of Windows 11.
  3. In the Windows virtual machine, open the Windows Settings panel. By choosing System/Activation, you can buy a Windows license from the Microsoft Store.
  4. After that, you can buy a license or, if you already have one, use an existing Windows 11 license by using the Microsoft Store app within your Windows virtual machine.
  5. Microsoft does not distinguish between Windows on Intel and Windows On Arm, according to Parallels, therefore a Windows 11 license can be used for either version.

Additionally, according to Parallels, Windows 11 on ARM now enables you to run the majority of older programs and applications that were created for the Intel version of Windows, so you shouldn’t experience any compatibility issues while using Windows on ARM virtual machines.

Read all you need to know about running Windows on a Mac for additional details. We also offer a list of the top choices for using a Mac to run Windows.

Read also: Best Backup for MacBook Pro: Protect Your Data with Reliable Solutions

Conclusion: New features in Parallels Desktop 19 For Mac Review

Although there are other options for running Windows on a Mac besides Parallels, its continuous release cycle and frequent updates have made it the preferred choice over competing virtualization apps like VMware Fusion. Compared to other technologies like Codeweavers’ CrossOver, it is also easier to use. Furthermore, with these new releases, Parallels makes it obvious that it intends to stay abreast of Mac hardware advancements through Apple Silicon, keeping it among the greatest choices for running Windows and Windows applications on a Mac at the moment.


Has loved the world of technology since early 2012. His career started at MacUser

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