What’s New in Parallels Desktop 13


Are you curious regarding what’s new in  our latest version of Parallels Desktop 13? Parallels Desktop® for Mac enables users to run Windows, Linux, and other popular OSes without rebooting your Mac®. Parallels stands tall as the #1 solution for desktop virtualization for millions of users—for over 11 years.

Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac has arrived and is power-packed with improved stability, compatibility, and performance! We’re very proud of our engineering team for achieving this incredible milestone, and we are excited to finally share it with all of you. We have a lot to fill you in on—so let’s dive in!

Want to try it out for yourself? Try 14 days of Parallels Desktop for Mac for free.

All editions of Parallels Desktop 13 will be ready for the macOS® High Sierra release as well as the Microsoft Windows Fall Creators Update.

Parallels Desktop 13 will additionally include support for the latest Apple® hardware innovations to be utilized by Microsoft programs with Apple Touch Bar support for Windows applications! With the Touch Bar Wizard, users will be able to customize the Apple Touch Bar with Windows applications according to their needs. Staying up to date with the latest Apple technology is important for all of our existing and new users, so we’ve prioritized that in this latest version of Parallels Desktop.

General Enhancements

  • If you don’t have Windows, Parallels Desktop can help you download and install Windows 10 in a few simple clicks.
  • If you want to try Parallels Desktop, the trial period begins only after you start your virtual machine for the first time—so you have more time to work with it.
  • During the free 14-day trial, all options available only in Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition are marked with a special “PRO” sign, making it easier for you to choose which edition you need based on features.
  • Parallels Desktop shows a confirmation message when you try to stop or reset Windows while Windows is installing updates. This will help avoid corruption errors with your Windows OS in your virtual machine.
  • Parallels Desktop informs you when some actions become unavailable because of no Internet connection (for example, downloading and installing virtual appliances).
  • Manage your snapshots easier! Distinguish the virtual machines that have snapshots by the new Snapshots icon, and use it to open the snapshots manager with a single click.
  • New View Mode – Picture-in-Picture:

– The virtual machine is displayed in a small window that becomes transparent when you switch to another window.

– You can choose to show the virtual machine window on all Spaces and on top of other windows.

– The Close button switches the virtual machine back to the Window view mode, rather than shutting down the virtual machine. This can help avoid an unintended shutdown.

  • New context-sensitive help for all Parallels Desktop options. Just click the “?” icon, and read a description of each option on the screen.
  • Transferring a Windows PC to a virtual machine on your Mac has been made easier than ever.
  • Converting third-party virtual machines to the Parallels format has been improved.
  • Working with a Boot Camp® virtual machine has been significantly improved!

Integration with Mac

  • Initial support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra as both the host and guest operating systems. Once this operating system is officially released, you may need to update Parallels Desktop to get the latest build.
  • Use the Touch Bar on your MacBook® to work with Parallels Desktop, Microsoft Windows, and Windows applications.
  • Customize the Touch Bar for Windows applications with the Touch Bar Wizard.
  • Protect the Parallels Desktop preferences and virtual machine configuration from editing with Touch ID®.


Support for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

  • Initial support for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Once this operating system is officially released, you may need to update Parallels Desktop to ensure full support.
  • Extended support for the Microsoft Windows 10 People Bar feature:

– Communicate with people from the macOS Dock, Finder®, and Spotlight®.

– Pin as many people to the macOS Dock as you wish.

– When Windows is running in Coherence mode, you can manage the People Bar from the macOS menu bar.


  • Working with Windows files from macOS is up to 20% faster if the virtual machine is on a solid-state drive (SSD) and up to 40% faster if on a rotational hard drive (HDD).
  • Working with Windows files from Windows OS is up to 57% faster when the virtual machine is on a rotational hard drive (HDD).
  • Working with files on a Thunderbolt™ SSD external storage connected to Windows is up to 100% faster!
  • Working with files on a USB 3.0 storage connected to Windows is up to 40% faster.
  • Creating a virtual machine snapshot is up to 50% faster.


  • Now when you resize the virtual machine window or switch between view modes, the virtual machine screen resolution changes faster and more smoothly.
  • We will continue working on OpenGL 3.0 support. The first results could already be seen in an update for Parallels Desktop 12, where we added support for such games as Rage, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Now we’ve added support for DIALux evo and Northgard.
  • Windows is displayed to be clearer when the Retina Resolution > Scaled option is selected: the text becomes crisper and graphics sharper.


  • Many Linux distributions are available in Parallels Desktop as a direct download. Get started in a few simple clicks and see the other free systems that are available as virtual machines.
  • Improved support for Zorin OS, Elementary OS, Kali Linux, and Manjaro Linux guest operating systems:

– Parallels Tools can be installed.

– These systems are automatically detected during the installation.

