Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

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Guest blog post from support team member:  Dhanasekaran Vijayarajan


Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

We all know Parallels Desktop allows you to run Windows on your Mac. But have you ever wanted your favorite Mac keyboard shortcuts to work in the virtual machine as well? Or maybe change them and assign certain hot keys? We can help – below are all the instructions you’ll need for configuring your keyboard shortcuts in Parallels Desktop!

By default, Parallels Desktop maps common Mac OS X keyboard shortcut key combinations to the equivalent Windows key combinations. That way, if you’re used to, for example, pressing Command-C to copy text in Mac OS X, you don’t have to switch to the Windows equivalent, Control-C.

Want to customize these shortcuts?

To customize keyboard shortcuts:

  • Click the Parallels icon in the Mac menu bar and choose Preferences (or click on Parallels Desktop > Preferences).

Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

  • Select Shortcuts.
  • Choose your VM from the list. (i.e., Windows 10)

When you’re using a Windows application, pressing a key combination in the From column triggers the key combination in the To column.

  1. If the lock icon is locked, click it and enter an administrator password.
  2. Do one of the following:

* To edit an existing key combination, double-click the key combination, or select it and click the Edit button . Click modifier keys to select or deselect them. If you wish, change the character in the text field.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

* To delete a key combination, select it and click the Remove button .

* To add a new key combination, click the Add button .

Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

Note:

  • Some key combinations can’t be edited or deleted.
  • There are Mac shortcuts that do not have similar shortcuts in Windows. For example, you can use the F11 key or Fn+F11 combination to see your Mac OS desktop with Expose, but in Windows there are no keys or key combinations that enable you to perform the same action, because there is no Expose in Windows.

Another awesome trick is to enable or disable Mac OS X System Shortcuts. Our dev team made this trick very simple!

In Mac OS X, the function keys on your keyboard (F1, F2, F3 and so on) control functions like activating Dashboard and Mission Control, adjusting screen brightness, and controlling the volume. By default, when a Windows application is active, the function keys and other Mac system shortcut key combinations (such as pressing Cmd + Tab to switch between open applications) continue to activate Mac OS X functions.

To set whether function keys and OS X system shortcut key combinations activate functions in OS X or Windows:
Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

  1. Click System Shortcuts in the sidebar.
  2. Select one of the following from the Send system shortcuts menu:

* Always: When Windows or Windows applications are active, function keys and other system shortcuts always trigger functions in Windows.

* Never: Function keys and other system shortcuts always trigger functions in OS X.

* On Condition or Auto: If you’re working with Windows, system shortcuts that don’t function in Windows (for example, Control-Up Arrow button to display Mission Control) trigger functions in OS X. If you’re using OS X as a guest OS and a guest OS or its application is active, system shortcuts that are typical only to OS X trigger functions in the guest version of OS X.

This is simple, right? So performing these steps will make it more comfortable for you to use our software regardless of the difference in OS and shortcut combinations.

Wait theres more

Want to customize the keyboard menu?

In Window mode, you can enter key combinations by clicking the keyboard icon in the status bar at the bottom of the window and then choosing a key combination. To customize available key combinations, do the following:
Keyboard Shortcuts in Parallels Desktop

Do one of the following:

* Click the Parallels icon in the menu bar, press and hold the Option (Alt) key, and choose Preferences.

* If the Parallels Desktop menu bar is visible at the top of the screen, choose Parallels Desktop > Preferences.

* Click Shortcuts > Keyboard Menu.

  1. If the lock icon is locked, click it and enter an administrator password.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To add a new key combination, click the Add button .
    • To remove a key combination from the Keyboard menu, select it and click the Remove button .
    • To edit an existing key combination, double-click the key combination, or select it and click the Edit button . Click modifier keys to select or deselect them. If you wish, change the character in the text field.

Need additional instructions? Please see the KB instructions here.

We hope this blog helped you to customize your keyboard shortcuts. As always, follow our Support team on Twitter for tips, tricks, and help. You can also message us on Facebook if you have any questions.Parallels Desktop for Mac

Social Media Lead for Parallels WorldWide Support. Passionate about technology and customer experience.