– Proper icons for these OSes are used in the Parallels Desktop interface so that users can distinguish them from other Linux virtual machines.

  • Download Linux Mint virtual appliances from Installation Assistant.


New Design

  • The Parallels Desktop interface has been improved and redesigned to make it even more clear and user-friendly.
  • The sign-in and license-related dialogs have been redesigned to make them more clear and simple.
  • Editing the virtual machine hard disk properties has been improved and slightly redesigned. By default, virtual hard disks now provide up to 256 GB, so you have less reasons to edit the disk properties.
  • Change the Parallels Desktop interface color—you can choose between the light gray and dark color schemes.
  • The Parallels Desktop icon has been updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10.


Special Gift for Parallels Desktop Users


For Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Business Edition Only

  • Assign up to 32 CPUs and 128 GB of virtual RAM to a virtual machine.
  • Use a new Extended memory limit option to allocate even more memory to your virtual machine than your Mac has. This functionality is designed for developers and testing purposes.
  • Use Intel® VTune Amplifier, Linux “perf”, and Mozilla “rr” to improve your applications’ performance. To use this feature, enable PMU virtualization on the Hardware > CPU & Memory tab of the virtual machine configuration.
  • Quickly change the virtual machine screen resolution from the View > Set Resolution To use this feature, enable Show developer tools on the Options > More Options tab of the virtual machine configuration.
  • Now you don’t have to spend time looking for your virtual machine IP address. Find and copy it from the Devices > Network To use this feature, enable Show developer tools on the Options > More Options tab of the virtual machine configuration.


For Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition Only

  • Don’t bother inexperienced users with the Parallels Desktop interface, Windows installations, and virtualization—allow them to work with selected Windows applications in the all-new Single Application mode. For more information, please read the Parallels Desktop Business Edition Administrator’s Guide.
  • Improved structure of the Parallels Desktop Mass Deployment package.
  • Add selected Windows applications to the macOS Dock while deploying the Parallels Desktop Mass Deployment package.
  • Improved and redesigned security-related settings.
  • Use Touch ID to approve various password-protected actions on your virtual machines (for example, changing the virtual machine state, editing the virtual machine configuration, and more.).


Suggest A Feature

  • At Parallels, we attribute our growth to listening to our customers wholeheartedly. If you have any ideas or thoughts, use the new Help > Suggest a Feature to tell us about the features or improvements you’d like to see in Parallels Desktop.


System Requirements (You can read a deeper dive into Parallels Desktop 13 System Requirements here!)

  • Any Mac computer running macOS High Sierra 10.13*, macOS Sierra 10.12 or later, OS X® El Capitan 10.11.5 or later, OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 or later.
  • 4 GB of memory (8 GB recommended)
  • 850 MB of disk space on the boot volume (Macintosh HD) for Parallels Desktop installation.
  • Additional disk space for virtual machines (SSD drives recommended for better performance).

*Note: Once macOS 10.13 High Sierra is officially released, you may need to update Parallels Desktop to ensure full feature compatibility.

Don’t worry—our engineers haven’t stopped there! Not only did Parallels Desktop 13 get all the above features, but we’ve also released updates to our other products such as Parallels Toolbox. Feel free to visit the link to see a full list of the tools available in Parallels Toolbox!

(Psst…Parallels Toolbox is now available for both Mac and Windows users!)

Continued relentless innovation is the secret behind Parallels Desktop. For over 11 years, our development teams have solved everyday user challenges, empowered developers, and improved management and security for IT professionals.


Interested in saving money, time, and boosting your productivity with virtual machines? Try 14 days of Parallels Desktop for Mac for free.



Q: I’m sold! I want to run Windows, Linux or other popular OSes on my Mac without restarting. How do I buy?

A: Feel free to buy Parallels Desktop 13 today!

Q: I recently purchased Parallels Desktop 12—do I qualify for the tech guarantee?

A: You can read full details regarding qualifications for tech guarantee located here in our knowledgebase.

Q: How do I activate a new license of Parallels Desktop 13?

A: Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac can be activated in a few different ways. Read more.

Q: How do I activate an upgrade license of Parallels Desktop 13?

A: If you have a subscription for Parallels Desktop for Mac or Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition, you can upgrade Parallels Desktop to the latest version with the license you own. Learn how to in our knowledgebase article!

Q: How do I get Windows 10?

A: Buy directly from Microsoft below:

Windows 10 Home

Windows 10 Pro

Running Windows on Mac has never been easier with the latest release of Parallels Desktop 13, and we’re over-the-moon to hear what you think. Feel free to reach out to us, or tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to share your thoughts. Try 14 days of Parallels Desktop for Mac for free.

At Parallels, Kayla is the Audience Marketing Manager who yearns for customer storytelling, analytics, & all things Apple. She is an accredited Apple insider who spends her extra time hula hooping around the Pacific Northwest.


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